Angie's List: 2nd opinion on car repair

Angie's List

When you are having auto work done, a second opinion is a great investment, if that work is going to cost more than $600.

It might seem like it will take extra work, but if you are at all concerned about the recommendation get a second opinion.

"No one likes to hear this, but read the owner's manual for your car. It's amazing what it can tell you about your car and that will also help you be more educated when you are talking to your mechanic. If they are recommending something that is counter to the manual it's a time for you to say wait, maybe I need a second opinion," says Angie Hicks, founder of the consumer guide Angie's List.

But you may not need to get that second opinion if you take regular care of your car.

Angie's List asked highly recommended auto repair specialists about vehicle care.

Automotive Shop Owner Kevin Beck says, "The most important item that we would consider is the simplest one too and that is just getting your oil changed on a regular basis and we see it day in and day out people who are rigorous about it get it changed every 3-5 thousand miles versus the people that go longer intervals and we rip open, err pull open the engines and look inside you can see the difference from the people that do it often.

It's also one of the least expensive things you can do on your car. In the automotive industry it's also a loss, an oil change costs about $30 and a shop cannot change your oil for $30 and make money so it's really a good value for the consumer."

Kevin also says, "Probably one of the biggest or number one scenarios that we see is a huge rush of people trying to get their vehicles serviced before they go on a trip. The automotive shops get over loaded trying to deal with that demand in a very short period of time and if you are going to have work done on your car you'd like to have a couple of weeks basically to run your car, to make sure the workmanship is ok and that the parts you put on don't have an early failure. If you are going on a trip, if there is any way that you can get in a couple weeks or a month in advance to have your car checked out well, it will service the customer/consumer better."

The importance of oil changes: Regularly change your oil – it's typically an inexpensive service and takes care of a very important component of the vehicle. In addition, when the vehicle gets an oil change it allows the technician to inspect the other important components of the vehicle for necessary preventative/service. It's the car owner's responsibility to check their oil level. Check your oil frequently.

Got Expensive Repair Bills? Most auto repair specialists agree that the most expensive areas of your car to repair are the engine and transmission. It may be beneficial to get a second opinion with these issues.

Take a look: Always ask to see the old parts that were replaced and don't be afraid to ask questions before.

Plan ahead: If you are going on a major road trip do not wait until the last minute to have your car serviced or repaired. Schedule this work well in advance to give yourself some time to validate the effectiveness of the repair before heading out on a trip.

If you are going to buy a used car, bring it to a shop first and get it checked out so you are aware with any issues that need to be dealt with before you purchase it and you can work that in to the purchase price of the vehicle. Be prepared to spend on a used car between 1-2 thousand dollars, that is typically what it ends up taking to get it up to be a safe and reliable vehicle.


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