None of us like to be without our cars but unfortunately we all will be for at least short periods whilst it under goes routine maintenance. It is always best to take your car to a local auto shop whenever routine maintenance tasks are due though as these routine tasks can often prevent the car from having problems which will make it necessary to leave the car in the shop for a longer period later. You do not want to take your car to just any mechanic though as you will want the tasks carried professionally to the specific guidelines dictated by the manufacturer. That does not mean however that you have to take it to one recommended by the car dealership though as those are often expensive. Instead there are professional mechanics that are familiar with the manufacturer’s guidelines for several different models and makes and completes routine tasks along those guidelines and as professionally as a dealership recommended mechanic would. Finding one of these reliable mechanics is often not too difficult but once you have one it is perhaps best to use the same one every time as they could become familiar with your car and therefore perhaps be able to do a quicker if not better job of these routine tasks and will certainly be in a better situation to make any repairs should that become necessary. Some of the things that you may want to check with the mechanic before you leave your vehicle with them are:
- Parts – Will they only use manufacturer’s recommended parts where new parts are required
- Guidelines – Will they strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for each of the routine maintenance checks they perform
- Loaner – Will they provide you with a loan car for the duration of the work
- Pick Up – If they do not have a car available to loan you, will they drop you off when you bring your car in and of course will they pick you up again when the job is completed
Although none of these are actually essential, all of them would contribute to being better value for your money and as far as following the manufacturer’s guide of what to check and what parts to use can often avoid mechanical problems at a later date.
Although all of us probably know a street side mechanic that could carry out these checks for us and at a lot cheaper price, their work is often unreliable and so will cost you more in the long term. Sometimes these mechanics may only check the condition of a part instead of changing it or if a part is not quite right, repair it instead of replacing it. Most of these type mechanics are more concerned with quickly getting you back on the road rather than the overall condition of the car, plus if a job is done in a shabby manner, there is a good chance you will be returning to them to have more work done quicker than you should have.