Car Trouble – Get a Second Opinion

Nothing takes you out of your comfort zone more quickly than car trouble. When you take the car to a mechanic, you want to believe that they’re going to make everything better, that what they’re telling you is the truth and that they going to fix only what needs to be fixed and charge you the best possible price for it. The sad fact is that this is not always the case. This is not to say that all mechanics are charlatans and con men, but some are, and even among reputable mechanics, the difference in what they charge can be significant.

Here at PaydayLoansCashAdvance, we like to help you hold on to your money, which is why we recommend getting a second opinion on car repairs.

Why get a second opinion?

In the case of a disreputable mechanic or service center, there are many things they can do to make you pay more than you need to. Maybe they will claim there is more wrong with your car than there actually is or maybe they will overcharge for a relatively simple repair. In either of these cases a second opinion can save you money. In a worst case scenario, an auto shop might even purposely create problems that they can fix immediately or at a later date to get more work and more money from you. A classic example of a shady mechanic creating work is the “oil pan scam.”

Oil pan scam

The car owner went to one of those muffler and brake places to take advantage of an oil change special. At the end of the oil change, the concerned mechanic told the owner there was an oil leak, and that for an additional fee they could track down the source. The owner agreed, and then was told that the leak was from a cracked oil pan, most likely caused by running over a curb or rock. The owner received an estimate of $900 to repair the crack.

The owner wisely took some time to think about it, checking with a friend who told him that this was a familiar scam and that he should get another opinion. The owner took the car to a car repair place that had done good work for him before, and the mechanic there revealed that the only problem was that someone had removed a bolt from the oil pan. Gee, who could have done that? The second opinion saved the owner several hundred dollars and earned the muffler shop a report to the Better Business Bureau.


The Better Business Bureau is actually a great place to find out information about car repair places so that you can choose reputable ones to get quotes from. Of course it’s always easier when the repair is planned–then you can just call a few service centers, tell them the make and model of your car and what you want done so they can give you a ballpark estimate. After that, you can just bring your car to the trusted repair shop with the lowest quote.

Emergency repairs

With emergency repairs, second opinions can be more challenging. Chances are, the work will need to be done immediately. In fact, your car may not even be able to be driven–it may have been towed in for a car repair. In that situation, the temptation will always be to leave your car where it is and let them fix it, even if the price seems a little high. This is often not a good idea. When your car is in for an emergency repair, a disreputable mechanic knows he has you over a barrel and is even more likely to pull some dirty tricks and overcharge.

Once they give you a diagnosis and an estimate, you can call around to other shops and see what they would charge for the same work. In the course of the conversation, you could even ask other shops if the diagnosis sounds correct for the symptoms the car was experiencing. Sometimes you will stand to save a lot of money, even if it does mean that you have to hire a tow truck to take your car from one shop to another.

Shop around

Even in a best case scenario, when you get a repair quote from a trusted shop with a good rating from the Better Business Bureau, it doesn’t hurt to make the call to get another quote or two. Your mechanic may be as honest as the day is long and he may be quoting the best price he can give you to do the work that must be done, but that doesn’t mean his is the best price in town. Sometimes a shop will specialize in a certain type of work or fixing a certain type of car. In this case, they can buy parts cheaper in bulk and they have service technicians who are more familiar with the job or vehicle and can do the work quicker and cheaper.

Sometimes smaller shops don’t have as much overhead in terms of staffing, advertising and rent, so they can afford to give you a better price, as well. The bottom line is that you never know who can give you the best price on a car repair until you actually start asking multiple people.

Getting your car fixed is often traumatic and expensive, but you can take some control over the experience by getting a second opinion. Going to multiple repair places to get quotes when you have car trouble can not only help to ensure that you get the best price, but it might also save you from having unnecessary work done, as well.

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