How Much Do You Trust Your Mechanic To Save You Money?

saving money on repairs, saving money with your mechanic, mechanic repairs

The television news magazine Inside Edition recently showed a series of stories in which they rigged a home to seemingly need repairs, but the fix was extremely minor. For example, they moved the eye of an electric garage door so that it would not close. Then, they called several local companies to inspect the problem and give them an estimate to perform the repair. Some repair people would perform the trivial fix, while others would correctly diagnose the problem, but tell the homeowner they needed a much more expensive repair.

We rely on experts to not rip us off.

Think about how often we rely on people more knowledgeable on a given subject to be truthful, and not tell us bold faced lies and take our money. When you find a person or business that has proven themselves as trustworthy, it’s worth latching on to them.

For example:

I noticed the brakes were squealing on our mini-van. After some experimentation, I noted that it only happened the first couple times I applied the brakes after the van had sat for a long period of time. Given the van has 50,000 miles on it, I assumed that meant the brakes were due for servicing. So, I took my van to the place where I’ve had brakes done for years.

After waiting for about 10 minutes, one of the employees came into the waiting room and started asking me questions about the behavior of the van. He shook his head and told me there’s nothing wrong with my brakes. He instructed me to follow him into the garage where my van was up on a lift. He showed me that my brake pads were only about 1/4th worn down. Another guy walked over and told me that they service a whole fleet of the same type of van, and they all experience the same thing.

He said that he could not in good conscious replace my brake pads.

I walked into the repair shop expecting to spend about $250 on new brake pads and rotors. I walked out with a smile on my face, and $0 out of my pocket.

I wondered if the outcome would have been different had I taken my van somewhere else. The Jiffy Lube near my home just started doing brake jobs. Would they have just replaced my pads and rotors just because I told them I suspected my brakes were worn? Would the dealership, which I’ve had some sketchy experiences with, have redone my brakes AND found something else that needed to be repaired?

I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know that once again my trusted brake service place did me right again. Whenever I can, I spread the word and try to drive business their way. Because when you find a person or business that has proven themselves trustworthy, it’s worth latching on to them.

Do you have a service person or business that has proven themselves as trustworthy? How about the opposite?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • Since my husband is pretty car savvy and can do most of his own repairs, I don’t usually worry about getting ripped off because even if he can’t do the work, he can do the diagnosis. But before we met up, I found that the very best places always are willing to show you what they are doing and explain, as your mechanic did. The ones that don’t, you should avoid if possible. Unfortunately, if your car is under warranty, sometimes you have to go to the car dealer, and that’s where I’ve found most of the extra repairs arising.

  • I go to a regional tire & repair chain where I have found the mechanics, no matter which location, to always tell the truth about what’s needed. Clearly the company instills good values in its employees, and more than once my wife and I have been sent on our way without needing any repairs at all. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the same thing in most contractors who do home repairs.

  • @Emily – that’s exactly why I don’t go to the dealership anymore….they always find things extra things that need fixing. But, as you said, I can get behind a mechanic that shows me what is, or what is NOT wrong with my car!

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