Taking your car in to be serviced is never exactly a load of fun. For one, repairs can be quite costly and even time consuming. Many of us have heard horror stories of people getting ripped off by car mechanics or being charged for services that weren’t required in the first place. Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting fleeced.

One foolproof way of finding a solid mechanic is through the recommendations of someone you know, such as a relative or a co-worker perhaps. Or you could find one online by using online review sites such as Yelp. Be careful of fake reviews posted by the business themselves. Tell-tale signs include a bunch of positive reviews all posted on the same day or in the same writing style. Be familiar with the guidelines suggested by your vehicle’s manufacturer and make sure that the repair shop follows them diligently. Beware of any mechanic who tells you to do any different. Don’t forget to ask if they will be using parts from the original equipment manufacturer or aftermarket parts, since aftermarket products may not have the same standards of safety or quality. Look for shops that are approved by AAA, as these businesses have passed strict inspections.

You can always use the net to get a second opinion. If you have a Dodge join a Dodge forum and if you have a Toyota, you can find a Toyota car forum. Many of these forums have members that are very knowledgeable about repairs. You can even take photos of the problem areas and ask the folks on there for their opinion. Use search engines in order to research any services that you are unfamiliar with. Don’t settle for the first estimate you get but comparison shop and try to get the best deal. Make sure that no work is performed unless you specifically give permission. If you feel that the cost for parts are too high, it’s possible for you to obtain those parts yourself if you would like, and then simply pay the mechanic for labor. You can even purchased used parts, either from Ebay, an online retailer or a junkyard. It’s a good idea to take out your car for a after it’s been repaired in order to make sure that it is running properly.

If you don’t feel comfortable with an estimate, never hesitate to hold off on making decision until you can get home and do more research. If you feel uncomfortable then it’s usually best to trust your instincts. A business with integrity will never pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable. Remember, it’s your car and your money on the line.

Maintaining and servicing your car on a regular basis will go a long way in extending its longevity and could be a good way for you to strike up a relationship with a repair shop that you can trust. Getting your car fixed is never fun, but with these tips you can ensure that at least you won’t get fleeced!