VEHICLE SERVICING: Servicing your car is a good way to keep your ride in shape but what if your car is out of its warranty period? Read our 8 tips for servicing your car. Image: iStock
Johannesburg - Servicing your vehicle, especially if it's out of its warranty period, can be a daunting experience.
Sadly, some workshops and mechanics take advantage of drivers with modern vehicles in order to fleece consumers.
Locally, the Motor Industry Ombudsman (MIOSA) handles more than 4000 calls a month.
Do your research
According to the Automobile Association (AA) it is important to do your homework before selecting a technician to work on your vehicle.
The AA said: “Word of mouth is a good way of determining who the good mechanics in your area are. But, as a responsible owner, you should also be visiting workshops, and speaking to the mechanics to get a feel for how they operate and what their hourly rate for labour is.”
It's also a good idea to ask for references and to inspect the workshop. Once you have decided on a workshop, it's important to get a detailed list of the work that the mechanic plans to do and the projected costs and timeframes.
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Be prepared for added costs as workshops will mark-up parts and will charge for labour.
Here are 8 tips for servicing your vehicle
1 Agree on a timeline for the completion of the work, and on the costs involved
2 Clarify if there are any other risks identified by the mechanic or if there are any potential problems that may arise from the repairs being done,
3 Request a detailed quote from the workshop.
4 Clarify with the workshop if the specific repairs/servicing will fix the problems. Remember that diagnostic repairs can be expensive
5 Cheapest is not always the best. If you are unsure of a quote get a second opinion. Find out how much your car parts will cost through a parts dealer
6 Don’t allow a repair to drag on. If work has not been completed within the set timeframe, contact the workshop and get answers,
7 Keep track of your repair and service history, This will protect you in future and will assist your mechanic
8 If you have your vehicle serviced by a workshop that forms part of a larger group, you can escalate complaints to a higher authority if you are unhappy
When your car is ready for collection, inspect the engine for signs that the work which has been billed for, has been performed.
The AA adds: “It may not always be possible to see what was done, but you may, for instance, be able to see that a new fan belt has been fitted because it will look new and have easily identifiable numbers on it. If you are unsure of what was done, ask the mechanic to go through it in detail with you.”