When you take your car to the mechanic, you’re hoping that it will be done quickly and with no hang-ups or last-minute surprises. Most of the time, things do go off without a hitch, but every once in a while, even if you have a really great mechanic, they can run into major problems.
If your car is in the shop for a simple repair, there’s always a small chance that the mechanic could find a bigger – and more expensive – problem once they start working. Finding yourself in this situation is frustrating, not knowing how long the more extensive repairs will take or how much they will tack on to your final cost.
Although you may dread that call from the shop saying that more work is needed on your car, despite their best preliminary evaluation, here are a few tips on how to handle it:
Don’t get upset.
The worst thing you can do is blow your top at a time like this. Try to remember that your shop is doing the best they can to get your car fixed. The new development isn’t their fault; they’re only trying to help, so stay calm as you process the information they are providing you.
Talk with your mechanic about the options.
Your mechanic should be very candid with you about the options for repairing your car. They may be able to give you more than one option for repairing the car, or they might tell you that the repair can wait a little while (like a broken heater in the summertime). If the larger repair is much more expensive, talk with the shop about making payments until the repair is paid off. Many shops will allow this, especially if the repair is very costly or it is an emergency.
Consider the condition of your car.
Some cars aren’t worth the money it would take to fix them. Even the best mechanic may not be able to fix your car, but that isn’t their fault in every case. If your car is very old or in rough shape to begin with, the mechanic may not immediately see all the problems that need to be repaired. If that’s the case, you can’t blame them for not being able to repair your car.
Check your insurance policy and warranty, and look up recalls.
It’s rare, but some insurances pay for pricey auto repairs. Extended auto warranties are a good idea if you don’t want to have to come up with a large sum of money unexpectedly when your car has a problem. These policies are specifically designed for such cases. If your car has a recall, this may be something that you can have repaired for free at the dealership, so check for recalls on your vehicle before you shell out big bucks for a major repair.
When you follow these simple guidelines, you can handle even the most unwelcome news from your auto mechanic!
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