Since the beginning of the auto era, there have always been some shrewd auto shop owners who charged their customers more for services that are not needed or services that they don't even perform. Since the average motorist does not have advanced mechanical knowledge, he or she is always at the mercy of the auto shop owner who may try to sell him or her services or parts that are not really needed. Because of this, it is always important to go to prestigious places.
With the help of a mechanic in Maçanet de la Selva (in spanish: mecánico en Maçanet de la Selva) we put together a list of things to consider when going to a garage:
Make sure you get original or OEM parts
Most shops will install a part that is either second-hand or not from the original manufacturer and charge you as if they put the original part in. This is a common practice everywhere. But you can fight it. One way is to buy the parts yourself and ask the mechanic to install them, or ask the mechanics to show you the parts they are installing and see the sales invoice. Sometimes they will even inform you that the part is ready to be replaced and charge you as they did but leave the old part in the car. So, after the service, you will ask your mechanic to show you all the parts that have been replaced. This way you will see for yourself if they were honest or not.
Don't be fooled by the oil tricks
Oil is essential for the proper functioning of the engine, but that is why there are many oil tricks used by workshops. One of the most common is frequent oil changes and the use of synthetic oil instead of mineral oil. Each car has its specific oil change intervals, usually around 10,000 kilometers. However, if your mechanic insists that it should be more frequent, you should be suspicious. Also, if he suggests that you should use synthetic oil that is more expensive and not mineral oil that is recommended for your car, you should definitely look for another shop.
Ask your mechanic to explain in simple terms
One of the tricks used by the workshop is that it leaves you puzzled with unfamiliar terms. Don't be embarrassed to ask them to explain exactly what they will do with your car so you can understand and see if it makes any sense. Sometimes they use terms like "coolant discharge" and "power steering discharge," which is a strong suggestion that you will be fooled. Coolant discharge is a regular maintenance job for the car, but it's done once every 100,000 miles or so, not every 6 months. There's no such thing as a steering wheel flush, so if you hear something like that, run away.
Date of manufacture of the tires
If you go to a tire store to change tires, always ask the mechanics to show you the exact date the tires were made. It is on the side of the tire, near the tire size description. Tire stores often sell tires that are a couple of years old when they notice an inexperienced customer. They look the same as new ones, but the compound is not as good because the rubber starts to deteriorate after a while. So, you want a tire that is a couple of months old, not a couple of years old, and it could make a huge difference in terms of grip and braking on the road, and therefore your safety as well.
There are still more tips, but these are the ones that the friends of the Maçanet de la Selva workshop (taller en Maçanet de la Selva) highlighted as being most necessary when visiting any car workshop...