I feel like such a fool, Sandra complained. “All I did was take my car in for an oil change and wound up paying for oil, an oil filter and an air filter. Plus, he called to tell me my fan belt was shot, I had to get one of those installed.”
“How am I supposed to know if the old one really was in bad shape? How am I supposed to know if they took advantage of me?”
Hold it right there, Sandra. While it’s good to be a conscientious consumer, when it comes to automotive repair, it’s best to let the professionals do what they do best. By calling your attention to a condition that can put you at risk, the service technician is doing what he’s supposed to do. If you choose not to have a faulty part replaced, you have no one to blame but yourself if the belt breaks on the open road.
That “fan” belt also drives the air conditioning compressor the alternator which charges your battery, the power steering and more. It’s not the kind of thing you want to ignore, nor does your technician. Maybe Sandra has seen too many of those TV shows that sensationalize disreputable mechanics, along with their counterparts in other businesses and professions.
We find that when customers ask questions about repairs and gain the knowledge on why something needs to be done, they are better equipped to take a proactive approach to keeping good care of their car. As a consumer of automotive service, you should look for a shop that will take the time to “show & tell” and explain what and why you need the repairs they are recommending. I always like to take my customers out to their car and physically show them what I’m talking about. This approach is used by most reputable repair shops and although you may not like spending money repairing your car, at least you will understand what you’re hard earned money is buying.