Best Resources for Car Info?


#1

I was so grateful yesterday to get people’s input on our ginormous car repair bill (which, apparently, may not have been a ripoff after all).



What other resources do you all recommend for novice car owners like me, when you need to check on the reliability of a mechanic or whether a repair is truly needed?



(i used to ask my dad, but he retired to NM and there’s only so much he can diagnose without getting under the hood.)


#2

Reliability of a mechanic?

Word of mouth, bar none.

Info on vehicle reliability?

Consumer Reports is as good as any.

Remember their info isn’t gospel, just a guide.


#3

WHEN is this site going to get its act together? I’m getting frustrated as hell as to the way it runs.

NO EDIT and NO question post available to read when you answer.

(Grumble, grumble)

AS to whether or not a repair is REALLY necessary? An honest and experienced tech has to see and hear the vehicle for even an educated guess.

For us on here to give proper answers is the equivalent of a code reader. It will try to point you in the right direction.


#4

WHEN is this site going to get its act together? I’m getting frustrated as hell as to the way it runs.

NO EDIT and NO question post available to read when you answer.

(Grumble, grumble)

AS to whether or not a repair is REALLY necessary? An honest and experienced tech has to see and hear the vehicle for even an educated guess.

For us on here to give proper answers is the equivalent of a code reader. It will try to point you in the right direction.


#5

AAAAAAAArrrrrrrrggggggggHHHHHHHHH!

Alright Cartalk, YOU edit it.


#6

I have the same situation with my daughter who now has her first new car. I agree with the word of mouth suggestion. In my experience, in any community there are a few mechanics that get most of the business. You can also get a sense of a place by how they treat you, but that takes some experience. If you’re in a new town and don’t know anybody, then I would recommend using the dealer. They will try to over-service your car (at your expense), and their labor rate may be 10 or 20% higher than an independent, but in general they get the job done and are reliable.

As far as knowing what needs to be done, get acquainted with your owner’s manual. In my experience, the good independent mechanics won’t try to hustle you for unneeded repairs, but almost all dealers will. If they suggest maintenance not in the manual (or more frequently than in the manual), you need to be polite, but say firmly, “I can only afford to do the maintenance specified in the manual.” If they say something’s broken, I would ask something like, “Is this a safety issue?”, or “How long can I leave it like it is before something bad happens?”

I find quick-lube places very scary and unpleasant. But if you do find a good one, the same rules apply for not letting them sell you service not recommended in the manual. Many dealers now come close to the quick-lube places in terms of speed in-and-out and cost, so if you have that available, I would choose it over the quick-lube place.


#7

I will ditto word of mouth.

It is realy in your best of interest to know a
little bit about your car so you can communicate with who ever is going to work on it.

I personnaly like to use local independantly owned shops where you talk right to the guy who does the work and not a service writer.

I hate it when you go in for a specific problem and they try to sell you 2 or 3 additional, unrelated, services you know you don’t need. The chain repair shops are well know for training their help to do this. It’s good for thier stock holders.

Dude just fix my car and let Ludacris do the pimping.