Why You Need a Mechanic
Posted by Christi | Filed under Christi
Have you brought your car to the dealership for service? I always have. A few years back I purchased a beautiful new car. I bought the extended warranty because I was terrified of major repair bills. I trusted that the dealership was looking out for me. The dealership said that I had to keep up the regular maintenance schedule or my warranty may be voided. The fear was instilled in me – I must do everything they say. So like clockwork, every 3 months or so I would get a phone call from the dealership telling me that it was time for a check-up and I’d gladly pay what they told me to pay. One hundred dollars here, another two hundred there; seemed realistic for such a pretty car.
We recently got our call from the dealership saying that it was time for our Service D check-up. This included rotating tires, an oil change, a transmission flush, and checking/inspecting 21 other things. “What was the approximate cost?” we asked. “$800,” the dealership responded nonchalantly. “BUT YOU HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN MY CAR YET!,” I cried.
Shocked, I booked the appointment and hung up. Seriously? Why didn’t anyone tell me when I was buying the car that I was going to have to pay $800 for someone to just fiddle with my car! Normally, I do as they say, but I was angry this time.
I grabbed the warranty booklet and sure enough there was a list of what needed to be done. “There’s got to be a cheaper way,” I thought.
I called back. I asked if I could have a different mechanic do the work. Through intimidation and scare tactics, the dealership convinced me that they had special machines and super powers and they were the only ones who I could trust. I hung up, defeated.
After a few restless nights, we decided to call a mechanic anyways to ask if this Super Special Service D Checkup is something he was qualified to do. He chuckled and said of course he could do it; he did them all the time! I clarified all of the things that needed to be done, and that he needed to have special machines and super powers. He laughed again and said yes, it was going to be no problem.
When we came in for an estimate, the mechanic said that:
- We don’t need a transmission flush for another 10-12 months; it was too early in the life of the car. And when we did, it might cost $150 tops.
- The rest of the service he could do for under $100.
The dealership was going to charge me $800 and I could get it all done for $100 now and $150 a year from now? I instantly fell in love with this mechanic. When he asked us how much the dealership was asking, he laughed. Like a full, belly laugh.
Yesterday, the Super Spectacular Service D Checkup was done by a mechanic and guess what the grand total was? $85. This goes to show you that you really need to do your research. I know nothing about cars and trusted that the dealership was telling me what was necessary to maintain my warranty. They were the experts after all.
By going out of my comfort zone and asking questions about something I have no interest in, I ended up paying 10% of what the dealership was going to charge me. This is why you need a mechanic. My warranty is still just as in tact as it ever was!
What do you need to ask more questions about – your insurance, your investments, your benefits? Ask questions, reach outside of your comfort zone, and learn. No one else will do it for you!
- Christi (@ChristiPosner)