Motoring

Some questions you should ask your mechanic

Those mechanics that ripped me off ’ is often a hot conversation starter among vehicle owners. So what should you be doing to ensure your vehicle repairs or regular services become hassle-free?

Les McMaster, chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), said your best line of defence is to ask the right questions from the get-go.

“By asking the right questions and showing you have an idea of what should be done to your vehicle, you are setting the tone for a frank conversation with your mechanic and getting a good pre-service idea of the state of your vehicle,” he said. McMaster said while there are many questions you could ask your mechanic, he recommends starting with these basics:

“Firstly, ask about your cam belt. Does the vehicle have a cam belt and if so, when was it last changed? The lifespan of cam belts vary depending on the manufacturer.

 

“It is best to refer to your vehicle handbook for a guide on when the cam belt should be changed.” Next, you should ask about the condition of your brake pads and at what limit they should be changed.

Brake pads should be replaced at 70 per cent of total wear to ensure the safety of the driver. It’s also important that your mechanic inspects the brake discs. The third question you should be asking is whether your brake fl uid and radiator coolant need to be changed.

Personal safety is obviously a concern for most drivers, so asking about the state of the airbags, seat belts and ABS is also a must. McMaster said the last question you should be asking is for the mechanic to contact you with a quote, should they find any other work that needs to be done. “The quote should include an approximate cost for the parts and labour.

“Remember that preventative maintenance through early detection can prove more cost eff ective in the long term.” Don’t be afraid to ask questions and expect comprehensive answers from your mechanic.

“Make sure that your mechanic is accredited with an industry body to ensure you have access to recourse should the service you receive not be up to scratch.

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