If you ask some Kenyans, they dislike that repair visit to the auto garage, especially the lady drivers. Partly, it could be because Kenyans have hard time finding a fair deal at a mechanic shop. Or it could be because some Kenyan mechanics sometimes get sometimes exaggerate the cost of their service.
Apart from dealing with the challenge of getting your car fixed, you may not be familiar with the how everything works. If you don’t have much experience with mechanics, car repairs and maintenance, there is that likelihood of getting scammed by deceitful car dealers on your next visit at the auto garage.
In this article, we share 5 tips on how to avoid being scammed by a Kenyan mechanic.
Test Different Auto Garage Outlets
Don’t go with every Omondi or Kamau:
You may not know much about cars, and how to do some maintenance, repairs and various inspections. When it comes to maintenance task like checking the condition of the oil, body repair, refitting new car parts, and or even doing the complex tasks, such as analyzing and testing the engine for repairs – you don’t want to go with just the first mechanic who comes your way. Your best chance at not being scammed by dishonest service men is by taking the time to search for a reputable auto mechanic.
For things to go well, you are better off by asking for referrals. You want to do business with five-star rated car garages. Be sure to look for some reviews on the prospective business before you commit.
Don’t abandon your vehicle at the auto garage
Just because you have dropped your vehicle at the garage, does mean you can’t always check in from time to time to see how things are going. Unless you trust your mechanic, you have good understanding and abiding trust, it is a nice idea to check with your mechanic on how things are going. However, don’t boss them around. You only need to check once in a while if the job will take some time. Supposing the job will take a week, come around at least three times that period. You would be risking a little by waiting until the day your mechanic calls you to pick up your car.
Be Keen on how they treat other customers
How they treat other customers speaks about their true character
Don’t wait until you get scammed to learn and say about how you learn the hard way. When you take your car to the mechanic for the first-time, be sure to evaluate the kind of business person they are. You may not always know everything there is to it on first-glance but also if you see a storm brewing, get ready.
With some small talk you could get to learn the personality of your auto mechanic. In reality, how your mechanic treats others past customers is a reflection of his professionalism. If someone comes in the garage complaining about a missing part of your car or that they did not feel satisfied with the current service, then that’s a red flag. In some cases, it does always mean you will get scammed, but that’s one of the signs to keenly observe.
You can’t always tell. You just have to get better at interviewing them and reading the body language. And supposing you have good referral or you have done a tedious job of doing a background check-up, you won’t have to do all this.
Pay only have the down payment; never in full
The repair might be costly. You could be prepared to pay down the expense because you want to get back on the road again ASAP. You just want your car fixed. Even so, even if your mechanic asks for full payment – don’t go with it. Pay only half or even a quarter of the price it will cost to get the service. Some mechanics will accept your money, and then keep taking you in circles
Like we said, you don’t have to boss your mechanic around. However, if your repair is something that can be done in a few hours, and you are dealing with a new shop, it is best to be present when the job is being done. Some business people have a good reputation alright; but when they spot a new customer – you could be from out of town – they hatch a plan to swindle you. Be vigilant.
Is your Mechanic charging too high?
Fine, we get it – cheap is expensive. Sometimes, a cheap service may come with heavy cost in the near future. And under most circumstances, the rule of the thumb is to avoid dirt cheap services. The logic is that a quality service comes with a huge cost, which the customer has to bear. Literally, we don’t mind paying costly for an exceptional service. Nonetheless, some mechanics can overcharge you.
If you are a novice with cars when it comes to technical know-how, it is easy to fool with industry jargon. A dishonest mechanic will talk about how you need to replace the crankcase. Like, do you know what a crankcase is? Probably not, but your mechanic could try to fool you that part needs to be replaced, and it costs so-and-so Ksh– it could all be bogus. Stay awake. They could be playing a game. Take your time to know if indeed such a car repair issue exists and the estimate of how much it would cost if at all you need a fix. That is; if at all, you don’t exactly understand the problem, and you are suspecting foul play.
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