5 Secrets Your Auto Mechanic Won’t Divulge

Most vehicles are likely to need some routine maintenance or minor repair work during any given year…unless it’s still under warranty and/or fresh off the dealer’s lot…stuff that might range from regular oil changes to replacing a leaky rear main transmission seal.

Most car mechanics operate under the philosophy of:  Don’t wait for a small problem to becomes a big problem?

The consummate mechanic will tell you what absolutely needs to be fixed now,  what could wait…and sometimes even be ignored. A mechanic like that is pretty rare. So the best thing you can do is educate yourself.  Here are several tips that even the best mechanic might not tell you:

1. Change your oil yourself…yes you can

Oil changes are about the most common routine maintenance need for cars. You can probably DIY for less than $45…or have a mechanic do it for you for around $75 …and they’re easy money for repair shops and dealers. But if you don’t mind getting dirty and having to deal with disposing of the used oil, an oil change twice a year is the classic DIY option.

2. You can probably ignore that check engine light for now (unless it’s flashing)

This is a real panic creator for many inexperienced owners, but it usually just indicates a non-serious problem with the vehicle’s exhaust system. Unless you have a really old car with emission components that could be wearing out.  So for many cases, you can ignore it…with one exception: if it’s flashing, get your mechanic to look at it ASAP.  And you can’t ignore it forever either. But you car isn’t going to blow up if you wait.

3. Buff that out yourself.

This is more of a body shop issue than a mechanic issue. Minor scratches and dings can be handled with a color coded paint pen from the auto parts store.

4. Buying a new car is sometimes your best option

The truth is that there are times when a new car is the best choice. A new car rarely has serious issues…and if something does go wrong, the dealer will usually fix it under warranty.  But seasoned mechanics hate this because they want you to buy a good used car and employ them to repair it.

5. Don’t keep your car forever.

[See #4 above].  Any bona-fide hard core mechanic will tell you to drive your car until the wheels fall off — which they won’t let happen…because you keep them in business.

Takeaways from this post:

  • A genuinely trustworthy auto mechanic…with all the required professional certifications…is a vital asset.
  • But most mechanics avoid telling customers some things.
  • Self education when dealing with car mechanics is always prudent.

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