At some point every car will need repairs of some kind and, unfortunately, major car repair costs can blow out enormously.
This can simply be due to a misdiagnosis of the problem; or a result of a car mechanic being “dodgy” (sadly some just are!) and intentionally charging you for car repairs you don’t actually need; or more often it happens because the mechanic is inexperienced. Sometimes just being in a rush is enough for a mechanic to misdiagnose what is really going on with your car.
Rather than taking the time to work out what the problem is, too many mechanics go for the “repair by replacement” philosophy. While it does usually solve the problem, simply replacing all of the parts that may be causing a fault is a costly exercise for you as an owner.
While a substandard mechanic will just go ahead and replace parts, hoping the problem will go away, a great mechanic will take time to properly diagnose the issue. The simple things that may be causing the fault will be ruled out first before the more major car repairs are undertaken.
How do you know if major car repairs are required?
Having an idea of what faults actually mean is a big first step – as well as finding a great mechanic you can trust to keep car repair costs at a minimum.
Just a few of the more common customer complaints, misdiagnoses and correct diagnoses include:
- Small water leaks: These are misdiagnosed as exhaust leaks, costing hundreds if not more than a thousand dollars to repair the exhaust system. The correct diagnosis is, more often than not, simply condensation – a normal occurrence requiring no repairs.
- Whirring noise: Most often this is caused by old tyres that need replacing. This can be misdiagnosed as a much more costly wheel bearing failure.
- Car overheating: This can be misdiagnosed as a faulty water pump or blocked radiator, yet in actual fact may be caused by a fault in the electric radiator fan – common in heavy traffic conditions and much cheaper to fix.
- Knocking noises: Your car makes scary noises when going over bumps. A mechanic tells you your rear shock absorbers need replacement. In actual fact, it’s just your loose jack or something else rattling in the boot.
- Gears slow to select when starting the car: Many mechanics will automatically charge you to replace the transmission, at a cost in the thousands of dollars. But a minor leak of transmission oil will cause the same problem – and is far cheaper to fix.
Misdiagnosis of car faults are very common. A little knowledge on your part is power. Choose a great mechanic and go in with some knowledge about your car, how it runs and what the faults could really mean. It will help you avoid those major car repair costs and save you a lot of money.