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How to take charge of your car service

By NETO OMBEWA February 22nd, 2014 2 min read

Getting the best deal from a mechanic seems the biggest challenge for most car owners, especially as their cars age and repairs become more frequent and more expensive.

Still, most owners seem to prefer struggling with their aged cars instead of selling them off.

When this is the case, one needs to be particularly alert in order to get a good deal from the mechanic, especially since the vehicle tends to call for spare parts more often.

It is therefore important to have an understanding of the repairs instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting to pay for things you have no clue about.

How many times do you hear of extras in the vehicle repair bills, cars coming back in worse condition than they left or overstaying at the mechanics?

We hear a lot about under-serviced vehicles too and all this is the result of motorists having very little detail on what auto repair really involves.

Shop around

It is always good to shop around and find out the repair costs from other service points as this can save you money.

Research the symptoms, causes and repairs of the problems so that by the time you get to the garage, you already understand its nature and manifestations.

You can get information from the internet and print media, where you will find other car owners who have suffered similar problems and how they solved them.

Keep records of previous services as this will deter the mechanic from pushing an unnecessary service while you still have some kilometres to do.

Keep abreast of the happenings at the service station, by being present as they work, as this gives you a rough estimate of what it will cost you.

If you cannot be there, be proactive and call the garage instead of waiting for them to call you. This ensures that you give instructions instead of buying into their opinions, which can end up costing you more money.


Once you have arranged for your car to be taken to the garage, take their phone number and leave yours for approval of any repairs may not have been factored into your service list.

Respond immediately because chances are that if you don’t, your car might stay unattended for hours.

If you are at the garage,  keep yourself busy and let the mechanics do their job without your interference because distraction can be dangerous to both of you or lead to the damage of your car.

Always remember to keep your car clean before taking it to the mechanic. The image you present will reflect the kind of service you get.

A filthy cluttered car will not be treated with the respect that a clean, waxed car will get. All in all, it is good to take charge and understand the service you need and pay for only what was actually fixed.