“The car repair will cost me too much, so I’ll continue driving my car even if there is something wrong” – this situation is not that rare in Nigeria, and there is one big reason for it: the prices for car repair by professional mechanics. Not only that, but often car mechanics will take advantage of the person not knowing anything about car repair and charge that person extra money. Luckily, these situations are easily avoidable – with our helpful tips you will never waste money on car repair again. Find out what you’ll need.
Learn how your car works
Look, we’re not saying you should study everything about car systems and mechanisms and become your own mechanic – that will take too much time and equipment. However, if you have some basic knowledge of how your car works, you will you know when your mechanic is trying to overcharge you. For example, if you know for a fact that your car is experiencing some starter problems, you will never say yes to your mechanic replacing the complete engine, thus saving yourself thousands of naira. It doesn’t mean that you should be able to detect every car problem yourself, but at least you can know when you’re being cheated.
Find out where the parts come from
When you’re having your car repaired, you have three possible solutions: you can buy new original, used original, or new lower grade ones. Your car mechanic may recommend buying used or lower grade parts, which are usually cheaper, but you need to understand one thing: new original parts can be more expensive, but with them you will save a lot of cash on future repairs, because they will not go out of order as quickly as used ones. Whenever you’re having your car repaired, make sure you know where the parts came from. You can double check the prices for car parts on JiJi.
Make your mechanic list all the faults
After you take your car to the mechanic, but before he does any actual repair, it’s important for you to know what exactly is wrong with your car and what the mechanic is going to do about it. Make it a rule that you will only pay for repairs you knew about beforehand, otherwise you will likely to end up in a situation where you come to pick your car up after the repair, and the mechanic says you owe a few more thousands because he found some faults in the process. There is almost no way to check if this is true, so don’t fall for this attempt to strip you of your hard earned money.
Find out how much other people are paying
If you suspect your car mechanic is cheating you, or simply want to find out if you’re not overpaying for repairs, try asking other people. If you ask 5 or 10 car owners and it turns out they pay considerably less than you, it can be one of these reasons: either your car costs a lot more to fix than other cars, or your mechanic is making you overpay for repairs. In the first case there is not much you can do, other than find a new car on JiJi, and in the second case we recommend to go looking for a new mechanic right away, otherwise you risk losing even more money.
Get a diagnostic device for your car
If you want to always be sure what exactly is wrong with your car, there is a scanner that might help – a diagnostic machine is a small gadget that connects to your car, analyses the faults within the car mechanisms, and displays the fault code on the display, telling you which part is malfunctioning. Even if you are not able to solve the problem yourself, you can always tell the mechanic that you know exactly what is wrong with the car and will not pay a naira more for other repairs – usually when the mechanic sees he’s dealing with a pro, he is less likely to overcharge you or make you pay for additional repairs.