Now that you’ve purchased your auto part, you might be asking yourself what is your next step? Well, you have a couple of options in order to install it. This article will hopefully help walk you through what we see are the two major options in repairing your vehicle and getting it back on the road.
The first option is probably the most obvious… taking your part to a mechanic! For many this might be a daunting task. Everyone’s heard the warnings about shady mechanics. Who hasn’t heard a horror story, of two, of a friend of a friend and their dealings with a bad mechanic. In the end, all you want is a good mechanic at a reasonable price!
So how does one go about finding that? There isn’t an exact science to it, but I’ll do my best to give a well thought out response.
1) Do your homework!
Hopefully you’ve already done your homework before an accident happens and you’re in a rush to fix it, but if you haven’t take some time out to do some proper research. Finding a mechanic isn’t something that you want to go rushing into. Call around to a few shops and get labor quotes. “Remember that a cheaper rate isn’t a sign of honesty, while a higher rate isn’t a sign of competence”. Look online at reviews and see what other customers have said about local mechanic shops. Take the outliers with a grain of salt and concentrate on what’s in the middle. In this case, like in many others, Google is your friend and can save you a lot of stress and headache.
A common practice that I now realize when dealing with trades, not just mechanics, but contractors as well, is that when they are busy they will just throw out a high and overpriced amount at you. Their thinking is that if you take it, great! If you don’t, that’s fine too because they aren’t hurting for the business. I learned this when renovating my cabinets, my wife and my original quote ,from a well known local cabinet dealer,was $25,000, but after shopping around we were able to get amazing cabinets for a much smaller company for just $8,000. It really does help to shop around and see what is out there.
2) Get recommendations!
Reach out and use your social network! Ask your friends, family members, coworkers, classmates and neighbors if they have a trusted mechanic that they use. The word of someone I know and trust carries more weight than that of an online review of someone hidden behind a computer screen. Once you’ve asked all the questions that you might want to ask, it never hurts to combine that accommodation with the first part of doing your homework. Hopefully that will help give you a full and proper idea of what kind of company you might be dealing with.
Well a local accreditation isn’t the only thing that matters, it does help you know that someone has done a bit of filtering for you. It’s just that extra step that a company can do to make you feel comfortable. In Canada, local accreditations do vary per province, so see what there is around you. Once again, an accreditation isn’t the only standard that you must go by, but it is a nice step towards the right direction.
4) Do your research early!
If you don’t already have a trusted mechanic, go and find one early, before you are in need of one. Nothing is worse than having to make immediate repairs without the proper information. Do all the hard work before repairs are needed and you’re in a time crunch.
The second option is one that has been around and practiced by individuals for years and only recently has started to grow in popularity. The do it yourself (DIY) option! With the growing popularity of vlogging (video logging) and the massive amount of available videos on YouTube, you can find just about anything you might need on the internet. Whether you are replacing your chrome bumper on your Ford F-150, swapping out drivers side mirror on your Kia Optima, or changing the sliding door handle on your Dodge Caravan, you can find a step by step post or video detailing what to do. Gone are the days where you need a mechanic and in are the days of the DIY! It’s a great way to save a few extra bucks, get your hands dirty and rekindle that intimacy you might have loss with your car.
If this is an option that interests you there are a few things you might want to make sure you have before you begin heading down this road.
Much like when choosing an auto mechanic, you want to do a bit of research on your vehicle as well as the repair that you want to do. Make sure that you find an adequate video and watch through it to have a better understanding of what you will be doing and the amount of work that you are going to be investing your time into. Make sure the amount of time you’re putting in is worth it and you aren’t going into a project completely blind. Many tutorials outline the common hazards and pitfalls and you might encounter, so watch these and heed their advice.
2) The Nuts/Bolts and Wrenches?
Do you have to the tools you need to do this job? For most of these jobs, you don’t need some big, heavy, industrial tool. Often a socket wrench, a screw driver and a set of pliers is all you need, but first do a bit of research. Many clips and push tabs can be bought from a local NAPA or Hardware store for a cheap cost and can even be bought from the dealership for a reasonable price. Make sure you have these ready to before you start taking things apart.
3) Enjoy the process!!!
Fixing something on your car may not always be as easy as throwing money at a situation and having someone fix it for you, but it can be very rewarding. So enjoy the process of doing a job well done. Take the unexpected as part of the journey, adapt and move on knowing that it is a part of getting you to the finished product.
Auto repairs can be very daunting, but hopefully you can now approach this armed with a bit more information and a better understanding of what your options are in the future!