It is of no gender regard now like it used to be.
It was back in the days in the African culture when the only decisions women were expected to make were about house keep, kitchen, and food. But currently they are considered the fastest growing segment of new car consumers and are more confident, more informed and better prepared to make a decision be it an automotive related or a mechanical one.
Usually with cars is the other instance of having to covenant with maintenance, repairs and mechanics. This is where it all goes wrong for many female drivers.
A one female encounter recently had her brake pads replaced but the procedure was done wrong and made them even looser. The vibrations from the tyres caused the now loose pads to shake against the brake disk, causing a pulsating yet irritating and loud metal-to-metal noise.
The mechanic instead took it quite further by falsely saying “Seems your timing belt is the problem, it shall cost you a bit but you have to do it”. She narrated. This is just one of the cases where many unsuspecting female drivers are tattered off by insincere mechanics looking to make a quick cheat.
It is imperative that female, even male drivers, are aware of the fact that car repair rip-off is among the most common ways drivers are separated from their hard-earned money. Although most garages and their personnel are honest and hardworking, it only takes one or two bad experiences to sour a person on the entire industry. It is possible to arm yourself with knowledge that will prevent you from victimization.
The first and best step is to find a good, honest garage and stick with it. Ideally, you should discover a good shop before you really need it and establish a good relationship with that garage and its mechanics. Virtually all scams contain one or both of two elements.
First off, charging you for work that was never done and secondly, convincing you of the need for unnecessary and often overpriced repairs. Silly as it may sound, it might be good practice to bring a checklist of what your car needs (and why) whenever dropping it off. Avoid bringing your car in and asking them to “do whatever it needs”. Talk to the mechanic who will be working on your car.
Go for a test drive in advance and clearly explain and point out the problem. Get a second opinion if you feel uncomfortable with any diagnosis. It is perfectly acceptable to take your car to another garage for second opinion if it is drivable.
If the mechanic says your car needs a replacement part, ask to be shown which part needs replacing and always let the mechanic know that you want the old part back; this way you know the item was actually replaced. When a mechanic provides a diagnosis of your car’s problem, ask questions while trying to understand the logic of the problem.
Of course some problems are a bit too complex to understand without attending engineering classes, but any good mechanic shall try to take you through the primary school version of the course. Make sure the diagnosis agrees with the symptoms and follows through logically. Do not end up like the colleague I mentioned earlier who was ill-treated in such an instance.
Ultimately, what it all boils down to is trust. You have to trust a garage to charge you fairly for the work they do, to actually do the work for which you are being charged, to accurately diagnose and repair your car and to complete the repairs in a reasonable amount of time. And remember that contrary to popular belief, not all auto mechanics are out to rob you.
It is pretty much clear that now days with too much efforts, you will be able to find a good, and honest mechanic that one can trust. But naturally, women have proved and are considered to be more honest and trustworthy compared to the men. A good defense against car repair sexism, and particularly for any expensive repair, is to consume a genuine service for the charge.
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