Faith in Your Tech = Faith in Your Vehicle

“I feel like such a fool,” Sandra complained. “All I did was take my car in for an oil change and wound up paying for oil, an oil filter and an air filter. Plus, because he called to tell me my fan belt was shot, I had to get one of those installed.

“How am I supposed to know if the old one really was in bad shape? How am I supposed to know if they took advantage of me?”

Hold it right there, Sandra. While it’s good to be a conscientious consumer, when it comes to automotive repair, it’s best to let the professionals do what they do best. By calling your attention to a condition that can put you at risk, the service technician is doing what he’s supposed to do. If you choose not to have a faulty part replaced, you have no one to blame but yourself if the belt breaks on the open road.

That “fan” belt also drives the air conditioning compressor, the alternator, the power steering and more. It’s not the kind of thing you want to ignore, nor does your technician.

Maybe Sandra has seen too many of those TV shows that sensationalize disreputable mechanics, along with their counterparts in the funeral business, doctors, dentists and lawyers.

“Our industry urges consumers to be knowledgeable and car care aware,” says Rich White, of the Car Care Council. “Recognizing the signs of advanced wear of a drive belt, for example, a rotten hose or a bad tire is part of intelligent vehicle ownership.”

Motorists shouldn’t worry about being at the mercy of a shady mechanic or malicious roadside help. They should simply deal with a repair shop they trust and take the technician’s his advice. Additionally, remember that a second opinion is always an option. Beyond this, you won’t feel like a fool if you make an effort to learn more about car care. If you’ve read this far, you’re off to a good start.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign, providing information about the benefits of proper vehicle maintenance and repair. For more information visit www.carcare.org.