You’ve been hearing a funny noise in your car, so you go to the repair shop.
But you’ve got a nagging feeling the estimate you’ve gotten is higher than it should be.
This week’s In Your Corner attempts to answer the question: “I think my current auto repair shop is gouging me. How can I find one I can trust?”
George Iny, director of consumer advocacy group Automobile Protection Association, said there are a few basic steps you can take to reduce the chance you’re getting ripped off.
The first one is a bit counterintuitive: Ignore recommendations from your friends and family — unless they happen to be a car expert.
“A nonexpert who just uses a shop for a routine service might have a good name for you,” said Iny, “but they’re just as likely to be unreliable.”
If you don’t have a car expert in your family or circle of friends, you can find what Iny calls a near-expert. Someone in a local car owners’ association, for example.
One surprising suggestion that’s a surefire money saver, according to data from several studies, says Iny? Going into the repair shop later in the day, rather than first thing in the morning.