Finding the mechanic that meets your needs takes more than luck. You may have to visit a variety of mechanics before you find one that gives you all of the guarantees you need that the repairs are being honestly evaluated and that you're not being charged for unnecessary or incomplete work. Once you find the right mechanic, you can dramatically improve the health of your truck and your business.
If you are driving a used truck, things are going to need repair and you will be visiting shops. The more miles your truck has, the more visits to a maintenance facility you are going to make. My best advice would be to build a relationship with your local dealer. If the dealer believes there is a chance you will come back, they are less likely to take you to the cleaners each and every time you show up. If they consider you an out of town guest you can really get taken for a ride.
Whenever I consider taking my truck to a shop I ask them to first get me an estimate with every charge accounted for. Then I negotiate from there. My next step is to call my local dealer and ask them what they would charge me for making the same repairs. If you have a guide listing estimated times for each repair this would be the best negotiating tool, but your local truck dealership should be able to give you a good idea. More than ninety percent of the time they will work with you on the price and the amount of labor they are charging you for.
Once you've reached an agreement with your mechanic or dealer, let them know that you are agreeing to pay on the original estimate only. Additional expenses will not be paid for. Make this clear by saying it numerous times throughout the buying process. Once you've clearly communicated your expectations, there will be no doubt that you are unwilling to incur additional costs.
As a company that sells a a large number of used Volvo trucks, we know what problems occur on a regular basis. Many truck owners believe that if something goes wrong, you need to take the truck to a Volvo dealer. This used to be true many years ago but has changed over the last few years as technology has improved and mechanics have broadened their expertise. Today you have lots of options in terms of where to bring your truck for repairs. You can still use the techniques described in this article to avoid getting taken advantage of, and get back on the road for the lowest possible price.
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