Video: A Beginner’s Guide To The Garage

Posted on: 15 July 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

Simple steps to ensure you don’t get ripped off by cowboy mechanics.

Many motorists feel they may have suffered at the hands of rip-off garages – whether that means being overcharged for servicing, receiving a final bill wildly different to the estimate or being distrustful of the shake of the head and intake of breath that can occur when some mechanics peer under the bonnet.

In fact, according Motor Codes - the automotive industry’s self-regulatory body - over a third of car owners have been dissatisfied with the service they have received in the last five years.  With a significant number of drivers unable to identify or rectify even the simplest of issues, reputable garages backed by a strong, enforceable consumer Code is vital. 32% of car owners can’t replace a bulb, 24% don’t know how to change a wiper blade, while 14% can’t even top up windscreen wash. With women, apparently even less likely to carry out these tasks than men – they become even more vulnerable to the tactics employed by rogue mechanics.

For peace of mind when getting a service or MOT, car owners are advised to check that their garage – whether franchised or independent – is a subscriber to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair.

Being able to recognise the signs of the most common and basic problems that may affect your car is a great start however, and can make the visit to the garage a little less stressful. In this video feature, owner Sue Somerville, director of a Dorking-based independent garage, talks us through what to look for when carrying out basic diagnostics on our cars and what a garage that has joined the Motor Codes scheme has committed to when servicing your car.


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