As anyone who has driven for enough time knows, not all car repair shops are equal. They are not equal in the service they provide, the prices they charge, or their honesty. Unless you like the idea of getting taken for a ride every time you bring your vehicle into the shop, you need to formulate a plan that will prevent you from getting swindled. This plan doesn't need to be elaborate. As long as you follow a few simple rules, you can drastically cut the chances of being conned by a dishonest shop or paying too much for a service you could have gotten for much less elsewhere.
One big tip when it comes to car repair is that you should always be willing to go get a second opinion. If your doctor told you something that sounded a little strange, you wouldn't hesitate to get a second opinion. Do the same when it comes to your vehicle. See what another mechanic or body shop has to say about what needs to be done for your vehicle. If the two stories match up, you'll have that additional peace of mind. It might not be something you had hoped to hear, but you'll at least know that it was the truth. If you get two different stories, go ahead and get a third opinion. It may seem like quite a bit of hassle, but you could be saving yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars in work.
Demand that your car repair shop tell you exactly what they are going to do to your vehicle and have them explain exactly why. If you don't understand the process or the explanation, have them explain it in more detail. Don't be afraid to appear ignorant in front of the mechanic. If you were an expert, you probably wouldn't have brought it to a shop in the first place. There's no need to give off an aura of aggression, but too many shops forget that the customer has a multitude of choices when it comes to where they will take their business. If you don't like what you are hearing or the personnel there don't seem interested in leading you through the process, simply take that business somewhere else.
One of the best tips you can adhere to is to find a good car repair shop before your vehicle needs maintenance. When your vehicle breaks down or you find yourself in an accident, the emergency nature of the situation often prevents people from using their best judgment. They may simply take it to the first place they can find and accept whatever it is that the shop tells them. If you do some research beforehand and have a place in mind, you will be much more prepared when the time comes to pay for repairs.