The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: outsidethebox on March 16, 2012, 12:36:17 PM

Title: Honda owner, unfamiliar with mechanics?
Post by: outsidethebox on March 16, 2012, 12:36:17 PM
Can I get your thoughts please? We only drive Hondas. When do pretty much all maintenance and repairs ourselves with the exception to engines. When the engine dies, we replace it. This means we rarely see our mechanic thankfully.

We are in our first big repair in a VERY long time and are surprised at the $ differences in our trusted mechanic vs other mechanics (that came recommended by 2 others with same repair.) Our regular mechanic does give you a loaner car but the fees are twice that of mechanic 2.

How do you decide on this stuff? Driving old paid for cars while saving for new Honda Fits means we need to get more familiar with repairs now. We typically buy a car, then buy the same car again 20 years later. For example we have a 1996 Honda, then the same one in a 2006 etc.. We keep both in good running order etc..
Title: Re: Honda owner, unfamiliar with mechanics?
Post by: onehappypanda on March 16, 2012, 06:07:38 PM
Will trusted mechanic negotiate? I find often saying "I don't have that much money, what can I do to reduce the cost?" will bring up some additional options you may not have thought of. A fair mechanic will give you the pros/cons of each option and let you make the choice. Of course, many mechanics aren't fair mechanics, even if you trust them.

See if Mechanic #1 and Mechanic #2 will give you the rundown on what they plan to do and the breakdown of charges (parts/labor) so you can see where the difference lies. What's the actual quality difference? If it's not much, then going to Mechanic #2 might be the better option, particularly if they're recommended.
Title: Re: Honda owner, unfamiliar with mechanics?
Post by: outsidethebox on March 21, 2012, 10:52:28 AM
Thanks for your reply happypanda. Our mechanic did not seem to want to negotiate. Maybe next time he will though? It's worth a shot.

We compared our regular trusted mechanic-$3,500
Unknown Mechanic closer to home $4,000
An Engine place, far away, inconvenient, that only replaces engines all day long $1,400

We went with the $1,400 option. Cars only been home 2 days but so far we seem to have made the right decision.

Hopefully this 16 year old Honda just got some new life because the rest of the car is in great working order and is still safe. We chose this route due to coworkers using the company.

We are moving ahead on our plan b which was to pay cash for 2 Fits in the future. Now we have to learn how to get dealerships to sell us cars at low prices when they have no incentive to do so. Each dealership has few Fitts, don't want to negotiate, and have no reason to think cash is king. They actually get a kick back for customers who do loans.

We are trying to live by that car buying video that Dave Ramsey shares. Have you seen it? It's the best video!