8 Things Your Auto Mechanic Doesn’t Want You to Know

Regardless of how we all want our cars to run smoothly and be trouble-free, most of us still rely on auto mechanics to diagnose and fix our beloved machines. While most of these technicians are just trying to earn an honest living in Singapore, there are still some who take advantage of their client’s lack of experience and rip them off on the car repair costs. So if you want to avoid getting overcharged the next time you take your car for maintenance or repair, read on to discover the best-kept secrets of the car repair industry.

1. There is no need to bring your car to the auto mechanic for every repair

The car repair industry in Singapore earns millions every year, with the minor repairs accounting for a large part of this amount. While the automotive industry doesn’t inform you about it, there are actually a lot of things that you can fix on your own with just little help from video tutorials and the use of basic tools.

For instance, air filters only require minimal effort and a few minutes to replace. Depending on your vehicle and your willingness to get your hands dirty, you could also change your own engine oil and spark plugs, which could prove to be a rewarding experience – not to mention that it will cut down your costs on car maintenance and repair.

2. There are guides that outline the correct labour charge for each repair

There are several guides that tell auto mechanics how long a car repair should take, depending on your vehicle model and the problem. Perhaps your mechanic didn’t want you to know about this, since it’s already a common practice for them to charge what they feel is appropriate than what is really the accepted standard.
To avoid getting ripped off, ask your car servicing provider to give you a breakdown of all the labour hours needed to fix your car and then cross-reference it with the guide. If the mechanic refuses to give you a breakdown or starts making up excuses to cover up the discrepancy with their labour hours, then it might be better if you take your business somewhere else.

3. Recycled or rebuilt car parts are as good as new parts – and are less expensive

Your car workshop may have convinced you otherwise, but rebuilt car parts actually work as well as the new parts but at a cheaper price. It also comes with a warranty, which ensures that the parts have been reconstructed to a certain quality standard. Perform some research before purchasing recycled or rebuilt parts, and ensure that the part you are buying is compatible with your specific issue and your vehicle.

4. You can take back your old parts after the repair

It could happen on purpose or by mistake, but it’s possible that your auto mechanic will not replace the part that was worn out. By taking your old parts back after the repair, you will know whether or not the particular part was really worn out and was replaced. In the event your mechanic refuses to return the part and gives the “I already threw them out” excuse, start getting suspicious and question the integrity of your car servicing provider.

5. What their previous clients thought of the services they provided

Hopefully, they would want you to know this – at the very least they will, if they have a good reputation to back them up. One way of doing it is by asking around to see which car servicing in Singapore people are using and what their experiences were like with a particular repair shop. Companies like http://www.merlinmotorworks.com/ in Singapore have a good reputation. If you want, you can also check online to see how a specific car service centre is rated by its customers. Just be aware though, that different locations of the same brand could have vastly different reputations.

6. Some car repair shops offer more affordable labour rates than others

Dealers are often the most expensive, followed by chain garages, while the smaller repair shops – specifically those in rural areas in Singapore – are the cheapest. Although some of these establishments may not have the latest diagnostic equipment, they are still capable of performing most maintenance and repair services like brake, exhaust and suspension work. But when it comes to repairs involving electrical, emission and ignition issues, it’s best to ensure that your prospective car workshop has the all the necessary tools and expertise.

7. They don’t always have the solution to your problem

Perhaps you expect your mechanic to have the solution to your car problem, but that really isn’t always the case – especially with today’s vehicles and their refined electronic equipment. Yes, some technicians are better than the other, but even the best get stumped every now and then especially if they don’t have any access to proper repair manuals and diagnostic equipment. Don’t let your mechanic to just perform any car servicing on your vehicle, hoping that it will resolve the issue. Most car models have enthusiast websites that explain how certain car problems are resolved, which may elude some auto mechanics.

8. Some repairs are just optional or have workarounds

Some car maintenance and repairs are necessary, especially if it involves your and your family’s safety. But do you really need the fancy feature your mechanic is offering? Is there a cheap way to fix your problem? These are some of the questions worth considering, especially if you are driving an old unit. In this case, it might be better to just get the car back on the road without really fixing the problem.

Keeping yourself from getting conned by your car servicing provider isn’t as difficult as you think. Simply knowing these secrets will already help you make the most out of your car repair services without getting overcharged.

When to Hire a Good Plumbing Contractor

With all the available online guides and tutorials, fixing a plumbing issue on your own is now made easier. Yet, there are still circumstances where getting the expertise of professional plumbing contractor proves to be the best option. So be sure to hire a good plumber in your area and keep his contacts handy in case any of the following situations arise.

1. Low Water Pressure

This issue is often cause by several factors, such as having a poor supply-line design, low water pressure from the supplier, or obstructions (debris or rust) in the water lines. Regardless of what the cause of the problem is, getting the plumbing services of a skilled contractor in this situation will surely help in analysing the issue and providing a quick solution for it.

2. Pipe Knocking

Another sign that you need to contact your plumber is when you hear knocking in the pipes as you take a shower, when filling the bathtub, or when the sink is running. There several known causes that lead to knocking pipes. Some of these factors include loose support straps, loose valves, or water hammer – which is the pressurization of the water pipe after usage. These things may cause your pipe to shift in place and when left uncorrected, could lead to leakage. So be sure to call on the nearest plumbing contractor in your area to assess the issue and give you some quick solutions to this problem.

3. Absence of Hot Water

Obviously, there is something wrong with the water heater in your shower, but what may have caused it? Perhaps it could be because of a defective thermostat, a mineral build-up in the water tank, or the heating element. While this issues can be easily handles by a handyman, hiring a reliable plumber would be your best option if you are thinking of replacing your entire water heating system. Plus, you will be able to rest easy knowing that your new heating system is installed by a professional plumbing contractor.

4. Clogged Sewer Line

Perhaps this is one of the biggest plumbing problem that could affect the functionality of your household. A clogged sewer line is something that is often caused by tree roots, and this is something that your handy household plunger will not be able to fix. So don’t risk ruining your pipes by performing a DIY repair job. Instead, call for plumber services in Singapore to get the problem fixed for you. Most plumbing contractors are equipped with the right tools to conduct a sewer line inspection, cut through the roots, as well as a hydro-jetting system to fix other types of clog problems.

5. Continuous Dripping

If water continues to drip from your sink or shower after, then there is a good chance that the spare water on the faucet might not be properly draining or that the water pressure on your household is too high. Another problem that might have caused this is a broken valve, which is used to control the on and off setting of the faucet or showerhead. This problem could permanently damage your plumbing system when left unfixed, which is why it is crucial that you call in a professional plumber immediately after recognizing the problem.

6. Slow Drainage

A slow drainage is one of those problems that can be easily fixed by only using a pipe snake, boiling water and some drainage cleaners. If this does not work, however, then your best choice is to call in your trusted plumbing contractor in Singapore. This issue is often caused by a broken pipe or a pooled water – both of which requires the skills of a professional to be completely fixed. Some health experts even stress the importance of dealing with these problems right away, since having a significant amount of still water in your plumbing system could pose some serious health risks.

7. Coloured Water

When you turn on your faucet, remember that the water coming out of it should be crystal clear. If it comes out with some hints of colour, then it’s a clear sign of a plumbing problem. If the water comes out cloudy or white, it means that air is present in your pipes. Colours yellow, red and brown, on the other hand, signifies that your water lines have rusted; while green and blue means that your copper plumbing has corroded. If any of these colours come out in your faucet, then do consider contacting a regular or a 24 hours plumber to check on your plumbing system and fix the problem immediately.

8. Shower Valve Replacement

Perhaps this is one of the most complex and time-consuming plumbing works that any homeowner can attempt to do on their own. The choices of which valve is right for your shower are too many, and choosing one can get confusing quickly. Plus, there is also the chance of you damaging your shower walls as you proceed with your repair job. So instead of performing a DIY repair job on your plumbing system, let the professionals handle the work for you. An experienced plumbing contractor not only knows how to choose a shower valve that best suits your needs, he also has the skills to replace the valve without causing too much damage on your walls.

Knowing exactly when you should get the services of a good plumber is what will help in cutting down you home repair costs. In fact, even with small home repair projects, it can be worthwhile to ask some help from a professional. So instead of investing much of your time in performing DIY plumbing works, call around and get the best plumbing services available in your area in Singapore. Not only will you be able to save some time and money on this decision, you will also get the peace of mind that a professional completed the repair job for you.