Four Common Misconceptions About Car Repair

Dale Bertram
August 24, 2012

Misconception 1: Suggested maintenance schedules are really about getting you to spend money.
Many people think that your car manufacturer specifies regular maintenance schedules just to get you back into their shop and make more money off of you. But although manufacturers are making cars that last longer and require less overall maintenance, they do require preventive maintenance. If maintained properly, you can expect your car to go well over l00,000 miles without major repairs. For instance, most engines have timing belts that must be replaced (as maintenance) before they break and cause expensive damage.

Misconception 2: A shop can give you an accurate price quote over the phone without seeing your car.
You can waste your time calling 20 different shops and getting 20 different prices and chances are every one of them will be wrong. Unless the shop has had a chance to examine or test drive the car in person, there is no way to accurately diagnose your problem and give you an accurate price quote. Beware of any shop that is willing to give you a quote over the phone without seeing the car. Most likely they will quote you a low price just to get you to set up an appointment. Then they may hit you with a much higher price once you get there.

Misconception 3: Most repair shops will recommend extra work just to get you to spend more money.
The fact is that any shop that does not look for potential problems is actually doing you a great disservice. Quality repair shops road test every car and want to uncover wear and tear before they cause expensive problems and breakdowns. Something as simple as discovering and changing a worn belt can save you the danger (and embarrassment) of breaking down on a busy highway and an expensive towing charge.

Misconception 4: All repair shops are the same.
There can be a huge difference between repair shops. New car technology requires constant training to keep current with all the changes. It also requires having the latest diagnostic equipment available.

Happy Motoring!


Dale Bertram

About the Author

I am an ASE-certified technician and have owned my own auto repair business, Fairway Auto Repair, since 1991. I am also an AMI graduate with a AAM degree, and continue my education by taking various courses during the year. I am a hard core car guy. Basically if it isn't mechanical, I'm not interested in it. This passion for vehicles has driven me throughout my life. My hobbies are my cars. I have two 1968 Camaros and a 1971 Camaro that my son and I built. I also raced an IMCA modified dirt track car for 10 years. In the last few years, I have been involved with autocross and road course racing events.  I have been married to my wife, Lorie, for 28 years and we have two children, Kaila (16) and Landon (13). I also enjoy the outdoors and hiking. Please check out my shop's page at

2 User Comments

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By , August 31, 2012
I like RepairPal but I also like Yelp too for trusted reviews. I found a great auto repair shop in Seattle (Truline) and have been a loyal customer for over 20 years. Trust is the most valuable asset in any business relationship and repair shops are no exception.
By , March 01, 2013
It' called the dealership merry go round Dale.And yes it's true that once you are on it it's "very hard" to get off!44yrs in the auto industry has proven this to be fact. Rgds Arth