What To Do When Car Repairs Go Wrong

man repairing car

When your car breaks down, it’s a harrowing situation, but you can normally rely on your local mechanic to help you get your vehicle back in working order. What happens when those repairs don’t quite go as expected, however? Most auto mechanics are professional and knowledgeable, but every once in a while things don’t go as planned.

You might feel powerless, as your lack of auto repair knowledge typically means you can’t solve the problem on your own. You might also feel frustrated, since you’ll feel you have little recourse. Thankfully, though, there are steps you can take to help get back on track if you feel the repairs made on your vehicle aren’t up to snuff. Here’s what you’ll need to do to keep a cool head and regain control of this less-than-ideal situation and prevent it from happening to you again in the future.

Remember: It Could Just Be An Honest Mistake

Before you fly off the handle, remember that mechanics are human too, and while those faulty repairs may well be the mechanic’s fault, that doesn’t necessarily mean the poor work was intentional. 

It could just be an honest mistake, and expressing the issue to them calmly might get everything sorted out. Explain what you expected from your repairs and why the work did not live up to your expectations, and, in many cases, you’ll be able to resolve the issue with your mechanic and have them do the job right on a second pass.

Backup Options For Faulty Repairs

If this doesn’t work, however, you’ll have to determine a secondary course of action, which will vary based upon where you had your repair work completed. At small, privately owned garages, you’ll have little opportunity to plead your case to a “higher power,” since the owner of the garage is often the mechanic who worked on your vehicle.

At chain garages and dealerships, however, you may have the opportunity to speak with customer service representatives first, then a manager, and perhaps even the corporate office to explain what happened and get your vehicle repaired correctly.

Considering Legal Action

First and foremost, remember that refusing to pay for auto repairs, even if you find the work subpar, may entitle the shop to legally keep your vehicle. Also, you should keep in mind that attempting to sue a mechanic for damages can be a lengthy and costly process.

In some rare cases, it may be the case that your vehicle is a “lemon,” in which case you’d want to get in touch with some knowledgeable Lemon law attorneys to work out the details of your scenario.

Finally, remember that driving with a faulty vehicle isn’t a safe bet, so try to avoid it if you feel your car hasn’t been repaired to a safe standard. After all, you’d rather not have to go through the hassle of mounting a legal defense (or, if English isn’t your first language) hiring a Spanish-speaking car accident attorney due to an equipment failure while you’re out on the road.


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