15:14 22 July 2009
For the millions of Brits who aren't particularly proficient with the ins and outs of automotive repair, going to a garage for a service can be a daunting task.
Many motorists feel they may have suffered at the hands of rip-off garages whether that means being overcharged for servicing, receiving a final bill wildly different to the estimate, or being distrustful of the mechanic's shake of the head and intake of breath that can occur when some workers peer under the bonnet.
In fact, according to Motor Codes (the automotive industry's self-regulatory body), over a third of car owners have been dissatisfied with the service they have received in the last five years.
With a significant number of drivers unable to identify or rectify even the simplest of issues, many believe that the need for reputable garages backed by a strong, enforceable consumer code is vital.
32% of car owners can't replace a bulb, 24% don't know how to change a wiper blade, while 14% can't even top up windscreen wash! Women, are even less likely to carry out these tasks than men, making them even more vulnerable to the tactics employed by rogue mechanics.
For peace of mind when getting a service or MOT, car owners are advised to check that their garage whether franchised or independent is a subscriber to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair.
Being able to recognise the signs of the most common and basic problems that may affect your car is a great start.
In this video feature, owner Sue Somerville, director of a Dorking-based independent garage, talks us through what to look for when carrying out basic diagnostics on our cars and what a garage that has joined the Motor Codes scheme has committed to when servicing your car.
For more information visit www.motorindustrycodes.co.uk
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