Updated: Jan 15
We understand why taking your car to a mechanic might seem like a bit of a rip off. It’s essentially a very expensive service industry where 9/10 times you can't actually see any difference to your car after the work is done.
In fact, many mechanics will tell you they don't like spending money on their own cars either. So we understand why you would prefer to buy the parts for your own car and save yourself some money in the process.
However, if you've tried doing this recently, you might have noticed a lot of the mechanic shops won't even look at your car unless they are able to supply the parts.
Why is this?
In a lot of cases, you will have the same access to parts as many mechanics. In fact, companies such as Supercheap, Burson and Repco have been established on selling parts to workshops and everyday car owners alike.
Well, it all comes down to insurance and liability. They're 2 words that truly dictate what everyone can and cannot do in their day to day, especially in the small business/trades world.
Unfortunately, while you may be using the exact same part from the exact same store, if there is a failure in that part that causes damage to the car, the workshop that fitted it becomes liable for the damages (not just the manufacturer of the part).
In one instance in Queensland (relayed through the grapevine), a mechanic was successfully sued in court after oil supplied by the owner caused a failure in the motor. Something that should have gone back to the manufacturer of the oil and through their insurance.
If there's one good thing about almost every mechanic in this situation, it's that they are covered by insurance. While we hope that we will never need it, most workshops will have millions of dollars of liability insurance, and tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars covering your vehicle and the work they do on the car.
While this means that (in most situations) you won't be able to supply your own parts, there are some things you can ask your mechanic to do to make sure you're being treated right.
Asking them for the cost of the parts fitted to your car and checking the price against suppliers goes a long way in making sure you're being charged correctly. Additionally, if you have any questions about the pricing, call your mechanic and ask them to explain it to you. They're almost always willing to help.
While all this might seem like another way to convince car owners to separate from their cash, fitting owner supplied parts is just too much of a risk for most modern workshops.
If you have any questions about this blog post, would like a second opinion from a mechanic or would like to find an honest mechanic in Brisbane, check out Kashy here.