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Confessions Of An Auto Mechanic: How To Save Money

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO)Every day this week, we’re letting you in on a secret — a piece of information from different industry insiders that will help you save money.

First, a car mechanic confesses.

No gimmics here — Leann and Jeff Kinney want their industry to go in for a tune up.

“Either they’re greedy and they want to make more money on every job that comes in but maybe they’re just not all that knowledgeable and while they’re learning, you’re paying the price for your training,” Jeff Kinney said.

They admit, even they will mark up prices a bit.

“It varies. It depends on what it is,” Leann Kinney said. “Up to 50 percent. A lot of the auto parts stores will sell parts to the consumers at the same price they sell it to me for. So when they come to me, I’m going to charge more than the part is worth, because I need to make a profit.”

Their main concern is when customers get enticed by good deals.

“A lot of people get sucked in by the little cheapy oil changes so when they bring their car into those places they usually find there’s something wrong with their cars,” she said. “Nine times out of 10 they don’t need anything on the list.”

Their advice is to do the research before you go.

“There’s a lot of reviews on the Internet which help,” Jeff Kinney said.

Referrals from a friend on where they’ve had a good experience can go a long way too, Leann said.

“I think you want to look for someone that’s been in business for a long time. Somebody whose shop is well equipped and clean,” Jeff said.

Jeff and Leann also said you don’t want to buy parts yourself or they won’t be warranted and if something goes wrong, you’ll just pay more in the end then the original mark up.

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