How Long Can A Mechanic Keep My Car? (Time Required To Fix & Other FAQs)

Last Updated on January 14, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

In general, the mechanic can keep a car in his shop as long as it takes to perform any of the corresponding repairs. Apart from that, a mechanic can only keep your car as long as you allow him. However, you should keep in mind that most cars have a turnaround repair time of only 12 days before you can pick them up.

Key Takeaways

  • Legally, how long a mechanic can keep your car totally depends on the rules and regulations of the state where you live or the repair shop is located
  • You should keep in mind that a car mechanic can’t keep your car indefinitely without your consent or any valid legal reason
  • If you don’t pay the service cost or refuse to pay for the repairs then the mechanic can keep your car
  • If the mechanic makes unauthorized repairs to your car and demands an additional charge then you can take legal action against the mechanic
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Tips For Mechanic Repairs With Timeframe

TipsDescriptionAverage Time Required
Car Maintenance In The WorkshopIn general, a mechanic reports an estimated time that is needed to apply the corresponding repairs3 to 20 Days
Written Budget
It is advisable to have a written estimate that includes the repairs authorized by the owner30 Minutes
Agreed Repairs
Agreed repairs must be specified between the owner and the mechanic15 Minutes
Second Opinion
In case of disagreement, the owner is always recommended to have a second opinion from another mechanic1 Day
Calling The PoliceIt is advisable to call the police when the mechanic does not want to release the owner’s car2 Minutes

How Long Should I Wait to Fix my Car?

The average car driver waits for about 89 minutes to get their vehicle serviced. This happens due to the complex and old way of doing work. A modern update would enable more efficient time management, which would provide a more pleasant driving experience.

This is a very interesting question and we need to do a lot of thinking about it. There are many ways to fix your car (cutting fuel consumption, changing the engine oil, etc.) but none of them is 100% safe, as there are always risks involved in this kind of work. While some cars might be more expensive than others, they all have one thing in common: if something goes wrong with them, you’ll have to pay for it!

The work involved in making repairs to a car can vary considerably depending on the difficulty. Of course, certain tasks and procedures can be accomplished in a few minutes and hours. Rotation or replacement of tires or an oil and oil filter change can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Additionally, replacing more complex parts within the engine and other similar situations with some difficulty may require more time. An example of this is complex paint jobs that can take 2-4 days to complete. Either way, the mechanic can always report an estimated time for repairs. 

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Can A Mechanic Refuse To Release Your Car?

The moment a person claims to take a car to the nearest garage is due to some obvious problem in most cases. So, this means that the owner of the vehicle can know in advance what specific problem it is. Of course, knowing the problem is what also lets you know the approximate time it will take a mechanic to repair the vehicle.

However, it is often the case that the problem is often larger or smaller than the vehicle owner thought. Either way, there is only one situation where a mechanic can refuse to return the vehicle to its owner. 

In any event, it is necessary to mention that no matter how unsafe a certain vehicle is to drive, the mechanic does not have the right to keep the car by his own choice. A very common situation is when a person takes their car to a mechanic’s shop for just an oil change. In this case, the mechanic may discover that the brakes have deteriorated.

If this occurs, the mechanic may mention that he cannot leave and release that car because of the brake problem. This is why many mechanics indicate that they cannot legally release the car without first making the necessary repairs. Beyond that, there are no laws today that require car owners to make repairs.

Mechanics who claim to have the right to make the final decision are lying. Regardless of the state of the mechanic and the vehicle owner, there is no national law that supports mechanics. However, some clarifications need to be considered when the mechanic finds a damaged part of the vehicle.

Of course, we have mentioned here that the mechanic cannot make the decision and force the owner of the vehicle to make the repairs. However, the mechanic can sign a release before the owner leaves with the vehicle. This way, the mechanic is spared any problems since it is an unsafe car to drive on the street.

The owner may decide not to change the brakes and the mechanic may sign a release. If the owner of the vehicle has an accident a few blocks away, the mechanic will be protected. In this case, the owner of the vehicle must take care of the consequences of the accident and the mechanic cannot be sued at all.

So, the release signed by the mechanic serves as proof of the notice he gave about the dangerousness of the car. However, it is also necessary to consider that sometimes the mechanic may refuse to deliver the car to the owner. In principle, here it is necessary to take into account the specific reasons why the mechanic acts in this way.

As we have mentioned, the main reason may be that the owner refuses to make certain repairs. Here, the simplest solution is to call the police and discuss the inconvenience with the mechanic. In general, the mechanic simply decides to return the documents with the vehicle to the owner.

Here again, the mechanic decides to sign a release to get rid of any problems that may be caused by the unsafe vehicle. So, if there is any kind of accident, later on, the mechanic will not be sued for any of these consequences. As a second option, also the owner of the vehicle has the possibility of a civil action.

This civil action is filed in a municipal court to remove the car from the mechanic’s shop. However, this procedure may take a few weeks, so calling the police first is usually more convenient. 

On the other hand, another very common reason why mechanics avoid releasing some vehicles is the lack of payment by the owners. Here, there may be a civil action by the owner to release the vehicle. However, the mechanic can also file a civil action for non-payment of repairs.

Either way, it will always be much more convenient to pay what was agreed upon and then take legal action. Beyond that, in most cases, the two parties decide to reach an agreement so as not to spread the problem too far. 

How to Find the Perfect Mechanic for Your Car Repair Needs

  1. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations.
  2. Find an experienced mechanic who isn’t afraid of dirty work. You don’t need someone who will run up your bill and take your car away, you need someone who will do the work. And it’s not enough to just be sure you’re working with a reputable mechanic, you also need to know that the mechanic is experienced. 2. Make sure that you are getting a quote for your work from a reputable company with good credit and reliable references. 3. If you are unsure about the
  3. The car industry is a booming business. It employs millions of people who are responsible for the maintenance of cars. Car mechanics are in high demand and it is not uncommon to find customers asking for car services at different locations around the country.
  4. Mechanics should be able to fix your car as easily as they do the average person. But the work involved can be very time-consuming and complicated, which can make it impossible to complete a repair at short notice.
  5. Mechanics specialize in a certain area and are experts in that field, giving good advice on how to repair your car. Mechanics also specialize in repairing cars, which means that they have knowledge and experience with repairing those types of cars. This gives mechanics an advantage over other mechanics who only specialize in one type of vehicle. This is why you should always try to find a mechanic who specializes in your make and model of car.
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What If The Mechanic Does Repairs that You Didn’t Authorize?

When a car owner decides to take a car to the mechanic’s shop, he or she also usually authorizes some repairs to be made. Of course, these are some specific repairs that the mechanic must perform. So, the jobs that are authorized by the vehicle owner are not all that is needed for a car.

Also, a certain budget is usually established so that the cost of repairs does not exceed each owner’s ability to pay. However, the mechanic may discover additional repairs that are needed that he or she has not discussed with the car owner. Many times, mechanics decide to perform these repairs without informing the owner.

So, when owners must retire their vehicles they are faced with a much larger budget than they had agreed to. The best thing to do in these cases is for the mechanic to set up a bill with a certain budget. So, if other additional costs are added later, it will be very easy to know that these last costs were not agreed upon.

Otherwise, the owner of the vehicle will have to wait to pay for all the repairs and then make the corresponding claims. When the owner does not remove the vehicle, the mechanic may request additional fees for daily impounding costs. This is understandable because the vehicle is taking up space in the mechanic’s shop. 

What Happens If A Mechanic Doesn’t Fix Your Car?

Sometimes, vehicle owners can feel cheated when the budget is a diagnostic test from a mechanic who has not found any problems. Some people may feel cheated and want to take appropriate action.

In these cases, people have the option of filing a complaint with various consumer protection offices or simply going to court. Of course, some of these tactics are always implemented when conversations with the mechanic have failed. In some cases, the budget includes the use of machines to perform the diagnosis, the labor, and the time invested by the mechanic.

However, when owners are in doubt, they can request a second opinion from another mechanic. This way, the second mechanic can be asked to make a description of the parts that have been replaced or the repairs that have not been detected. Mostly this description of the second mechanic is used in a legal claim.

Of course, another option is to simply talk to the first mechanic and explain the problem. It may then be possible to re-diagnose the vehicle and request a written estimate. When these conversations are not successful, this is where you can go to court.