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How Long Can a Mechanic Legally Keep Your Car to Fix?

If you’re in need of a car repair, you may be wondering: How long can a mechanic legally keep your vehicle to fix it? The answer depends on several factors. Usually, mechanics can’t legally keep a car if you don’t pay their bill. You can, however, take civil action. Ultimately, you can get a court order ordering the mechanic to return your car. After all, many people can’t afford to be without a car.

If you’re getting an oil change from a mechanic, he might notice brake problems that you didn’t know were happening. He may want to do a test drive before determining what the problem is. Afterward, he may say that your car needs to be repaired. However, you can’t legally force a mechanic to fix your car without your permission. The mechanic can’t legally force you to pay for the repairs if you don’t agree to them.

If your car needs a major repair, you can also ask how long it will take. While it’s unlikely to take days or weeks, major repairs can extend over a day or two. A trustworthy mechanic won’t stretch his time estimate to a week or two. It’s also a good idea to get a written estimate before hand, so you can make sure the mechanic sticks to his word.

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