Category: Car Scams

car mechanic

Outsmart Those Car Repair Scammer With These Tips

Car Scams

Car repairs often bring headaches to car owners. Not only does it mean that their beloved car has a problem, but it also means that they have to spend valuable time and money to get it repaired. While no one likes to pay the unplanned costs of repair a vehicle, the cost can skyrocket if the car mechanic scams them.

As old crusty Michigan repair shop owner and traveling mechanics, I’ve seen just about every scam you could think of, and then some. So today I wanted to share some sage advice on way in which you can outsmart those damned Car Repair Scammers.

Get Written Estimates

One of the most common tricks that scammers do is to convince the car owners when they are asking for an estimate. Most often than not, they just use the estimate to lure car owners.

They do this by offering an affordable price estimate. Then that price goes up as they find more repairs that need to be done. Owners end up paying not only double but even triple the estimated amount. To prevent this, get yourself a written proof so you can argue with them with conviction. This will also prevent them from exploiting you.

Find Reputable Mechanics

Whenever you go for a service, even if it is not car-related, you need to first research and find a reputable provider. This is also true for car mechanics. If you find mechanics with a good reputation, it is less likely for you to get scammed. That is why it is important to find a mechanic or have the contact details of a reputable mechanic before your car develops a problem.

Don’t Be A Victim Of Their Emotional Manipulation

Some scammer mechanics are great actors. If you go to them for a simple AC filter replacement, they’d check your car and say that you need other parts to be fixed as well. The act will seem legit because of the worry emotion they have on their faces. They can scare you by asking you if you know how dangerous your car is in its current state. All of those they say are simply manipulations.

Know Your Car

It’s your car and you have the responsibility to know about it or else you risk getting scammed easily. Some mechanics will use technical terms to further confuse you. If you understand your vehicle, they won’t be successful in doing so. The car’s manual and online research are great tools to help you get to know your vehicle better.

Auto Repair Shop

Classic Mechanic Scams

Car Scams

Taking your car to an auto mechanic can be a little stressful even for someone that knows a lot about cars, but for those that have no idea what’s under the hood, it can be downright traumatic experience.

While the majority of auto-mechanics are trustworthy guys and gals, it can be incredibly easy for a mechanic to trick you into having unneeded repairs, after all, they’re supposed to be experts in their field, why wouldn’t you take their word as the honest truth? As the old adage goes, “Trust but Verify” – so goes our advice toward dealing with auto mechanics.

With newer technology, there’s new scam being created every day in the auto repair world, here we’re going to cover a number of the common scams that mechanics have run on unsuspecting customers over the years, knowing them might even save you from being tricked yourself someday.

Oil Change Scam

“Can I Check Your Oil?” The setup goes like this: When the gas station attendants check your oil they put their thumb on the dipstick so that it leaves a little space when they put the stick into the motor for the test. A thumbs width looks like your more than a quart low, you really need to change your oil now because the old oil is too thin and leaking out through your gaskets.

An experienced scammer can do this trick while you’re standing there watching him, he’s done it a million times before you got there. Even if you don’t decide to have him change your oil, he’ll have some high priced house brand oil that he gets a couple of dollars commission on ready to top up your oil before you go on your way. It’s a good idea that everyone learns how to check their own oil and do it often.

If the gas station attendant says you need some right away, tell him you’ll take it straight to your mechanic and thank him for his time.

“Your Engine Sounds Like It’s Missing, Let Me Take A Look”

Spark plug disconnects are easy to pull out part way, causing an instant problem upon startup. A bad-apple mechanic can then spend all day replacing the rotor, cap, spark plugs, wires and other parts, only to reconnect the part he disabled at the end to “fix” your problem. It’s easy to run up $200-$500 on tune-up parts and labor, especially if he’s jacking the prices up as he goes.

 

Squeaking Brakes Don’t Always Need Replacement

Many disc brakes will squeak even though they are working fine and have thousands of miles left before they wear out. Sometimes all they need is a quick shot of brake cleaner to remove built up dust. The only way you’ll really know is to watch the mechanic remove the wheel and actually look at the pads.

Disc brakes are usually quick and easy to replace, and high-quality pads can be purchased on sale for low prices at the parts store. When you get snagged at the local mechanic’s place he might be looking to make several hundred dollars in profit on just one job. Meanwhile, a high volume national chain may have brake jobs on sale for $59 per axle, saving you hundreds of dollars.

Stay Informed

Getting scammed at the auto mechanic isn’t fun. Our advice, always, is to do your research on a potential mechanic. However, if for some reason you’re in a bind and need help from the nearest auto repair shop, make sure you stay involved with the repair, ideally right there with the mechanic in order to keep an eye on any potential scam.

Scammers work best when their customers are in the dark – so stay informed and – when in doubt – go for a second opinion.

About Me

TerrysArticles is brought to you by ME!, traveling Mechanic Terry Wade, I’m do my darndest to update the site with the best quality articles and news available on the internet and elsewhere to help you diagnose and fix your vehicle yourself.

Thanks for stopping by!

T Wade - At the Shop
T Wade - At the Shop

Subscribe Now

Don't miss out on our exclusive monthly email series.