Anybody with a car also has had a trip to the service shop. Although basic repairs can be done at home, but the average car owner doesn’t know anything about the size of their car’s gas tank, let alone about what’s under that hood. Although some good guys exist, many of the car dealerships and other mechanics see this as a chance to prey on the vulnerable and uneducated. We want to protect you from overpaying for parts and repairs you don’t even need. Here are 5 signs your mechanic is cheating you.
1) He Won’t Show You Old Parts
Oh, you had a crack in your headers? Really? Hmm, did he actually take out the part and show you the damage? No? Well then it probably wasn’t broken in the first place, and he just put in a brand new $300 part for no reason.
2) Fixing Something Unrelated to the Initial Issue
The classic line of, “we saw that you need to replace the belt, that’s what was squeaking, but while we were under the car, we noticed the tie rod over here is about to break, so you need to replace that immediately.” You need to take control over here and ask them firmly to just fix what we came here to get fixed and then we will talk further investments.
3) Flushes and Top-Offs
In addition to the garage replacing that spark plug, there will often be somebody who suggests you take advantage of a limited time offer to flush your coolant or top off all of your fluids. A lot of times this is not even needed and you end up spending between $20-$40 for nothing!
4) When you ask they reply with, “You Wouldn’t Understand,” or “It’s Complicated.”
Most people don’t know much about what’s under that hood of their “beloved car”. They could not point out the distributor from the alternator or the radiator cap from the dipstick. It’s an unfortunate reality that mechanics can easily prey on. You can’t and shouldn’t trust them enough to just accept the fact that the mechanic cannot simplify and break down what is wrong with your car. You are paying a lot of money to have your car fixed, so you deserve to know exactly what would happen for the fix.
5) The Repair Take An Unusually Long Time
The most expensive “tool” in the shop? That hand and arm that’s bolting your water pump back into place. Almost all shops charge a specific rate for labor, so if you are told that something like a radiator leak or a bad alternator is going to take a week, be wary of a scam. The shop is probably just racking up the hours to overcharge you. Those types of fixes take an hour or two max with the resources they have at their disposal.
Got any more tips on how we can save ourselves from possible scamming by a mechanic?