7 Car Repair Scams Most People Don't Know About
May 30, 2018 at 11:38 am EDT | Sponsored Content
Anybody that owns a car knows that a trip to the service shop is inevitable. It's pretty simple to do the basics, 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 7 Signs Your Mechanic Is Ripping You Off.
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, "yeah, 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." Dude, just fix what we came here to get fixed and then we'll talk further investments.
3. Name Brand Everything
There are a couple reasons this could turn out terribly. The mechanic might convince the average person that he or she needs XYZ brake pads by explaining that you can stop on a dime to avoid the idiot ahead in the minivan who stopped for no reason.
If you're somebody that's worried about getting ripped off, we'll assume you won't know names of car replacement parts, so you have no idea if this "quality" brand is even good. Even if it were the best, the average driver doesn't need something that a drifter or drag racer is putting into his car. You'll either be getting overcharged for a bad product or you'll be getting something that's not necessary.
4. Things Get Personal
Don't ever let a mechanic bully you into using that particular service garage. If you're truly worried about hurting the car, you can have it towed for a second opinion or call up other places for an off-site evaluation. Mechanics might try to even suggest that you're putting your family or other loved ones in danger by not having something fixed immediately, they might even suggest it's illegal for them to let you take your car back in its current condition. This is simply a scare tactic many shady mechanics use. Don't fall for it.
5. Flushes and Top-Offs
In addition to the garage replacing that coilover spring on your Acura Integra, there will often be somebody who suggests you take advantage of a sweet limited time offer to flush your coolant or top off all of your fluids. A lot of times, this isn't needed and you end up spending between $20-$40 for somebody to open your cap and think to themselves, "nah, that looks good."
6. They Use, "You Wouldn't Understand," or "It's Complicated."
Most people don't know anything about what's under that hood of that 2004 Chevrolet Impala they've had for four years. They couldn't 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. A good mechanic should be able to simplify what they are doing. You're paying a lot of money to have your car fixed at his garage, so you deserve to know exactly what would happen for the fix.
7. BONUS: Device To Avoid Being Ripped Off
Here's a good way to make sure you aren't being ripped off in the future. Shady mechanics know taking advantage of people is easy, given their lack of knowledge about car maintenance needs. But there’s a new device you can carry with you in your car to tell you exactly what’s wrong with it. If you own a car built after 1996 then you can use this brilliant new device called Fixd to instantly diagnose any car problems. This means the next time your “Check Engine Light” happens to come on, you’ll know exactly what the issue is and the mechanics won’t be able to lie to you! In the United States alone, this product did over $50,000,000 in sales in 2017.Click Here To Learn More About Fixd »