The common driver may not be aware of what is happening in the world of mechanics. Although there are notable mechanics who are worthy of trust because of their honest work, there are those who have the habit of ripping off their clients.
Drivers and vehicle owners who do not know how to repair their own car when it breaks down can become victims of top mechanic scams.
These common car repair scams can come with repairs or regular car maintenance, especially when the mechanic detects that the damage is beyond a regular driver’s level of expertise.
How do you know if a mechanic is taking advantage of you? Here’s a list of the most common underhand tactics that you should be aware of and how you can avoid them:
1. The Never Ending Repair
There are mechanics who take the pleasure of telling you that your vehicle is not yet fixed within the expected timeframe that you agreed upon. If this happens, you have the right to have second thoughts.
There are car repairs that need to take some time to get done, especially when the mechanic needs to wait for car parts to be shipped.
However, during the initial conversation, when a knowledgeable and skilled mechanic detects what’s wrong with your car, they should know or have an idea of how long it will take for everything to get done, considering the shipping of car parts.
2. The Scare Attempt
When you know that your vehicle needs what seems to be like a simple repair, your mechanic cannot scam you with the need for a more expensive and extensive repair.
Do not be bled dry by accepting a mechanic’s misstep of not telling you these two important things during your initial conversation:
- Estimated time of completion
- Estimated cost
If your mechanic does not know these two basic items during a consult, you are hanging on to the bait. Leave the bait and look for a better mechanic.
3. Fishy Terms
Beware of the “hood cheater” mechanic who says that your vehicle needs to stay in their garage for an unreasonable amount of time or will not allow you to visit while repairs or maintenance procedures are underway.
One of the fishy auto mechanic scams is when you are asked to pay for all car parts and labor before the repair or maintenance begins. These are the auto shops you should avoid that run with fishy terms:
- Shops that will not accept other modes of payment aside from cash.
- Shops that do not provide a written quote.
- Shops that pressure you to replace an entire system even when a single part is defective.
4. Cheap Spares
Don’t be scammed by the idea that you can save a lot of money when you use cheap parts. Your mechanic might want to convince you to purchase generic aftermarket spare parts which are poorer in quality.
With cheap spares that do not last as long as they should, you will find yourself back at your mechanic’s service.
Be aware of what your mechanic is doing to your vehicle when you are not around because there are scam mechanics who will replace your original parts with cheaper ones. You can opt to purchase the part that needs to be replaced for your own peace of mind.
5. Unnecessary Repairs
The red flag is up when you go to the auto shop to have your vehicle checked and your mechanic shows you a long list of repairs that need to be done.
Yesterday, your car was running fine, and you just wanted your mechanic to check for regular maintenance works. Beware of mechanics who chance their luck by claiming that your vehicle needs extra, unnecessary repairs.
6. Refusal to Show the Old Car Parts
Whatever is in your car is yours. It is good practice to ask your mechanic to show you old parts that were removed.
So, when you put your mechanic in charge of your car for regular maintenance or repairs, he should be able to show you the old parts that he replaced. This will assure you that a real replacement has been made.
7. Straying From the Manual
Do your part by reading through your car’s manual to save you from unwanted repairs that are not suitable for your car’s model. Some mechanics will diagnose your car with a repair that may not sound right from what you know.
Car manuals will often include recommended service intervals for the maintenance of your car. If your mechanic strays from what is required, you might want to reconsider.
8. No Clear Explanation of the Issue
A knowledgeable and good mechanic will patiently explain and describe what is wrong with your vehicle with terms that you will understand. Stay away from mechanics who try to impress you with technical words and phrases to convince you that there is extra work that you need to pay for.
9. No Positive Reviews
One way to know if your mechanic is scamming you is when you find out that what he is saying is the opposite of the customer reviews that you read from their social media page or website.
Nowadays, when every business is competing to promote its brand through social media, authentic positive reviews are worth considering.
10. High Pricing
Spare yourself from being robbed in broad daylight by comparing quotes between mechanics. Do research on the average cost of the repair that your vehicle needs. Get a second or third opinion if necessary, even for car parts.
Reader’s Digest uses the term “inflated quotes” for this type of mechanic scam. Beware of mechanics who give you a cheap quote, so you can give the green light, and then charge you double when you pick up your car. It is best that you make sure the quote is final before you leave your car in your mechanic’s hands.
Get a guarantee from your mechanic with a written quote for whatever work needs to be done on your vehicle. Protect yourself from these top 10 auto mechanic scams.
Contact our technicians at NOLA Automotive Repairs to have a legitimate automobile repair!
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NOLA Automotive Repairs has been serving New Orleans clients for nineteen years, making us one of the trusted auto repair shops in The Big Easy.
We offer a variety of services including engine repair, brake jobs, AC repair, and diagnostics.