3 Common Auto Repair Scams And How To Avoid Them
Have you been a victim of auto repair fraud? Although there’s no shortage of good auto repair shops, there’s a group of conniving mechanics whose job is to rip you off in every fix. Let’s take a look at some common auto repair scams and ways to avoid them.
Your air filter is too dirty and needs a replacement
If you’ve been to an auto shop and the mechanic is quick to tell you how dirty the air filter is and needs to be replaced, be extra cautious before spending your money on a new filter. Some mechanics will show you a dirty filter (which is not even yours) so that you buy something you don’t need. Don’t be the unsuspecting customer that’s easy to take advantage of. You should ensure that the air filter you are being shown is actually from your car. Furthermore, know when air filters need to be replaced based on the manufacturer’s recommendations (usually in every 15,000 to 30,000 miles).
You need an expensive oil change to boost your car’s performance
When you take your car for an oil change, you expect it to be simple and quick, right? But soon after leaving your car at the auto shop, you receive a call asking you to approve a certain type of oil that costs a lot more than what you expect. This is a common red flag. Some mechanics will even go ahead to tell you problems they have uncovered in your car as a result of the oil you’ve been using. Most of the times the problems being communicated to you are very technical and hard to see. Stay away from this scam by taking your car to a trustworthy auto repair shop.
Car problems that have been fixed without your knowledge
This is probably the most common auto repair scam known to this date. You take your car to the auto shop and ask them to find out what’s wrong with the car. A few hours later, you get a call from the mechanic telling you about many issues that they have resolved and it results in thousands of dollars which you have to pay. When you ask about the car repairs, they are likely to mention things to do with the transmission, spark plugs, gaskets and other components. You may be tempted to settle the bill in order to have your peace of mind. But don’t make that mistake. Paying for car repairs that you haven’t authorized is unacceptable. If you had asked for an initial quote then that is what you have to pay for.
Auto repair scams can cause you to spend a lot of time and money on unnecessary things. To avoid this, take your car to a reputable mechanic. An auto shop may appear to charge the lowest rates in town but you may end up paying more if they are known for fraud and theft. Most importantly, do not be intimidated by a garage that threatens to hold your car as collateral because you’ve refused to pay for unauthorized repairs. Call the police if the situation gets out of hand.