A mechanic is just an engineer in blue jeans.
5 Tips to Avoid Mechanic Scams
We’ve probably heard every scam in the book; New tires for a flat, an upsell of a coolant flush or showing us a dirty air filter that isn’t yours. It’s important to find a credible, trustful auto mechanic because investing in maintenance and auto repairs can be very pricey and can take a lot of time off your schedule. From ridiculous high prices for a simple oil change or car issues not repaired properly, consumers should be aware of auto shop scams to avoid their time and money spent. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when trying to avoid mechanics from ripping you off.
1. Know your car
The better you know your car, the more aware you are of mechanic scams. Educating yourself about your car’s parts, oil and fluids, tires, etc., will save you from unethical mechanics by telling you otherwise. It also helps to keep track of when and where you got specific repairs or services done on your car so you know a next replacement or maintenance is due. Keep a good record of your documents including invoices, receipts, and logs.
2. Do your research
Just like finding an accountable babysit to care for your kids, it’s the same thing when finding an auto shop where you know your car is in good hands. Take your time reading reviews and recommendations on Yelp.com or Google. Be sure to also check for auto shops with legitimate certifications and licenses that’ll offer guaranteed service.
3. Start with a small service or repair
There’s many risks by taking your car into a new auto shop for a major repair. Scope out an auto shop for the first time with a small service like an oil change or a tire pressure check. This way, you can get a feel for the staff and services. Did they treat you well? Did they pressure you into additional services? Did they offer you a confirmed estimate? Be sure to see if their shop is busy. An auto shop with a large customer base means they’re reliable and trustworthy.
4. Be confident and ask questions
Remember, it’s your money being invested in repairs and services. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or simply say no. This is where being educated about your car comes in handy. It’s common for people to be nervous or intimidated when taking their car into an auto shop. If it helps, bring along a friend that’ll give you another perspective or opinion.
5. Get another perspective
Trust in your gut when you feel that a mechanic is being dishonest or unprofessional. Just because your car is in their shop doesn’t mean you need to go with their service. If in doubt, get a second opinion from another shop. This way, you can put your mind at ease with where you feel comfortable putting your money to.