A trip to the mechanic is inevitable for any car owner, so it’s important to make sure you are not getting cheated by yours and paying more money than you need to for a service. If you don’t have extensive knowledge about car maintenance and want to make sure you mechanic isn’t up charing you for maintenance or giving you service you don’t need, check out this list:
1. The Never Ending Repair
Since most auto-repair shops charge in terms of labor, you have to assess whether the repair job is really going to last as long as your mechanic says it will. For example, fixing an alternator can take either 2 hours or 6 hours, based on the actual issue. You can ask around in different repair shops to make sure you got the right estimate.
2. The Scare Attempt
If a mechanic inspects your car and utters something like “Jeez, I wouldn’t drive this car anywhere” with a frightening tone, you have been warned. This tactic is applied to pressurize you into leaving your car with them and paying more money for a longer service. If this happens to you, take a second opinion and see if the issue is really as bad as they say.
3. The Fishy Terms
If you hear words like “whole”, “full”, or “entire”, take them as red flags. A dishonest mechanic may use such terms to indicate a costly repair job.
4. The Unnamed Issue
Many people cannot differ between a radiator and alternator. Unfortunately, unreliable mechanics exploit such lack of knowledge. They may try to make you feel overwhelmed by saying things like “You won’t get it, it is too complicated.” As someone who is paying for a repair job, you have the right to know what exactly is wrong with your car, so get that explanation.
If a mechanic tries to promote a discount or a limited time offer, something is amiss. For instance, a lot of times mechanics encourage you to top off all your fluids, in spite of the fact that they are not needed in the first place. Be aware of your upkeep and what you don’t actually need to get done.
6. Emotional Play
Make sure that you are not bullied into using a mechanic’s service. Sometimes, they emotionally coerce you with a warning about potentially hurting your loved ones and family if you don’t get a certain repair. If you get someone who tries to get personal, stay away.
7. Use of Brand-Naming
If you are unaware of car-related brands, a dishonest mechanic can try to rip you off by presenting certain car parts as higher quality than they actually are. When you’re dealing with purchasing new parts, make sure to ask around or do a quick google search before committing.
8. Unnecessary Repairs
Some mechanics try to tinker with other components of your car and “fix” it. Thus, after the repair job, they also charge you with this new repair. If you ask questions they may try and tell you that it had a preexisting problem that needed to be fixed and they did it as a favor.
Regardless, it can make you feel trapped in that payment. Make sure the service you want is the only service they are doing.
9. Refusal to Show the Old Parts
If a mechanic tries to offer excuses when you ask him to show your old, supposedly broken part, it is possible that there was never anything wrong with it in the first place. This is a sign that they are untrustworthy.
10. Straying Away from the Manual
You can always compare your car manual with your mechanic’s repair job to see if they are performing the correct repair. This is really reliable and readily available booklet to all car owners, don’t be afraid to fact check to make sure you aren’t being cheated!