To be a car owner is not easy, you need to take care of your vehicle properly by taking it for regular maintenance and service. Many times you might feel that your mechanic is taking advantage of you. Unless you’re a car expert or have proper knowledge about it, you might get easily tricked into paying for services that actually you don’t or cost high. So, here’s what you need to know about the most common scams.
Scam 1: Giving false estimates
This is the most common scam that many car owners interact with daily from a car repair shop. When you ask them a rough estimate they will give you small amounts but once you get it to repair they will give you a statement like “the cost has increased and was more than they expected.”
They are experts in putting you into a situation which is extremely awkward for you. Moreover, they will add some unnecessary repairs along the way. And at the end of that, you will end up paying twice or thrice the estimated cost.
So, to avoid this scam, get everything in writing from your mechanic. You can also tell them to take the permission if they want to perform any additional repair beyond the estimated.
Scam 2: Emotional manipulation tricks
Rather than services and repairing your cars, mechanics are also experts in playing manipulation tricks. For example, if you go for a simple task like oil changing or filter changing, they will see it horrifically, like you didn’t repair or get your car service from long.
They will also ask you questions like are you aware of how it can be dangerous if you ride your vehicle in that condition or something more dramatic. All these tricks are being used by them to manipulate you.
So to avoid this scam, stand on the ground and refuse what your mechanic says until you research on your own to determine it for yourself.
Scam 3: Know your vehicle
Mechanics can fool you easily by explaining and making you confused about your vehicle. They will tell you must-have tech accessories for your car which will make you confuse and you may appear dumb. So before visiting any mechanic, read the car’s manual carefully, and also do some research work online. It will help you in negotiating the price and also enable you to stop spending extra money from your pocket.
Mechanics know very well that once your car needs repairing or services you’ll go to them and they take advantage of it. The only thing which will help you from this scam is your awareness about your vehicle. Know your car and its repair process, and you are good to go.
Scam 4: Counterfeit car parts
There are unjust mechanics who use counterfeit spare parts instead of high-quality. By using fake spare parts, they will save money and you will pay for high-quality parts. You’ll be billed for original parts and won’t be told that they are duplicate parts.
Installing counterfeit parts can be dangerous because they are often of lower quality. And it can put you into trouble and you won’t even know it. Besides all that, they wear out sooner compared to genuine parts. It is difficult to detect them because they often use the duplicate trademarks or alter them so nicely that you can’t notice the difference.
So, to avoid this type of scam, don’t hesitate to consult two-three professionals who do repairing work. And if you have suspected that, you can take necessary legal actions against the mechanic.
Scam 5: Not grouping repairs while calculating labor
There are some parts in your vehicle which are not easy to get, like the water pump. You have to remove some parts to reach the water pump. But if any other different part which is old or is damaged, then changing it at that time only makes sense. Because charging you double for labor on the other part when it comes in the same process is not fair.
So, ask your mechanic to list out the labor charges exactly, if they don’t provide you then that could be a red flag. Also, it is worth asking the mechanic for the estimated cost.
Scam 6: Avoid additional costs which are invalid
It’s common to repair other pieces in your car, even if you want to fix only one thing. Because when you have a problem in the inner part which you can’t access directly, you need to remove other parts that are covering the part that requires repair.
Mechanics will charge you the additional cost to access the damaged part that needed to be repaired. But it doesn’t make any sense to add any extra costs on the hours spent on those parts, since they were already including in the price of the original part. So make sure you don’t make a fool of yourself by paying the additional cost which is invalid and are mentioned in the bill meticulously.
Scam 7: Broken axle boot
Repairing the broken axle boot can be expensive and should be repaired if it has happened from normal wear and tear from driving. However, fraud mechanics cut this rubber boot and tell you that it is damage.
So, before approving the work make sure you check it from your end. If it is damage from your end it will have dirty grease spots under the front axle or else inward-facing side of a wheel. but if it’s not, then it might have been done by the mechanic purposely.
Maintaining a car is an essential part of every car owner, so it’s vital to hire a reputable mechanic who has years of experience and who will not cheat on you.
So, these tips on scams will help you to identify the most common scams used by some garages and helps you to avoid them. Moreover, whatever work you get done on your car, make sure that no work is done without your permission.
In the meantime, you can go and look for a good mechanic who will never break your trust.