Watch out for these potential auto mechanic scams

Posted by ArabC on 07/26/2010

Whenever you take your car to an auto mechanic, you should have reasonable assurance that they're reputable and trustworthy, rather than taking your car to somebody who is waiting to show you one of many different auto mechanic scams. It always helps to research the mechanic ahead of time. Nevertheless, being prepared with knowledge of some of the sneaky car repair tricks that numerous mechanics use can help you avoid being scammed. Here are just a couple of things to watch for, and none of them require much more than some basic automotive knowledge. Thanks to WalletPop for some great ideas.

Article Source: Watch out for these potential auto mechanic scams By Personal Money Store

Spit and polish auto mechanic scams

Most auto mechanic scams depend upon a customer's lack of automotive knowledge, and this one is no exception. A mechanic may say that a part needs to be replaced, but the reality is that they may remove it, clean it up, then simply put it back on the car so that it looks brand new. Easily removed parts like batteries, oil filters and radiators are common targets. Some mechanics say they swapped out your old part with a refurbished one. In that case, they've literally done nothing. If you are able to take the car home first before having repairs done, mark the part in question with a small dab of paint that isn't easy to spot unless someone knows it's there. You need to see the purchase order for new parts and the old ones. Match the part and also the receipt. It was a scam if you find paint on the part.

What about manic maintenance

Follow the suggestions from manufacturers for standard maintenance. Check your owner's manual. The manufacturers know your automobile model better than everyone, so their recommended specs are likely to help you a lot. If a mechanic tries to get you to agree to an oil change, flush or other repair quicker than you may really need it, you will have reason for suspicion. You need to bring the manual with you to the repair.

Never pay for guesswork

This is for individuals who didn’t have the problem fixed by their mechanic. Your mechanic needs to be held to a high standard. Demand a refund if they didn’t fix it the first time. Try a different mechanic if troubles persist.

Think all about your dipstick

Check your oil via the dipstick before you go in for repairs. Do this because this will remind you to view for an old nickel-and-dime trick some mechanics use. They will get a lower reading by only inserting the dipstick part way. Even if it is cheap, it is still something. Also, watch for the detached spark plug trick – it could save you from unnecessary engine exploratory work. While there, don’t get new power steering. WalletPop reports that no manufacturer recommends this.

With labor, doubled over

Repair jobs often lead to another, and then an additional. Sometimes mechanics double the labor charge. If you are quoted one labor cost, that's what you need to pay in numerous cases. However, if the new job is something big, the mechanic still has to make money for his or her time. Communicate with your mechanics and make certain they tell you whether additional labor charges will be incurred before you give your consent to proceed.

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