Like everything else your automobile is subjected to wear and tear and will need timely repairs and replacements. When it does happen, you want a trustworthy hand working on your precious asset. That said, how do you recognize an honest mechanic from a dodgy one? Fret not, there are some tell-tell signs that indicate you are being taken for a ride. Look out for these when you take your auto in for repairs or check ups., It’s more likely to happen if you lack the knowledge about the inner workings of your car or bike. Now you don’t need to know everything about your automobile, but knowing a few basics and knowing when you are being duped will help save money and stress.
Also choosing the type of mechanic comes in handy while undertaking this task. If you have a diesel engine, chances are the work is diesel mechanical and an expert in diesel engines, like a specialised diesel mechanic, would be your best bet. Similarly picking an automotive mechanic who keeps several makes or is specialized, like for instance, a Subaru mechanic can be a good choice when dealing with the specific make of your car or bike. Listed below are some ways in which a mechanic can rip you off.
Brake Rotor Replacement
This is the most common way customers are ripped off. Take note, just cause your brakes needs to replaced doesn’t mean your brake rotor needs replacement as well. If this is the first time your brakes are being replaced chances are your rotors are fine and don’t need replacement. Even if it’s not your first time; you can tell if they need replacement by running your finger along the rotor and checking for any deep ridges. If they don’t have any, your mechanic can ‘turn your rotors’ which is a lot cheaper than replacement. If they do have deep ridges then a replacement may be well due.
Another easy way to spot a rip off is if your car mechanic‘s timeline for scheduled maintenance doesn’t match the one in your manual. Many shops pad the bill by suggesting unnecessary or extra procedures such as engine and transmission flushes which are suggested way ahead of the scheduled time. Be especially wary when they make everything sound like an emergency. Read and research online about whether your engine needs flushing or not before you agree to the procedure.
Changing Spark Plugs
This one is again one of the common ways customer are duped. With older models changing spark plugs would be an annual affair due to the carbon build up. This was because older engines would not burn the fuel effectively. This, however, is not the case with the newer builds. If your car has run under 100,000 miles chances are you don’t need your spark plugs replaced. If a mechanic is suggesting it, ask them to explain the problem in detail, and get a second opinion to be sure. Check this link for signs that your plugs need to be changed.
Cheap Service Offers
Many dealers, to get the customer in the door will market their services for as cheap as 99$. This can seem attractive but if the price is too good to be true, chances are it probably is. No dealership or mechanic will run losses to give you service at a throwaway rate. They have another method of making up for the cost by bumping up the bill with unwanted repairs or replacements.
Charging full for remanufactured parts
Now there is nothing wrong with using re-manufactured parts to get your car up and running. These come in a lot cheaper. The problem, however, arises when your mechanic charges you the same as he would for brand new parts. Be wary of such car mechanics and get quotes from multiple mechanics or dealerships.
Fixing the body paint
Many mechanics like to make an extra buck or two by making you believe a paint touch up, re-painting or car paint protection solutions are needed in order to get your car looking and running well. That is a bunch of hogwash, the paint job does nothing for your resale value and is a waste of time and money. Be wary of car paint protection solutions, here’s a video telling you exactly why you don’t need it.
Most salesmen will create urgency to upsell a product or two, to get you to agree with buying whatever it is they are selling. Mechanics are no different. Statements like “I wouldn’t drive it if I were you” or “ I wouldn’t want my family in that car” are just ways to swindle you. Do not succumb to the pressure. Always compare a few quotes and opinion before going in for any major repairs. Also if a mechanic uses these techniques every time. It is better to steer clear of him or her.
We’ve listed a few of the ways a mechanic can rip you off, there are plenty more. The key is to research before going in with your problem. Asking them to elaborate or explain in detail what is it that is wrong and finally getting multiple quotes or opinions before deciding on a mechanic. If you don’t know much about automobiles, the first step would be to educate yourself. Subscribing to auto-magazines and portals can be a good step in this direction. Many magazines will list out common car problems and the solutions for them. Also talking to friends and family who know more on this subject can help. It may not always be easy to spot a con, however, that’s no reason not to try. Most mechanics are honest and will give you a genuine opinion. However staying a step ahead will always work in your favour. Here are ways you can beat them to it, and avoid getting duped.