If you own a car, one of the basic things you should do in order to avoid getting ripped off by an auto mechanic is to know it works and the role each part plays in making it run.
Don’t Leave It to Chance
Not knowing how your car works is like leaving everything to chance. If something wrong happens, the first thing you will do is call for a car mechanic. What if he is not honest in his assessment and would only want to get as much money from you as he can?
Unfortunately, such scenario is constantly being played out today. And many car owners have been cheated of their hard earned cash unnecessarily.
The Hard Facts
A car mechanic with 40 years of experience has revealed the secrets of the trade on the condition that his identity will be kept hidden. He admitted that there are car repair services that resort to dishonest practices just so they can stay afloat.
This mechanic revealed that they try to skim their customer’s money by performing unnecessary repairs. They do this because car repair services only earn a small profit in their business.
He said that a majority of mechanics are really honest. However, they are pressured by the company owners to do unnecessary repair jobs.
Get the Right Information
It’s about time you change this harmful practice by arming yourself with the knowledge of how car repair services milk hapless customers who know nothing about the workings of their cars.
Aside from knowing how your car operates and the role of each of its parts, you also need to know how dishonest auto repair services can cheat you out of your hard earned cash. Here are some of their ploys:
1. Increasing the actual repair bills
This is the most common trick of auto repair services. They play into the common fear of drivers regarding the ‘check engine’ light. Most experienced mechanics call it the ‘idiot light.’
This light is activated by a sensor and when it is unplugged from its electric source, the sensor will cause the light to be on. Simply plugging it into the socket will solve the problem. You don’t need to do anything else.
But experienced proved that there are car repair shops who will bill their customers for just plugging it in, and then saying that the car owner needs to buy something else or replace a part so that the problem will be solved.
2. Billing your for ‘gravy work’
Car mechanics call unnecessary car repair bills as ‘gravy work.’ It simply means billing you for more time than what they really spent in repairing your car.
Majority of car repair services will bill you from one and a half hours to two hours just to turn the car’s rotors and replaced their pads. If you know something about rotors, and you have the right tools, you can do it yourself in just about 20 to 30 minutes. This unnecessary billing charge is an example of ‘gravy work.’
3. Charging you for something they didn’t do
This well-experienced mechanic admitted that they charge their customers for car repairs that they did not perform like saying they have replaced the old air filter with a new one without really touching it.
There are car air filters that are hard to replace. It is easy just to add it to the bill than actually putting it in. The customer wouldn’t know because he just couldn’t access it.
4. Performing a ‘Wallet Flush’
This trick is related to a regular oil change which dishonest car repair services turn into a more expensive exercise.
For instance, if you will just pay for a routine oil change, you won’t spend more than $18. They don’t make much money with this service. So they will try to sell you additional power steering flushes, trans flushes and coolant flushes even if you don’t need them. That is where they make real money.
How to Avoid Getting Tricked
The same mechanic who admitted doing these tricks also have great advices on how you can avoid being billed needlessly.
- Look for an honest car repair shop and build a relationship with them. In this way, they will not have the heart to deceive you. One example is Midas coolant flush service.
- Read your owner’s manual carefully. Know the fundamental parts of your car which make it run, and how to spot brewing trouble before it becomes big.
- If possible, learn how to do trouble shooting and minor repairs. For instance, knowing how to start your car when the battery is out is very important. However, you will need the necessary tools to jump start your car and drive it to the nearest car repair shop for the required battery repairs.