Do you own a car? Then you should know these few basic things before you need work done to avoid getting ripped off by an auto mechanic. Unfortunately, people are constantly being ripped off by their mechanics these days.
Some mechanics have revealed that they try to skim their customer’s money by performing unnecessary repairs. Obviously, they do this because car repair services centers earn a small profit. Let us just say that a majority of mechanics are really honest. However, some are pressured by corporate owners to do unnecessary repair jobs.
It’s time to change this practice! Arm yourself with the knowledge of how car repair services will try to pad bills of customers who know nothing about auto repair. Aside from knowing how your car operates and the role of each of its parts, you also need to know how you can be cheated out of your hard earned money. Here are some of their ploys:
1. Billing you for ‘gravy work’
Car mechanics call unnecessary car repair bills as ‘gravy work.’ This simply means they bill you for more time than what they really spend 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.
2. Charging you for something they didn’t do
Mechanics have 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. Some air filters tare hard to replace. This 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.
3. 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 would spend about $20. 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 gets the price up to over $200.
4. Diagnostic Checks
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. This is sometimes called a Diagnostic Check. Some shops will even hook your car up to a machine to read codes of what the problems could be and literally spend 10 minutes and charge for way more then that.
Still others will bill their customers for just plugging it in, and then say that the car owner needs to buy something else or replace a part so that the problem will be solved.
How You Can Avoid Getting Tricked!
- 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.
- Read your owner’s manual carefully. Know the fundamental parts of your car which make it run.
- 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.