Have you ever been told your vehicle needs blinker fluid or muffler bearings? If so, your mechanic may just be yanking your chain. While you’re not likely to hear those imagined examples from a real technician, thousands of car owners are ripped off by mechanics each year, and we can understand why some people believe that mechanics are dishonest.
Most mechanics are decent, hard-working people who just want to do their job, do it well, and go back home. Just like any other industry, there are a few bad seeds that will see your lack of knowledge and try to exploit it for profit.
We want to set the record straight: not all mechanics are out to get you. Most of us just want to help you fix your car while keeping your costs low. If you’re worried about getting ripped off at the repair shop, you should take a look at some of these telling signs that your mechanic is trying to take advantage of you.
1 | Telling You That Your Brake Rotors Need to be Replaced Unnecessarily
If this is the first time your vehicle’s brakes have required service and its rotors don’t have any deep ridges that you can feel with your finger (for most vehicles, you can see and feel your rotors through the hubcap), your technician should be able to put them on a lathe, scrape off a layer of metal, and use them again. This is referred to as “turning your rotors,” and it is much cheaper than replacing them entirely.
2 | Changing the Spark Plugs on a Car with Only 50,000 Miles
At one time, changing your car’s spark plugs was something that only happened once a year. That was because engines didn’t burn fuel as efficiently as they do now, and plugs would become dirty with carbon buildup. That just isn’t the case with engines these days. If your vehicle has under 100,000 miles and your mechanic says you need new plugs, either there is an underlying issue causing it that he or she should tell you about or your mechanic is the issue.
3 | Emotionally Blackmailing You into a Repair
Don’t fall for lines from the mechanic that are trying to make you guilty. Especially, you shouldn’t let them try to tell you that failing to fix it would be against the law, as that is probably just a lie. Even if your vehicle needs legitimate repair in the near future, if you’re not having a hard time driving it, you’re probably just witnessing the shady side of your mechanic. Take it somewhere else immediately to get a second opinion, but be sure not to let the next mechanic know what the other guy said until after he’s had a chance to take a look at everything.
4 | Recommending Miracle Cures & Additives
There is a time and place for additives, and with very limited exceptions, they are not going to harm your vehicle. With that in mind, they are not going to automatically repair all problems If there is a specific problem that your mechanic is attempting to fix, such as using fuel additive with extra detergents to avoid a more costly cleaning procedure, that is one thing. If they are trying to just make the vehicle run better, you should ask for an explanation, or you’re the one who should be running.
5 | Getting You on the Hook with a Free Tire Rotation or Winter Inspection
Every time you see an advertisement for a loss leader services, what you’re really getting is just a way to get you into the shop. The shop’s technicians will go over your vehicle and find as many things as possible that they claim to need to be repaired.
6 | Charging You Full Price for Remanufactured Components
In most cases, using remanufactured parts is completely fine. If you are just worried about getting your car on the road again, they can be a fantastic way to save some cash — that is, if the mechanic doesn’t want to charge you the same price as a new part. Check up on prices: consult with websites and see how much you can get the new part for, as opposed to a remanufactured one.
7 | Constantly Chasing Down Your Problems
If your technician believes that a certain part will fix your issue, and it does not, be very critical of any future repairs. We are all human and are capable of making mistakes, but you should not have to pay the price for that mistake. If you allow them to, it can be very easy for a mechanic to leave you with a huge bill after changing every other part out in your car.
8 | Not Grouping Repairs When Calculating Labor Costs
There are certain parts — such as a water pump — that are not always easy to access, which means the mechanic has to remove other parts to get to it. If some of those other parts are old or showing some signs of wear, changing them out at the same time makes sense. However, what doesn’t make sense is charing you again for the labor on that other part when it was already part of the initial procedure.
If the estimate does not include where each labor charge is coming from, that should be a cause for alarm, and it could be worth asking the technician about it or just going to another mechanic completely.
San Diego Auto Body Repair Shops
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experience. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today to see how we can help.