Every car owner has had at least one bad experience at the service centre.
And often it involves them charging you way more for the repairs than is reasonable. Want to make sure that the Auto Repair scams don’t happen the next time you drop your car at the service centre?
Here are the four most common auto repair scams, and how to not fall for them.
Auto Repair Scam 1: The “Other” Service Centre
The mechanic tells you the car needs a particular repair, for which they need to take it to a different auto repair service centre. This might be the truth, or they might just be driving it down to the local spare parts market. This is common scenario and they say they don’t have expertise for this problem or they don’t have testing equipment.
What to do and how to Avoid: You should definitely check out the credentials of this ‘other’ service centre. Get the address and contact details, and call to check if your car was actually there and if you can drive with him is the best way.
Auto Repair Scam 2: The Non-Existent Repairs
A lot of times mechanics “pad the bill”, by citing repairs or diagnostics that do not exist. They might add a G-scan, or a parts replacement that they didn’t do.
What to do and How to Avoid: Review the bill carefully, and if there are repairs you did not ask for, question your mechanic. Ask them to explain why they repaired it, show you the new part, or ask for the old part. In case the mechanic is unable to show you the repair, or is avoiding your request, you will know that these repairs were never performed.
Auto Repair Scam 3: The “Additional Problems”
Another common tactic to scam car owners is to tell them there were additional problems with the car. You hear about these additional problems and their expensive repairs only when you are about to pay the bill. More often than not, these are unnecessary parts replacements that have been done without your consent, and the service centre refuses to release your car till you pay the inflated bill.
What to do and How to Avoid: Get a written repair sheet with part replaced and cost estimate before you leave your car with the mechanic. Make it clear that they should not perform any repairs other than those estimated, and in case they find more problems, they should get in touch with you. This helps you stay in control of any unexpected repairs, and not have a shockingly huge bill later on.
Auto Repair Scam 4: The Repeated Repairs
You have heard this one before. “replace the spark plug(or other part) would fix the problem. But it didn’t, so now they are replacing the other parts.” Repeated replacements, without finding the root cause of the problem is one of the most common ways to scam new car owners.
What to do and how to Avoid: Do not let the mechanic talk you into this. The moment you hear this line of reasoning, get a second opinion. While it could have been a one-time faulty diagnosis, more often than not it’s a ploy to bill you for costly repairs.
Before sending your car to service centre, better to know exactly what’s wrong with your car. Ask the expert for his opinion, if you feel something different take another opinion from service provider