You read about the car mechanic scams daily, and we all are vulnerable to such scams when we visit the workshops. The good thing is that you can avoid being ripped off by the car mechanics if you follow specific tips. We understand that no one likes to be cheated off their hard-earned money.
If you are also paranoid about visiting the car mechanic because of rising scams, then you are in the right place. In this blog post, we will tell you how to avoid fraud from car mechanics.
Let us check out the details now.
1. Establishment Year
Start by researching about the workshop. Check out the establishment area and see how long the workshop had been in business for. The year will help you in getting an idea about the services offered by the workshop. The older workshops can be very reliable, but at the same time, newer businesses may provide better customer service. This is a choice that you need to make and trust your instincts while making a call.
2. Ratings and Reviews
The next thing to check is the rating and reviews of the car mechanic. These reviews are readily available for most of the workshops. Only visit the workshops that have a good grade. You must also check out the reviews of the customers who gave a 2 star or a 3 star rating. These reviews will give you an idea about the shortcomings of the workshop. You can even ask your friends for a recommendation. It is good to know someone reliable. Try and build a rapport with the mechanic, as this will help you a great deal in the future.
A competent mechanic will always offer a guarantee on the repair that they have done for you. Some mechanics may do a shady job so that you can revisit the workshop for a fix. A warranty on the job or a part will help you in ensuring that you safeguard yourself from such car mechanics.
4. Business Model
Get into a casual chat with the mechanic and find out what kind of business model is followed by the workshop. It is best to avoid the workshops that follow a commission-based model. These commission-based models often pressurize the mechanic to upsell the services. It is one of the reasons why most car mechanics may try to scam you.
5. Know your Car
It always pays off to know your car. Check the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer and understand what can breakdown. It is your car, and knowing about the necessary repairs can help you in saving yourself from scams. If you need a part replacement, it is always better to check the price of the part before you visit the mechanic. It will help you in understanding if the mechanic is charging you the fair amount for the services or if he is trying to rip you off.
6. OBD II Scanner
An OBD II scanner can help you in running the self-diagnostics test on the car, and it will throw up the error messages related to the faults. This scanner has been the best friend of many people when it comes to avoiding any scam. The scanner will give you an idea about what is wrong with the car, and most of the time, you can even fix the issues yourself.
7. Avoid Add-Ons
Many times, a mechanic will offer you add-ons for your car. You must avoid these add-ons as they will be cheaper if you take it up as a DIY task. For example, polishing and waxing the vehicle at a workshop will cost you a lot more when compared to doing it yourself. Adding any fluid in the engine may be an expensive affair if a mechanic is doing it. They can mark up the price several times.
8. Engine & Radiator Flush
A lot of mechanics usually try to rip off the customers with the radiator flush and the engine flush. The first thing here is to know the schedule when these services are required. Secondly, understand the fact that you can do it yourself at home at a much lower price. An engine flush is usually not needed if you are changing the oil of the engine regularly. You can order these products online and do this task yourself at home.
9. Oil Change Schedule
A lot of mechanics do change the oil even when it is not required. Know a little about the oil changing schedule of your car and check the oil levels before you visit the workshop. These things can be pretty helpful in saving any additional cost that your mechanic may try to charge you. Also, know the difference between the different types of oil and remember that synthetic oil may not always be required for your car.
10. Air Filter Replacement
Many customers do get ripped off because of the air filter replacement. As per an analysis, many mechanics change the air filter of the car even when it’s not required. You must check the air filter of the car before visiting the mechanic and ensure that you know if it needs a replacement.
11. Written Quotes
It is also a good idea to get a written quotation from the mechanic. Ask for an upfront cost before they start repairing the car. It will help you in ensuring that everything is documented, and the mechanic is not overcharging after the repair.
12. Request Old Parts Back
When the mechanic is suggesting a part replacement, it is a good idea to ask for the return of the old part. You can give any reason like a friend is into the parts, and he is trying to learn about it. This tip will help you in ensuring that the part replacement is legit, and the mechanic is changing the part.
13. Dash Cam
A lot of people have installed a dashcam in the car, which always keeps running. These dashcams have recorded the wrongdoings of car mechanics. Such a dash cam can prove to be helpful, and a quick review of the footage can help you in finding out if there is something fishy about the service.
14. Escalate when Required
The last thing to know is the rights of consumers. You can always escalate if you are not happy with a service, and it can often help. If you are visiting a chain, you can escalate to the headquarters. Do not be afraid to leave the real feedback about the services that you received.
These are all the things that you need to know. Having an idea of these points and following these tips can save you from getting scammed by a car dealer. It is undoubtedly a good idea to check multiple workshops before going for an expensive repair. It is more like seeking a second opinion to deal with the problem.