How to Prevent Car Repair Rip-Offs

Published: 02/05/2011 by AutoShopit

How to Prevent Car Repair Rip-Offs - choosing the right mechanic

How to Prevent Car Repair Rip-Offs - choosing the right mechanic


A lot of us are unsure, and even scared, of the mechanical repairs our cars could need. Unscrupulous mechanics can pounce on this fear and make you pay too much. Hopefully, if you follow some car repair advice you will know how to prevent car repair rip-offs.

Speak to your friends and co-workers and find out which mechanic they use. Find one they recommend and look at getting them to do a small job for you. If they do a good job on an oil change or brake check, for example, then you will feel more confident with them if you need a large repair. 

Car Repair Advice

Be Prepared

When you take your car in for repair, make sure you have a written list of what work you need. Ask them to contact you before they do any extra work and question them for further details.  An honest mechanic would be able to answer your questions, show you the problem and give you car repair advice.

Before they start work, ask the mechanic if you can see the parts that need replacing. Then you can see the faults for yourself. Also, make sure you know any warranty terms for the work. You need to know if there is a problem with the work you are covered for parts and labor.

Compare and Contrast

If the mechanic tells you more work is needed, then ask for a written quote. You can always call around and compare the estimate with other mechanics. If you get two more quotes and both are significantly cheaper, you might want to change your mechanic. In the event of that the estimates differ, ask the mechanic about  Remember, though, nobody is perfect and it is possible to discover more work is required than was originally thought. 

Even if your car is not drivable, you can always tow your car to another shop if you find one will do the work significantly cheaper or if you are unhappy with the work.

Test it Out

One of the best ways in learning how to prevent car repair rip-offs is to test drive your car before you pay the final installment for the work. If you are not happy, that is your opportunity to point it out to the mechanic before it is too late.

Get the Details

Even if you have gotten a written estimate and your car returned to you in working condition, get a detailed bill. Be sure that every aspect of work quoted in the estimate was performed on your vehicle. When you pay, try to use a check or credit card. This gives you more protection than paying by cash. If you find that the actual work was not performed on your vehicle, you can stop payment on your check and credit card companies can offer you protection against fraud. Before alerting your credit card company or stopping payment on a check, by all means, do everything in your power to work with your mechanic to rectify the problem.

By taking these simple steps you should be able to prevent car repair rip-offs from a dishonest mechanic taking advantage of your lack of knowledge. If you are in need of additional car repair advice or want to prevent car repair rip-offs, check out the reviews from actual customers on our site.  The companies that have positive reviews are less likely to rip you off than companies with no reviews or many negative ones.

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