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How to Avoid Auto Repair Scams and Rip-Offs

Updated on May 27, 2012

Auto repair scams and rip-offs is a very common problem for car owners. Every now and then, they run into some sort of a fraud, scam, rip-off or extra payment by a dishonest auto repair mechanic. Therefore, in order to avoid any auto repair scam or rip-off, it is importance to have proper knowledge and understanding on how to avoid auto repair scams.

Before we start to learn the methods to avoid auto repair scams and rip-offs, it is extremely important to understand some common ways, by which these auto repair scams are done by the mechanics. Following are some of the common ways:

Some Common Auto Repair Scams:

1. Overbilling the customer

2. Inferior quality service

3. Installing lower quality parts

4. Installation of used parts at the price of new

5. Dodging in the service warranty

6. Dodging in the warranty for the installed parts

Apart from these above-mentioned common auto repair scams, there are many other methods as well to rip-off the car owners. Following are some easy ways, by which you can certainly avoid auto repair scams and rip-offs:

Top 6 Ways to Avoid Auto Repair Scams and Rip-Offs:

1. Ask Questions from the Auto Repair Mechanic:

Consider this point as an absolute essential. Always ask as many logical questions as you can. Many people often shy in asking questions, mainly because the auto-repair mechanics confuse you in the technical jargons. If they do, ask them to simplify and clarify their statements.

Asking lots of questions get you involved in the auto repair process. It sends a positive message to the auto repair mechanic as well. Moreover, by doing so, you will significantly reduce the chances of getting ripped off.

2. Have Multiple Estimates for your Auto Repair:

Never feel contended and satisfied with only price estimate. Always make sure that you have at least a couple of price estimates from different mechanics. By having multiple estimates alone, you will minimize the chances of any auto repair scam or rip-off.

If you find any major discrepancy in a mechanic’s price estimate, politely ask them to justify it. If there is an element of fraud involved in it, you will instantly know about it.

Having multiple estimates enable you to judge the average repair price for your car. After you have the knowledge, you will not be paying extra amount to any mechanic.

3. Ceiling Price:

Some mechanics hesitate to offer you a price estimate. Because of the complexity and technicalities in the auto repair procedure, sometimes, it becomes difficult to quote an exact price. In such a scenario, always ask the auto repair mechanic to quote a ceiling price.

A ceiling price is the highest possible price for the entire project. When quoted, the auto-repair mechanic will not be ethically able to charge you more than the quoted ceiling price without proper justifications.

4. Feedbacks and Reviews:

It is also very important to have knowledge about the feedbacks and reviews for the auto repair mechanic or the auto repair shop. Prior feedbacks and reviews will enable you the judge the possibility of any fraud, scam or rip-off. Existing and/or past customers are the primary sources of receiving feedbacks and reviews.

5. Auto-repair Warranty:

When dealing with an auto-repair mechanic, make sure to ask about the auto-repair service warranty for your repair car or vehicle. A good and honest mechanic will stand behind his work, and will offer you a reasonable period of service and/or part’s warranty.

An important tip is to confirm about the nature of warranty. For instance, the offered warranty may be for the parts or the service only. Therefore, it is always recommended to confirm about the nature and type of the warranty and its coverage.

6. Evaluate the Bill:

In order to avoid any auto repair scam or rip-off, it is always recommended to evaluate the bill. A bill should be broken in terms of labor cost and the cost of the parts. In this way, you will have a concrete idea if they charged you more.

Avoiding the scams is always the biggest priority for anyone. No one wants to pay more than the amount that they should actually pay. By following the above-mentioned 6 tips, you can easily avoid the auto repair scams and rip-offs.


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    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 5 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      Another victim ... I hope that you never get ripped off again! :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great tips! I am under the hood of the car with the mechanic and they eed to show me everything and why that something doesn't work. I'm a pest of a customer. I've been there and got ripped off. Never again!:)

    • PenHitsTheFan profile image

      Amy L. Tarr 5 years ago from Home

      Been there...had that.