How to know if your mechanic is scamming you

In all our articles, we always advise our readers for an authorized workshop to help you perform more complicated car operations or repairs.

But we must know that not always all these workshops are honest and if you are not careful, you can be fooled quite easily, both at labor and car parts. So this article is dedicated to this topic.

However, we must take into account that in the last years the quality of the workshops in the automotive industry has improved, especially as more and more workshops have opened, the competition is high, so everyone is starting to work more and better and improve.

But among all the good mechanics, you can find some with thoughts are not exactly right, those who will surely scam you on the first occasion.

How to choose a good car repair shop?

Well, first and foremost, the respective service should operate legally (not at the corner of a building that nobody knows about).

You must make sure that the car workshop is authorized. You must also be careful about the prices, inform yourself in advance about the prices for that operation elsewhere and somewhat approximate the costs.

There may be services that charge a lot for an operation that elsewhere costs a lot less, but at the same time if another service requires much less we have to ask a question, why is there a great price difference?

Always ask for warranty on car parts, if they have changed a car part with a one they had in the warehouse, ask for warranty. Our advice would be to also ask for the replaced parts. It is good to know that the workshop must return your old parts except those that are needed when they are replaced.

Before leaving the car in their hand, inspect the work area, the service must be clean and tidy (if so then there are very high chances that it will work with increased attention) but if it is too dirty and messy service then do not expect the work or labor to have good quality.

Always pay attention to the input sheet. An employee should inspect the car in front of the customer and indicate if the car has scratches or blows. These observations should be noted in order to compare if the car is out of service, aesthetically, as it entered.

The payment method is also very important. If, when you left the car in the workshop, you understood an amount, then it must be paid under the conditions discussed.

But if additional costs are incurred during the repair, the engineer responsible for the work should discuss with the client and explain to him what and why additional work is needed and what additional costs are.

At that moment the customer must decide whether to accept or not, of course not when you go to pick up the car and wake up that you have to pay something extra.

Another very important thing is to respect the schedule. Scheduling is very important and there should be no reason why your car will not go into service at the scheduled time. Also, any delay in the repair must be announced in advance.

One last thing would be to always request the quote and repair note. Requesting a quote will help you estimate the costs you will have to bear. The quotation must contain the precise description of the work that will be performed, the cost of the work, the list of required spare parts, the repair term, the validity of the quotation.

If the quote is signed by both parties, it can be converted into a commercial contract and a repair order note must be issued.

You also need to know what are the most practiced methods of burglary in workshops, to know how to avoid them. In most cases, consumables are often not replaced.

Air, oil, and fuel filters are part of a regular overhaul. But unfortunately here are the most thefts, simply the workshop mechanics do not change them, they will just unmount the old filters, clean them with a little compressed air and mount them again under the pretext that they replaced them.

As a solution we can ask for the old parts in exchange, or simply mark them from home and see if they are the same or have even been changed.

It happens that when you bring your desired parts having more confidence in what you bought and not in the parts from them, they will keep the part you bought and bring and equip your car with second-hand parts of parts from junkyards. As in the previous case, a solution (and the best one) is to ask for the old parts in exchange.

It seems unfortunate but yes, it happens that the mechanics do not change the oil at all, or they will change it partially. If you bring your preferred oil (you bought a higher quality oil with the intention of better protecting the engine and to prolong its life) and instead of making the complete change, they do not drain all the oil from the oil bath and change it partially (only half of it).

The engine will change its sound because it has changed half the oil, but it is not good in the long run. The solution here is to watch the oil change, especially since it doesn’t last that long or go to a workshop where you can watch everything through a transparent window.

Another method that can pose a serious threat is that mechanics don’t identify from the beginning the real problem. The most expensive mistakes are these.

By doing this, they will force you to change many pieces until you get to the one with the problem, but until then you already replaced other expensive parts, so they receive money on the labor.

For example, if you have problems with the steering box and they replace it but do not solve the other problems on the respective deck, this operation may be unnecessary, because the defective parts will affect the newly replaced part. If you change the steering box but do not change the worn bushes that have broken it then you have not solved much, soon the steering box will drop again.

They will bill you with overpriced parts. One of the most used ways to get scammed by workshops is the high prices of the parts ordered by the workshop itself. Some workshops even require that these parts be ordered through them.

We sometimes talk about double prices for the car parts. Insist on and ask them to see exactly what parts need to be changed and search the internet for their price alone to compare and find out if they want to trick you at the price or not.

Our advice would be to look at the reviews on the internet, to see what the people are talking about that workshop.

If a mechanic breaks something on my car do they have to fix it?

Yes, when a mechanic works on your car, he is responsible for the repairs being done properly, and if, through negligence, he causes damage to the car during this time, then he is obliged to repair this damage.

Tips to not get scammed by car mechanics

In conclusion, we will specify the most important aspects that you should consider when choosing a mechanic to work on your car

  • early information on costs regarding the price of parts and consumables, and labor.
  • assurance that the service operates legally and is authorized
  • requesting an estimated price for the intervention
  • requesting the invoice. The document must contain the date and place of the repair, the calculation method of the operation (physical time or time scale / technological time, spare parts used, other maintenance materials, consumables used, registration number of the car, and, possibly, its mileage.
  • the car repair shop has the obligation to return the replaced parts, except those that are used for repair during the warranty period
  • the service is responsible for accidents that may occur inside the workspace – no irregularities in the repair process should be blamed on you.
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