Let’s face it, some businesses have a higher reputation for scams than others and most of them involve vehicles. If you’ve ever taken your car in for a repair and the mechanic gives you a laundry list of things wrong with it, red flags probably go up. People oftentimes don’t even know they’ve been taken advantage of. In fact, auto repair problems make up the largest group of consumer complaints. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that consumers lose tens of billions of dollars each year due to faulty or unnecessary car repairs. While most auto repair shops are honest, thousands of sting undercover findings have detected plenty of scams across the country. As a consumer, here are some things you can do to avoid auto repair scams, according to AARP.
Get a quote
Auto repair quotes should come with an explanation that, in clear and simple terms, lays out exactly what work and parts are needed, their cost, and how the problem was detected. If you feel most comfortable you can always seek a second opinion.
Oil change add-ons
Many repair shops barely break even on routine services like oil changes, so you can be confident that a mechanic will give your car a thorough inspection looking for other possible jobs. Be suspicious if you’re handed a long list of recommended add-ons if your car is running fine.
Unless you notice handling problems, be suspicious if a mechanic says your car needs front-end work like an alignment or new ball joints, advises Austin Davis, an auto repair shop owner who runs trustmymechanic.com, which offers free advice on car repairs. Why be suspicious? Most customers can’t easily locate or identify those parts. And with ominous warnings from the mechanic about steering loss, the repairs have a high scare factor. If your car seems to be driving fine, get a second opinion.
Friends and neighbors are the usual go-to sources, but consider calling your car insurer for its list of recommended body shops in your area.
Get price estimates at consumerreports.org/cars/repair, repairpal.com/estimator, automd.com/repaircost or openbay.com. Expect to pay at least 20 percent more at a dealership. Keep in mind that reputable full-service independent and franchise shops can handle most anything except recalls, warranty repairs, post-warranty fixes offered under a good-will program, and repairs to high-tech electrical and AC systems.
Established in 2003, Paradise Car Wash is a family-owned and operated, full-service car wash and auto appearance center. Our family has owned businesses in Yorkville, Illinois for three generations and are happy to continue the tradition and serve our community with Paradise Car Wash. Our goal is to provide the highest level of service and satisfaction to our customers. Paradise Car Wash offers a full line of services from a basic car wash to a complete expert detailing of your vehicle. CALL US: (630) 553-9274