Everyone has had a negative auto repair experience at some point. Whether it was a pushy salesman or a bad repair that ended up costing in the long run, sometimes auto mechanic shops don’t always deliver. Know what to look for (and what not to) ahead of time. Here are five common car repair scams to be wary of.
1. The “Lifetime” Guarantee
A lot of products and services use the handy little term “lifetime” before them. Before paying extra for an adjective, consider exactly what it means. For example, brake pads being advertised with a “lifetime” guarantee are misleading, because brake pads inevitably wear out with use. “Lifetime” sounds cool, but isn’t always relevant.
2. The Show-and-Tell
It’s been reported that sometimes auto mechanics will bring out a damaged or filthy car part to show a customer in order to convince them they need a replacement. Many times, this part might not even be from your car. If this happens to you, ensure that the part is actually from your vehicle before you take their word for it.
3. The Upsell
Restaurants aren’t the only ones who upsell. Car shops are notorious for trying to get you to buy more. Bundle deals, discounts on non-relevant services, and pricey memberships are all ways repair places try to upsell you. Before you take the “deal,” research what it is they’re actually trying to sell you.
4. Highway Bandits
This term came about from dishonest mechanics that would stage car problems on unsuspecting travelers who stop at service and gas stations. From purposefully dripping oil under cars to tire puncturing, these scammers try to get travelers to open their wallets by causing panic and damage. Just be wary of your surroundings if you stop for service in an unknown area.
5. Badly Written Estimates
The easiest way for any repair shop to get extra dollars out of you is to write their estimates in a way that hides charges. Always go over your estimate before authorizing any work. Be sure everything is written out in an itemized fashion, and ask questions if you don’t understand a charge.
Though scammers are out there, it is becoming relatively less common for people to be taken in by them. Do your research before picking a body shop or service station, and ask questions before you let them do any work. Your best defense is to be educated about the risks! From all of us here at Quick-Set Auto Glass, drive safely out there!