Unfortunately, not all automotive repair mechanics can be trusted. Now that’s not to say that every mechanic is crooked in some way or another, but in the industry, auto repair shop scams do happen to innocent car owners like yourself. If your vehicle is in need of repair, or is at an age that comes with a lot of breakdowns and mechanical issues, you need to learn how to watch out for these kinds of unethical auto shop cons.
Continue reading to learn 3 common auto repair shop scams and how to avoid them.
How a Shady Mechanic Might Try to Take Advantage of You
It is easy to trust whatever a mechanic is telling you, after all, you don’t know anything about automotive repair. But with the proper knowledge, you can equip yourself with an eye for any unethical customer service. Most auto repair shop scams involve gouging money from customers, while others blatantly waste their time and make life inconvenient. So, how does a Shady mechanic try to take advantage of car owners?
Check Engine Light
An unethical mechanic might take advantage of an illuminated check engine light. Because a check engine light can be a warning for all sorts of different mechanical and electrical issues within a vehicle, a mechanic could decide to be dishonest with the customer by telling them the underlying issue is more serious than it is, and therefore more expensive.
Hourly Labor Rates
Mechanics typically charge by the hour for labor. If a mechanic wanted to be unethical, they could milk the clock so to say, taking much longer to repair your vehicle in order to charge you more. For instance, what could have been done in 30 minutes is billed for 3 hours. This scam can have a monumental impact on a person’s budget since the average auto shop hourly rates are usually between $75 and $150. If you have your car repaired at the dealership, the hourly labor rates are even higher.
This auto repair shop scam is one that mechanics tend to get away with more often because customers are too afraid to speak up or do not know enough about automotive repair and mechanics to argue the need for whatever work was performed on the vehicle. Liberty repairs is a loose term used to describe when a mechanic performs additional repairs or replacements on a vehicle without the customer’s permission. This way, they can charge for more labor and parts, even if the vehicle didn’t necessarily require it right away or at all.
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