Learn how to protect yourself from auto repair fraud and what to you if you get ripped off with practical advice from a certified mechanic.
What I've found is that car repair fraud happens when (and this is just one example) the mechanic replaces a part that they think is causing the problem but then find that that part did not fix the problem. This shop is then left with two choices: Inform the customer and tell them that they don't have to pay for that part or add it onto the bill and make something up about that part needing to be changed too.
This type of fraudulent practice is very common and very tough for the customer to prove. Let's dig deeper into this and look at a few other common auto repair scams.
The following is a short video by an auto repair fraud attorney explaining the basics of avoiding car repair fraud:
The easiest people to rip off are the ones who know nothing about their cars or what is being done to it. When you lack knowledge on a subject matter, you're more likely to believe whatever you're told and therefore stand a higher stand of being ripped off.
If you still have any unresolved vehicle problems or questions, you can ask an auto mechanic online. For expert answers specific to your vehicle's make and model, I recommend JustAnswer Car. They have a large pool of certified mechanics to answer your questions for a small fee and you can also browse their answers to other users for free.
Another common auto repair fraud is to telling people that a certain pair need to be replaced when it is working fine.
happens because many people don't ask to see the defective part. By my
estimates, you can avoid being scammed by this method 80% of the time.
Some "mechanics" will tell you that you need a part replaced, then bring you the part, but it is not actually the one from your car. This would be hard to catch them doing on many jobs, but one thing you can do is ask them to take you back to see your car and exactly where this part fits. Just the fact that you are paying attention and asking such questions will make it much harder for them to take advantage for you.
The next thing I could do is what "quick lube" type places are famous for. It is very easy to tell someone that they need a part changed or even one of their fluids changed and then charge you for this... but never actually replace the part or fluid.
The easiest way to avoid this type of car repair fraud is to either watch them the whole time or you can mark the part that they will be changing before hand. This works best for parts like oil filters and such.
If you cannot or don't want to do this then simply ask them to show you what they replaced after they are done with your car. If it is possible to watch them while they work, that is the best way to avoid car repair scams of this nature.
Auto repair frauds involving brakes are more rampant since they need to be changed ever so often.
Repairing brakes are basic jobs that people without technical experience or training can learn and attempt. However, this can lead to a situation they encounter an unexpected problem halfway during a repair and they have no idea how to proceed when something goes wrong.
There are a lot of honest brake repair shops out there but there are some that will slip in unneeded addon replacements to make an extra buck.
There are also a few brake repair shops that engage in dirty dealings and downright auto repair scams. They operate on false advice and scare tactics to overcharge and squeeze as much from their customers as possible.
This car repair scam is everywhere. For some reason people are led to believe that they will get more mpg if they buy and use this strange looking gizmo.
Not only is this a total scam, it is made worse by the affiliates (people selling the product for commissions) who swear by it and share their raving opinions all over the Internet. Some of these affiliates think this product actually works (due to its placebo effect), but many of them are just there to make a quick buck off of trusting readers.
In short, don't waste your money on this or any other seemingly magical mpg booster.
If you have been ripped off by a repair shop, one of the best things you can do is to tell your friends and family so they know to stay away from the place that ripped you off. This is the point of sharing your story with my readers. The more people who know about fraudulent auto repair facilities the more people can avoid getting ripped off by them.
Please share your auto repair fraud stories with as much detail as possible. If you can snap a picture of the shop, that would be helpful as well. Then post your story to our Facebook page.