Although not as common as they once were, auto repair scams and scammers are still out there, preying on unsuspecting consumers.
In fact, everyone from AARP to Consumer Reports and Angie’s List warns about the scams that still plague what is otherwise a highly ethical industry. The challenge is knowing what to look for when you are not an expert in car repair topics – as most of us are not.
On the bright side, most questionable tactics involve relatively low-cost repairs. But, to avoid paying a penny more than you should for your vehicle repairs, the best strategy is to find a local auto mechanic shop that you can trust.
Know Your Auto Repair & Maintenance Schedule
You probably know how often you should have your car’s oil changed and tires rotated. But do you know how often you need to have your engine air filter or cabin air filter replaced?
If you don’t know, don’t be too quick to agree when someone tells you that you need one of those replaced.
Keep Track of Your Car Maintenance & Repair History
Maybe you already know that your cabin air filter should be replaced every 15,000 to 20,000 miles (or more often if you regularly drive in dusty conditions). But do you know when yours was last replaced?
Keep a log in your smartphone or, even better, in a little notebook in your vehicle’s glove box or console. Record the date, service and how many miles were on your odometer at the time. That way, when someone tries to sell you a new air filter after only 6,000 miles, you’ll know it may not be necessary.
Beware of Substandard Replacement Parts
One of the oldest car repair scams in existence – and possibly the hardest to detect – involves replacement parts. Counterfeit parts are a problem in the industry. Some less-than-honest mechanics may charge you for new manufacturer’s parts but install used parts instead.
In some cases, scam artists will tell you a new part is necessary, charge you for the part and the labor, but never actually install the parts.
You can ask for your old parts back or ask to see the defective parts the shop removed. Unfortunately, if the scammers are sophisticated enough, they keep a supply of used and damaged parts around for just this purpose.
The best way to ensure that you avoid auto repair scams is to establish a relationship with a locally owned and operated automotive repair and maintenance shop – like RUSH Diesel & Automotive in Midvale, Utah.
When you establish a long-term relationship with a mechanic who values your trust and continued business, you can rely on high-quality, ethical service, year after year. The RUSH team is committed to fair pricing and open, honest communication. We will never recommend a service you don’t need to short-change you by using sub-standard or counterfeit parts.
Call or stop by today to learn more about us, and rest easy knowing you’ll never again be the victim of an unscrupulous mechanic or auto repair scam.