If you’re heading to the mechanic anytime soon, or whenever you next need to take a trip, then you may want to give this a read first. Finding a great mechanic that you can trust is similar to finding a hairdresser that you’re willing to let loose on your hair. When you find one, you’ll want to keep hold of them. Maintaining your car and keeping it in good condition is costly at the best of times and no one wants to have to spend money on unnecessary repairs or be overcharged for services that aren’t necessary.
So, to help those who aren’t that familiar with the world of mechanics, here’s some of the top auto repair scams to look out for and how to avoid them:
1. CHARGING FOR UNNECESSARY REPAIRS
Perhaps it’s time to take your car for an MOT and you find out that it’s suddenly got a whole list of things wrong with it that need fixing. You may seem a little baffled by this if your car appears to be running fine. If this was to occur it’s probably a good idea to ask whether these repairs are necessary for your car to be declared roadworthy or whether they are just extra repairs that will help to make your car run better.
2. CAR JARGON
Unless you’re already familiar with the mechanics of how a car works then it’s no doubt, you’ll probably be a little stunned when the mechanic starts talking technical terms. If you look like your mechanical knowledge is minimal then you may find that mechanics might bombard you with their car jargon and potentially end up convincing you that work needs to doing to your car as soon as possible, when in reality, it could be work that could be held off for a little while longer. If you find yourself in a sticky situation like this, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need something explaining and more context.
3. BUYING NEW TYRES
If your tyres are good condition and you get a flat, think twice before replacing the whole tyre. You may find that the puncture if just in the tread of the tyre, which can sometimes be repaired. You’ll find that a patch to fix your puncture is usually a lot cheaper than forking out the cost for a new tyre, so don’t let a convincing repair man try and persuade you that purchasing a new tyre if a simple patch will do the job for now.
4. ENGINE FLUSH
If you familiar with this car terminology, then you probably already know when you need to complete an engine flush. However, for those who aren’t, you’ll find that you only really need to perform an engine flush if you’ve been driving your car for several years. The purpose of an engine flush is to get rid of sludge that has built-up within your engine, but if your thorough at looking after your car, you’re probably unlikely to see a rather big build up of this. So, if a mechanic informs you that you need a flush due to dirty oil, then you might want to seek a second opinion.
5. CHARGES FOR NEW PARTS THAT ARE USED
If you’re having to fork out for repairs then there’s no doubt that you’ll want to ensure that the parts that are being replace are band new and not being passed off as new, when they have in fact been used. To avoid this, ask plenty of questions and check the part before its installed and check your old parts once they have been replaced. To be safe, it’s probably a good idea to check up on prices beforehand.
6. UNEXPECTED COSTLY BILL
It’s not unusual for a mechanic to provide you with a quote verbally to then hit you with a huge bill once the work has been completed. In order to avoid this sticky situation, it’s probably a good idea to ask for the quote in writing so that you can be sure that the mechanic has included the price for the parts, labour and VAT within the total cost. Also, make sure that the you have receipt for the work completed and that it’s guaranteed for at least 12 months.