How to Avoid Being Ripped Off By a Dishonest Mechanic

spotting-Dishonest-Mechanic

“Hey, does anyone know of a good mechanic?”  We frequently hear this from our acquaintances or see this post on social media.  Car repairs can be expensive, and, as consumers, we want to make the best choices possible when it comes to automotive services.  Word of mouth is one way to find a good mechanic, but perhaps we should ask the larger question, “how do we avoid being ripped off by a dishonest mechanic?”

Know Your Vehicle

Start by looking to your owner’s manual for regular maintenance recommendations.  Dishonest mechanics know that 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 chance of being ripped off.

Ask Questions, Questions, and More Questions

A great mechanic wants his customers to be well educated about their vehicle and the services he provides.  Ask him to describe the vehicle’s problem in detail, including what should be done to fix it, what parts will need to be replaced, and how the problem affects the vehicle’s overall performance.  If you do not understand something, make sure to ask follow up questions to clear up any inconsistencies or misunderstandings.  A great mechanic will be eager to explain repairs to you and answer your questions; after all, it’s an opportunity to show off his expertise!

Ask to Have the Old Parts Returned to You

If a mechanic tells you that you need to replace a part, ask to see the part that needs to be replaced. Some “mechanics” will tell you that you need a part replaced, and then bring you the part, but it is not actually the one from your car. If have any suspicions, you can even ask to go back in the garage so you that you can examine the vehicle yourself.   When a mechanic knows that you want the broken stuff back, the mechanic is more likely to actually do the work even he originally had plans for dishonesty.

Read Online Reviews About the Repair Shop

Along with traditional word of mouth recommendations, online reviews are an excellent way to gather information about your mechanic.  Start with a general Google search to read online reviews of the mechanic’s shop.  Searching the mechanic by shop name along with the city and state will yield some important information including internet posts by satisfied and unsatisfied customers.  Read all posts carefully.  A single unhappy customer does not necessarily mean the mechanic is dishonest, but a pattern of unhappy customers means you should steer clear of this particular shop.  Google+, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau’s online search tool are excellent ways to gather information about your potential mechanic.

Get a Detailed Auto Repair Estimate in Writing

A detailed written estimate is critical to have in hand prior to authorizing the performance of any service work.  Have the repair shop give you an estimate of exactly what they will be doing, what they are replacing, the tests they will be doing (if any), the parts they plan to replace and the amount of time they think it will take.  A written estimate amounts to a basic contract in most states and protects the consumer from unauthorized work and expenses.  With an agreed upon written estimate, the mechanic cannot perform any repairs that are not on the estimate without your approval.  Just as you would never sign a blank check and hand it over to your mechanic, NEVER sign a blank authorization form.

Check for Mechanic Certificationsase

Just as you would expect from any professional, the mechanics who work on your vehicles should have industry certifications.  Look for ASE certifications.  Possession of such certification means that your mechanic has passed rigorous testing to prove their expertise in auto repair.  A mechanic who has not passed these tests should not be allowed to work on your vehicle.

Honest Mechanics Kearns, Utah

Leave dishonest mechanics in the dust.  Looking for honest mechanics in Kearns, Utah?  Visit us online at Ace Auto. We provide free written estimates and a guarantee on all of our work.  Give us a call at 801-803-6016 to discuss your automotive repairs or schedule an appointment today.

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