Unless you happen to be outspoken and mechanically inclined, you might dread bringing your vehicle in to an auto repair shop because you’re afraid of being ripped off. Few things are worse than that pit-in-your-stomach feeling you get when the technician tells you the brake repair will cost three times the estimate because other “necessary” work needs to be done. Though you are skeptical, you agree to the auto repair and leave the shop with empty pockets and a feeling of contempt.
- The Air Filter Scam – If you come into a San Diego auto repair shop for an oil change and then the mechanic says, “By the way, you need to replace your air filter,” how do you know this is legit? The mechanic may be so bold as to show you a dirty one – not yours – to convince you. To avoid falling victim to this sell-up scam, you can check your own air filter before going to the car repair shop. If you can put gas in your car you can do this. Now no one can pull the air filter trick on you, and if they try, you’ll never return to that San Diego auto repair shop again.
- Getting What You Paid For – Some bars and restaurants will use this trick too when you pay for a $20-dollar glass of wine while they pour you a $3-dollar one. At a repair shop, you may pay for a new part to replace an old, worn-out one but the mechanic puts in a used part instead and pockets the difference. Though used parts can be legitimate replacement parts, they should be less expensive than new parts so make sure you get what you are paying for.
- The Holding Hostage Scam – Car repair shops can’t get away with this one very often these days thanks to online review sites and the transparency of the Internet. But years ago, a car repair shop could literally hold your car hostage saying it performed any number of auto repairs, legit or not, while you were gone. When you tell them you’re not paying because you didn’t authorize those auto repairs, they come back and say, “Well, we did them and we’re holding your vehicle until you pay us!”
Being mindful of these common scams can help prevent you from becoming a victim the next time you seek out quality auto repair in the San Diego area.