Getting ripped off by an auto repair shop is every driver’s greatest fear. Not only are you throwing away money, but you can’t put a price on the indignity that goes with feeling you have been taken for a ride. So if you need auto repair in San Diego, what are some things you should look out for to avoid being scammed?
- The Creative Maintenance Schedule Scam – Most every automobile manufactured in the past 20 years comes with an owner’s manual with suggested maintenance schedules for brake repair, transmission tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotations and more. By following these guidelines, drivers can keep their cars running at optimal performance levels. Sometimes, there may be fluctuations for cars with greater mileage or those driven in extreme conditions. But if the repair shop suggests auto repair work that is drastically different from the manual’s schedule, it may be trying to pull a fast one on you. Familiarize yourself with the maintenance schedule ahead of time and keep a record of all auto repairs. This way, you will know if the work suggested is necessary.
- The Too-Soon Flush – For your cooling system, flushes are needed to keep your car from overheating. Yet often times, a full-system cooling system service is not needed just because it is a little dirty. Similar to the air filter scam, cooling fluids are made to get a little dirty. Just because the coolant fluid isn’t “perfect” doesn’t mean a flush is needed. This type of sell-up scam where you are convinced of getting a cooling system repair 4-6 months earlier than necessary isn’t as malicious as others, but it is rip-off nonetheless.
- Is It a Con-job or Incompetence? You take your car into a local San Diego auto repair shop because your brakes need work. The mechanic tells you no, actually you need major transmission repair. You don’t know much about car repairs but you believe you know the difference between shoddy brakes and a new transmission.
You bring the sedan to a competing auto repair shop in San Diego – a good move. This mechanic tells you brake repair is what you need and gives you a questioning face when you ask about the transmission. You feel proud of yourself and are glad you got a second opinion. Yet it is possible that first mechanic was incompetent and not necessarily trying to rip you off.
So familiarize yourself with these scams and preventive tips the next time you bring your vehicle in for auto repair in the San Diego area.