How to Know You’re Not Being Scammed by Your Mechanic

HOW TO KNOW YOU'RE NOT BEING SCAMMED BY YOUR MECHANIC Unnecessary auto repair is consistently amount lost vary but among the highest most agree that the ranked causes of consumer complaint in the U.S. annually. Exact estimates of the 27% of Americans report being dissatisfied with repair services they have received from a mechanic; most were dissatisfied with costs, followed by those who said problems were improperly repaired or that repairs did not hold up. number is in the tens of billions with some estimates ranging as high as $40 billion. THE COST OF CARS Owning a car is expensive. Take a look at how much each type of car will cost you over the life of the vehicle. Sedan: $9,122 (60.8 cents per mile) SUV: $11,599 [77.3 cents per mile) Minivan: $9,795 (65.3 cents per mile) Americans spent an average of 4.97 cents per mile on maintenance in 2013, up 11% from 2012. That's $750 annually or $62.50 per month. The average lifespan of and light trucks reached a record 11.4 years in 2013, the 11th consecutive year of increase. MOST COMMON AUTO REPAIRS Engine Problems Tires and rims Timing belts Since the engine is the most important component of a car, problems and repairs are common. Almost 65,000 cases of engine repair being reported in the U.s. since 1996. On Average tires have a 2-4 year lifespan. This is heightened by poor road quality, which can lead to damaged tires and dented rims among other issues. Timing belts are not an especially expensive part, but the labor required to remove and replace them is extremely intensive and can be very expensive. Tire pressure monitoring systems Brakes Suspension A car's suspension is made up of a variety of smaller parts with one overarching purpose: protect the car and driver from the A relatively new addition to most cars, tire pressure monitoring systems can be very buggy. Many mechanics report people commonly thinking that they have a problem with their tire pressure, only to find that it is a malfunctioning sensor. These can cost significantly more to repair than a tire in need of air. Brakes also require regular changes and have a shorter lifespan of many components on a car. Brake problems are common because of the high stress placed upon them. Braking unnecessarily hard or repeatedly is common with city driving which wearing through the pads and rotors. bumps, sharp turns, and other dangers. Many of these parts can experience considerable wear and tear over time, and are a common source of problems requiring repair by a mechanic. MOST EXPENSIVE REPAIRS Air conditioning Blown motor Transmission replacement Head gasket compressor Transmissions are The head gasket is Engines can blow for avariety of delicate, and can be damaged to the point of needing replacement. The fluid does not The air compressor is the part which performs the task of cooling air that flows through the a small but significant part of engine operation, sealing the engine's cylinders and preventing reasons. Depending on the car vehicle, the type of engine, and the repair shop the costs to repair a blown engine can cost anywhere from $1000-$4000 to repair. car when the air conditioning is on by separating high and low pressure air, allowing the freon in the system to cool the air. Replacement of the need to be changed as often as other types of fluid changes. Replacement can cost between $1800 and $3500, repair can leaks of oil and coolant. Gaskets themselves are not very expensive compressor can cost between $200-$600, with additional costs if parts, but with labor, repairs can cost between $1,200 and $1,600. other services such as often cost $1000-$2000. freon recharging are required. COST OF AUTO REPAIR BY STATE NORTH CAROLINA is the state with the most expensive car repair bills, while NEBRASKA has the least expensive. A study compared the average cost to repair issues causing check engine lights and found that an average of $426.25 was paid in North Carolina, compared to the national average of $392.49, and $323.57 in Nebraska. COMMON SCAMS Covered Under Warranty with writing below it $$$$$ Using inferior parts, or not performing repairs at all Charging for repairs covered by warranty Verbal estimate followed by a higher final charge FREE High-pressure sales tactics to sell unnecessary repairs or services Going against manufacturer recommendations for oil changes, parts under warranty, etc. Charging for services advertised as free Oil Change $9.99!!! Consumers lured in by special deals on minor repairs like oil changes, only to have unnecessary repairs performed without permission Insurance fraud can be Some mechanics will keep a installing a us ed part and biLling dirty air filter on hand to show to a driver while advertising air filter replacement service the insurance company for a new one. Scams such as these pass on savings to car owners, but they are illegal insurance fraud, and can land both the and at an additional cost mechanic and car owner in significant legal trouble. TIPS FOR AVOIDING SCAMS Get recommendations of mechanics from friends and family whom you trust. Look for shops and mechanics endorsed by AAA, who adhere to the Motorist Assurance Program Standards of Service, and has ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification. Choose a shop that is clean and organized, with friendly and professional staff. Check out the shop with your local Better Business Bureau ahead of time to see if and what sort of complaints may have been made against them. Ask about diagnostic charges; reputable shops will typically not charge for diagnosis of problems. Free diagnosis for issues related to check engine lights can usually be obtained at local auto parts shops. Ask questions! Most scams by mechanics hinge on the consumer being uneducated about their cars. Reputable mechanics will happy explain the function of various parts and repairs. Be aware of whether or not your repairs will be guaranteed. Write down a clear description of the problem with the car (some recommend taping it to the steering wheel). This is to ensure that the technicians working on the car have a description of the problem from the car owner, rather than an owner or non-mechanic working the desk. The person receiving repairs should try to speak directly with the technician[s] working on their car. Get a written estimate for repairs and their costs. Make sure that the written estimate states that the shop will contact the owner before performing any repairs. Get a written invoice for completed repairs specifying exactly what repairs were done, what parts were replaced, with itemized costs for parts and labor, as well as the date of the repairs and the beginning and final odometer readings. Make sure that repair warranties are set down in writing. %24 XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX Never pay upfront; payment should only be given for agreed-upon and completed repairs. It never hurts to get a second or third opinion, especially if repairs are particularly expensive or complicated according to an initial estimate/diagnostic check. When you first talk with your mechanic, tell them that all replaced parts should be returned to you upon completion of the repairs. This can help avoid scams in which people are charged for parts that are not replaced. Sometimes shady mechanics will try to give you different used parts, so try to be mindful of what your car parts should look like. Know how to dispute credit card charges, in case it should become necessary to do so. The vast majority of mechanics are honest and hard-working individuals; if you have a good experience with a mechanic, be sure to recommend them to friends and family. This will help prevent future scams by ensuring that more reputable mechanics are receiving business. Sources: your-driving-costs-study ource=bl&ots=6Xat3V7wD4&sig=Rk13NASM7sds_WJLTfa9xbFlpLY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=krtOVKyLloamyQ Tv04Gg Bg&ved=OCFQQ6A Ew Bw#v=onepage&q=consumer%20federation%20of%20america%20auto%20repair%20billion&f=false Irepair-shop-scams

How to Know You’re Not Being Scammed by Your Mechanic

shared by t1handy on Dec 10
This piece shows you how you can protect yourself from getting scammed at the mechanic. Knowing how to keep from getting ripped off can really help save money in the long run.


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