I was chatting with a friend about her car repair recently. She was excited that her service center thinks they finally found the problem with her car. When she told me the details, I realized that her auto repair shop was bending the truth, significantly, and charging her for repairs that didn’t actually address her original complaint. Here’s what happened.
Her car repair story is a common one. She brought her car to a shop because it was stalling. Two tires, four struts, and a tune up later did nothing to resolve her problem. Total spent $1,200.
If you’re wondering how tires and struts could fix a stalling condition, you’re asking a great question. They can’t. She returned to the same shop. They tried again and replaced the fuel pump. Total spent $400. A fuel pump could fix a stalling condition, if there indeed was an issue with the pump “that caused the stall.” It didn’t fix it.
She returned again. This time the service center replaced the catalytic converter, stating it was damaged by the fuel pump (a significant stretch of the truth here). Total spent $900. All told, the total cost for her repairs were $2,500. Her car was still not fixed.
As of today, the actually cause of her stalling has yet to be determined. This type of stuff happens every day in the car repair industry. Please learn how to avoid this by reading our eBooks. Here’s a few more car repair tips for this particular scenario:
1) When a service center suggests additional repairs (that are clearly not related to your original concern), make absolutely sure the “original” issue has been properly identified and corrected prior to agreeing to additional work.
2) Make sure that what you’ll be paying for does indeed fix the problem. Ask your shop, “If you do this, will my problem go away?” If the answer is yes – great! Just ensure that you’ll get reimbursed if it does not. If the answer is unknown – let your wallet be your guide, seek another shop (if you’re feeling uncomfortable), ask for clarity, or ask to speak with the service manager.
3) It’s very rare that multiple issues are causing a single concern. When shops are putting in one part after another, they’re guessing. Push back on this, reminding them that the original concern is “no better” despite their efforts, and that you’ll be happy to pay for repairs that actually fix your car. This needs to be done with tact, but be firm.
Got a story – send it over!