To continue our voice of the technician series, here are some thoughts from an auto repair veteran describing another way to help ensure your car repair is on the up and up. (Edited for space and context)
It feels funny to say but scams are hard to avoid for the average person. First thing I would look for is a wall of fame. What I mean is that there should be a spot in your auto repair shop’s waiting area where you can’t see the paint on the wall because of all the training certification classes the staff has taken, including the service advisors.
As an auto service technician the more you learn the better you get so the less you need to rip people off to get paid (an intriguing insight here – learn more @ Car Repair). However, watch out for things like labor overlap. Also, fluid flushes are one of the maintenance services scammers like to sell when you don’t need them. (More information on basic auto maintenance @ Auto Maintenance).
The very best way to avoid being ripped-off is to keep an auto repair log. Keep a folder full of paid services or just a notebook with the date, mileage, and type of service performed. Don’t be shy about letting whomever you talk to see the records of repairs. The people who take advantage of car repair customers are preying on the ones who don’t know. Once they see you pay attention they’ll be less likely to try to rip you off.
We hope these tips help and provide a little more insight on how to protect yourself from auto repair scams. Special thanks to the auto repair service veterans who have taken the time to share their thoughts with us.
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Commentary by Ted