Auto mechanic scams are one of the most common types of consumer rip-offs. For most of us, cars are a vital part of our lives but we may not have the knowledge or skill to keep them maintained and fix problems. When our cars need a repair, we have to trust our mechanic to diagnose the problem and give it to us straight.
Unfortunately, this makes it easy for an auto mechanic to order repairs that aren’t really necessary, over-charge for a quick fix, or find other ways to rip us off right under our noses.
The good news is you can protect yourself with a little information. Here’s 4 car repair scams that you can definitely avoid, every single time.
Scam #1: The Engine Flush
Ever have a mechanic suggest that you should get an engine flush? They’re probably full-on lying to your face. Mechanics (the unethical ones, at least) love to tell unsuspecting customers that their engines are dirty, which can only be remedied by an engine flush.
Turns out you don’t really need this until you’ve been driving your car for a significant number of years. What’s that? You were just recommended an engine flush for your 2010 Sentra? Yeah, you can go ahead and skip that one.
Scam #2: Fuel Injector Cleaning
Most cars don’t need to have their fuel injectors cleaned until they pass the 100,000-mile mark.
If you do think you might have a fuel injector problem, but haven’t driven your car very long, you can always get a fuel injector cleaning solution and add it to your gas tank the next time you top yourself off.
Scam #3: Fuel-Saving Gadgets
Wait. A fuel-saving gadget? That works? How is there not one in every car that’s ever been made, ever? It’s because they don’t actually work, at all. If they did, everybody would be using them.
If your auto mechanic recommends that you pay extra money for a device that somehow grants you a ton of extra fuel economy, back away.
To lower your monthly fuel costs without getting ripped off, there are a few practical things you can do, like learning how to coast, accelerating and braking more gently, and getting rid of all that junk in your trunk.
Scam #4: The Auto-Transmission Flush
This is another repair service that your car most likely won’t need until you’ve passed that 60,000 mile mark.
Problem is, most drivers don’t really realize this, so shady, scam-prone mechanics are able to talk people into the procedure, bilking them out of a good chunk of money in the process.
Your car, as it turns out, has a system in place that makes it unnecessary for you to do an auto-transmission flush before you hit the 60k mark.
Share Your Tips To Avoid Automotive Scams
Have you ever come across a common enough automotive scam? Unfortunately, not everybody knows enough about cars to know when they’re being taken for a ride (pun intended).
Share your stories in the comments, so we can know exactly what to look out for!