If an inexperienced customer receives after the winter service a very long list of defective parts or if they want to convince you that a simple noise is due to a total failure of the suspension, then such auto repair shops may be attempting to scam you out of your money.
These repairs are not only pointless, but they also come with a hefty price tag.
How they will carry out their plans
Shady auto repair shops use various tricks to scam their customers out of money, ranging from creating a specific parts list to destroying components on purpose.
Even when the oil is still in “excellent condition,” short-lived spare parts like a spark or glow plugs, air or oil filters, or even the oil itself, are routinely singled out for replacement. So that they can make a profit on something.
If the symptoms are challenging to comprehend, if the repair shop determines that the customer has only a basic understanding of the subject matter, they will inform the customer about more complex replacement components such as brakes, shock absorbers, exhaust, clutches, and suspensions.
If, on the other hand, the problem is caused by the workshop itself—for instance, by adding water to the reservoir or black dye to the oil to make it appear as though there is waste—then this is unequivocally an instance of outright fraud.
However, the seller is not always trying to deceive the buyer; there are times when he genuinely wants to assist the buyer and adds worn brakes directly to the repair list rather than merely indicating that they are in a deteriorated state.
Additionally, competitive pressure plays a part, especially in major vehicle repair chain stores where employees are expected to hit a sales target that isn’t always feasible.
How to proceed
Before the redesign, the following appeared:
In the majority of situations. You can get a general idea of the damage by researching the symptoms on the Internet.
In this manner, one is not totally unprepared and discovers more quickly if repairs are required that are unreasonably expensive.
Have a look at the artisan’s studio! If it is unclean, the tools are disorganized, or the staff behaves in an impolite manner, you should leave and look for another option.
Talk things over with your loved ones. It is true that word of mouth is far more effective than any advertisement.
During the process of evaluating and negotiating the prices:
To the best of your ability, stay for the review, and make sure to ask the worker to break down each step in detail.
Because of this, manipulation and notices are avoided in the event that the employee has difficulty explaining himself.
Do not accept quotes without further consideration. It is crucial to carefully review the list. Does it match the symptoms, is there work that doesn’t need to be done (like the oil or filter changes weren’t ordered), or is the estimated amount of time needed for the job too high?
In cases where you are unsure, it is best to get a second opinion and try again later.
During the course of the maintenance:
Although estimates are not legally binding, they should be adhered to as closely as possible. The customer is obligated to be informed by the workshop in the event that the work takes longer than anticipated or if the necessary spare parts are not available. Under no circumstances should you pay bills that are significantly higher than the price that was agreed upon.
It is not necessarily the fault of the workshop every time
Car repair shops are not always to blame for expensive repairs, despite the fact that this notion can sound implausible at times.
Example: The headlight’s height can be adjusted electrically on the Mazda 6, providing added customization. When this occurs, the repair shop must not only replace the motor and the mechanical system, but also the headlight as a whole.
Cost: More than five hundred dollars. Something of a similar nature occurs with automobiles produced by high-end manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes. Even a minor defect can necessitate an expensive repair in this case.
Because they are contractually obligated to the manufacturers, authorized auto repair shops are the only ones permitted to offer authentic replacement components for sale.
Because of something called “design protection,” these are typically more expensive than those of “original quality” despite having identical specifications and levels of performance.
This is due to the fact that “design protection” exists. However, there is also a means of evasion. One can make significant cost reductions by assembling their own replacement components in a workshop after purchasing those components from a free distributor.
In the event that they refuse to fix it or assert that the warranty has run out, you can be sure that your worries are unfounded.
Naturally, the warranty claim will continue to be valid even if it is repaired using parts of your choosing.
Which replacement components are in question here?
Frequently: parts that get worn out easily and need to be replaced frequently:
- Spark plugs, glow plugs, wiper blades, air filters, oil filters, coolant, spark plugs, glow plugs, batteries, and lights (bulbs). Occasionally: wear parts that are long-lasting and have a mileage of 125,000 miles.
- Brake discs, brake linings, brake caliper, clutch, exhaust system, wheel bearings, shock absorbers, timing belt, and timing chain. Rarely: long-life, long-wearing parts.
- Brake servo, gasket for the cylinder head, CV joint, ignition coil, turbocharger, shock absorber, steering mechanism, chassis spring, and shock absorber cups.
What to do if you suspect that someone has cheated on you
Whoever feels that they have been taken advantage of or is in disagreement with the workshop can voice their opinions.
You should address your dispute with the arbitration bodies provided by the Arbitraje de Consumo. This organization is in charge of mediating disputes and settling disagreements that arise in consumer-related matters between purchasers or users and sellers or providers of services.
In addition, there is not even a single charge levied against the applicant, not even for the costs of expertise.
Only disadvantage: The organization in question needs to be committed to the consumer arbitration system; if it is not, it is best to begin by submitting a claim to the appropriate administration so that they can make an attempt at mediation.
Nevertheless, the decision of the arbitration body is final and must be honored by the auto repair shops that were involved.
In the event that you find yourself in a situation in which you need to defend the undesirable members of the population within the industry.
When this occurs, it is critical to dispute the invoice as soon as possible and request a correction within a predetermined amount of time.
It is best to decline payment and sign the estimates “with reservation” in any case. Refusing to pay is also a good idea.
In most cases, one does not stand a poor chance in court. Most of the time, judges will rule in favor of the customer, and this is especially true when the final invoice is higher than the estimate by a margin of more than 20%.
However, without the protection of a legal protection insurance policy, such procedures are typically very time-consuming and expensive.
Embezzlement in auto mechanic shops- To give you a quick rundown on this subject:
This is the method that con artists use:
- In order to generate more revenue, it is common practice to write down flaws that do not exist. The total cost of the job is driven up when unnecessary repairs are performed.
- First and foremost, short-lived wearing parts are frequently used as an excuse when there is nothing else wrong with the product. Any individual who demonstrates signs of weakness and admits that they do not understand automobiles runs the risk of being forced to pay for extensive repairs.
- There is also the possibility that the workshop willfully alters or destroys components of the vehicle, which can result in additional costs in the long run.
The spare parts most likely to sustain damage are as follows:
1. Any component that needs to be replaced on a regular basis, such as filters, spark plugs, and service fluids.
2. Anything that experiences a significant amount of wear and tear, such as the brakes, tires, clutch, and exhaust system.
How to avoid being taken advantage of by con artists:
- There is a good chance that friends and family members will be able to recommend auto repair shops that they have had positive experiences with. If they are also neat and orderly, in addition to having friendly staff members, then it is unlikely that they are black sheep.
- Make sure you give yourself enough time for the appointment, do some preliminary research on the symptoms on the internet, stay for Internet-up, and ask questions. Ask for alternate replacement parts and haggle for a lower price rather than accepting the costs that are provided to you right away. Never buy the whole package at once!
- In the event that the repair is complicated or something goes wrong while it is being done, call the workshop.
The following is a guide on how to defend yourself:
- It is possible to file a claim with the Consumer Arbitration Service, whose arbitration bodies will mediate between the parties in the dispute at no cost to the applicant and will issue awards that are legally binding.
- You should contact a lawyer as soon as you can if that is something you are interested in doing. Nonetheless, it is advised that the workshop be given the chance to make changes to the invoices. The proceedings in a court of law can be both time-consuming and costly.
As a possible alternate:buy and replace components yourself
The so-called “self-help” movement Businesses such as rental shops, hobby shops, and mechanical car repair shops are examples of establishments that support the replacement of spare parts by providing tools and facilities.
There are frequently also knowledgeable mechanics to be found there to answer any questions or offer assistance at any given time.
Whoever uses them ought to be aware that even if the work being done is supervised, there is no guarantee for the work will be completed.
Nevertheless, it is an alternative to the traditional method of repair in a workshop because the individual is responsible for acquiring the spare part and only the truly necessary work is carried out.