Don’t Rush Into Auto Repairs
Auto repairs are a fact of life for anyone with a vehicle. While many auto mechanics are honest, there are some who are out to make a quick buck. These dishonest repairmen might falsely inform you that certain repairs are needed, or they may bill for services or repairs that were not requested nor completed.
Here are some simple steps you can use to outsmart auto repair scammers:
- Get at least three referrals from your family, friends or co-workers for a qualified mechanic. For major, high-cost repairs, consider shops that hold certifications and employ specialists.
- Ask questions and request technical definitions. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Avoid making on-the-spot decisions about repairs and instead request the technician contact you about any proposed repairs—and their estimated costs—before any work is done to your vehicle.
- Demand everything in writing. Make sure you get written estimates for parts and labor before authorizing repairs. Ensure you understand all shop policies in relation to prices, guarantees, timelines and methods of payment.
- Request a walk-through with your mechanic. Once your repair is finished, get an explanation of the completed work and guarantees in writing. If any major new parts are installed, be sure to check them before leaving the repair shop.
- Remember to research auto repair shops and mechanics before you select one, and check them out via an organization like the Better Business Bureau.
Don’t hesitate to call an AARP Foundation ElderWatch volunteer specialist if you need to report an auto repair scam.