Although most auto mechanics are honest, there are always a few bad apples looking to squeeze a few extra dollars out of you. This is why it is important not to drop your car off at just any old place down the road. The better business bureau receives about 14,000 complaints every year about auto repair service, billing, and refund issues. Here are some steps you can take to avoid getting scammed by your mechanic.

Investigate the Shop

Investigate the Shop

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Always read reviews of the auto body shop from the Better Business Bureau website before going in. You can also ask any friends or neighbors if they have experience with the shop. If you do decide to make a visit, do a quick look around the garage to make sure it is clean and well-kept. A good mechanic always keeps his or her garage in good condition. Finally, talk with the staff to see if they are friendly and professional. If they are unwilling to answer your questions, that could be a red flag.

Get an Estimate

Get an Estimate

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Get an estimate before you leave the shop and make sure the mechanics know to get your authorization before making any more repairs. Also, be sure that you understand the shop’s policies on parts and labor. When you come back to pick up your car, ask for an itemized list of all the repairs they made. This will help make sure there are no unnecessary charges.

Ask Questions

Ask Questions

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Have someone explain to you what each part does and why it was necessary to install it. If the mechanic cannot explain it to you clearly, this could be a red flag. Do not authorize any repairs if you think they are unnecessary. You can always go to another mechanic for a second opinion.

Go For a Drive

Go For A Drive

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If you are not sure what the problem is, ask the mechanic to go for a short drive with you. That way you can show them exactly what is bothering you and avoid unnecessary diagnostic tests. If the mechanic is “too busy” or unwilling to go for a ride, your car is probably not a priority to them.

Keep Up with Regular Maintenance

Keep Up with Regular Maintenance

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The best way to avoid getting scammed is to avoid the need for repairs altogether. Of course all cars will have issues from time to time; but keeping your car in good shape will bring this to a minimum. Be sure to keep up with fluid changes and replace your air filter when necessary. You should also make sure your tires always have the proper air pressure. This will help keep things running smoothly and prevent future breakdowns.

Most of us have little to no knowledge of automobiles. This leaves us at the mercy of our mechanics to tell us what is right and what is wrong. However, you don’t need to be an expert on mechanics to spot a fraud. Follow these steps to avoid being taken advantage of.