It is common to hear of people getting ripped off by mechanics.

You may want to get your headlights fixed but you are told your braking system needs repair.

Many people have fallen victim to this scam.

Although most mechanics are honest, there are some dishonest ones around and some face pressure from their employers. This is the situation in most parts of the world today.

You need to be smart to protect yourself and identify any scam that may be going on. It may require some work but it is worth it in the end. Some tips you can use include:

  1. Use a Diagnostic Tool

When going to the mechanic, you probably know what problem you want fixed. It would be wise to use a diagnostic tool to determine if your car has other problems. Do this before going to the mechanic. A good diagnostic tool to use is the OBD2 Scanner. Plug it in the OBD 2 port of your car for the diagnosis to be done.

Do not worry if you cannot understand the codes displayed. The manual that came with the scanner will help you decode the message and understand what problems need to be fixed. Once you have that information, it will be easy to determine whether you mechanic is telling the truth.

  1. Learn the Basics

Dishonest mechanics are more likely to take advantage of those who know little to nothing about their cars. Take time to learn more about your car and how it works. The owner’s manual has this information and you can do more research if need be.

Apart from reading, you can watch videos that show you how your car works. Take time to familiarize yourself with its components and where they are fitted. It will take time but it will save you a lot of money. You may even learn how to fix minor problems by yourself.

  1. Rely on Referrals

It may take time to learn the basics about your car. Before that time, ask friends, family or people near you about reliable and honest mechanics. Those who drive a similar model as yours would be the best to ask. It is much safer to use mechanics with a good reputation than going to random mechanics.

You can also search for mechanics near you on the internet. Before settling on one, check the reviews from clients. Double check the reputation since some reviews are written by fake clients.

  1. Check the Price of your Auto Parts

In some cases, mechanics are honest about the problems that need to be fixed but may exaggerate the price of auto parts. To be on the safe side, check the price of the parts required before paying for them.

Compare prices from different shops to know the average price of the parts. You can also check the prices online. If your mechanic overcharges you, call the dealer to confirm the prices of the parts. Do not accept to be pushed around to buy at a certain price if you do not agree with it.

  1. Ask for the Old Parts

Some mechanics advise you to replace a part then take the old part and sell it or reuse it. Some may never even replace the part but still charge you for a ‘new’ part. Before leaving the shop, inform the mechanic that you will need the old parts back after the service.

  1. Ask for an Upfront Estimate

Before leaving your car for service, ask for an upfront estimate. The evaluation of the car should be done while you are still in the shop. After you have been given the estimate, insist that the mechanic should call you in case the bill is higher than estimated. If you are called because your bill is higher, research about price of parts and the service before consenting.

  1. Ask Questions

If you have any questions about what the mechanic says, do not hesitate to ask. You can ask about the problem your car has and how it is solved. Some things are very easy to solve and you can do it by yourself.

Conclusion

Since this scam is pulled almost all the time, make sure you are always alert. Also, make sure you fully understand facts about your car. Remember, it will be much harder to take advantage of you if you have all the necessary information.

ABOUT Erica Silva
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.  Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1