How Not to Get Screwed Over by Your Mechanic

Car repairs can be expensive, as anyone who owns a car knows. But with such high bills at stake, we are scared of the prospect of paying for repairs we don't need, or in other words, getting ripped off by mechanics because we don't know as much about our vehicles as they do. The good news is that most mechanics are not out to cheat you. They are out to build a reputation and a loyal customer base. But the few that take the opportunity to wring extra money out of a car owner are enough to scare all of us. If you aren't inclined to learn car repair yourself, you should at least know what red flags to look for at a car repair shop.

Scare tactics can be a big, billowing red flag — especially if they’re accompanied by a long list of repairs or an expensive price tag. If the mechanic says you shouldn’t even drive the car home, or you’re fortunate it’s still running, or you’re lucky to be alive, or whatever, you might be reasonably suspicious, especially if you’re the type who services your ride fairly regularly.

The caveat in these instances, though, is for people who don’t regularly service their car. When that car finally develops a problem, or they need to take it in for something, there’s — duh — a greater chance that something major might actually be seriously wrong. “If you haven’t done anything to your car in two years, it probably is dangerous to drive!” Ibbotson points out. “I know people who don’t do anything to their car, and then 18 things are broken, and they go, ‘Why does it cost so much money to fix?’”

Mel magazine has more tips on how to deal with car repairs so you don't end up paying for repairs you don't really need. -via Digg

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I hate that, too. A few weeks ago, my friend went to Walmart to get an oil change. The 'mechanic' there refused, saying he had to inspect her car first. She asked how much his inspection will cost. He said it depends on what problems he finds. She called me, not knowing what to do, and I told her to leave that Walmart now.
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I hate how some of them take advantage of women and try to upsell on uncessary repairs, etc. I take my car to a national oil change franchise. The keep trying to upsell me a battery for $159.00. They say it has 1/4 life left in it according to their battery tester print out. I've kept the receipts of the printouts and even tho some have started to fade they all say 1/4 life. It hasn't changed. Told them I could go to the auto parts store and get one a lot more affordable. Another time the key was stuck in the ignition in my car. The local dealership that sells the brand of my car and a locksmith quoted me prices of $250 to $400 to replace or rekey the ignition. I decided to search for YouTube videos for the problem and found out there is a ring under the gearshift knob that slightly slides up and down when you go from park to reverse or drive. When you shift into drive, that ring keeps you from taking your key out of the ignition. I watched the video on what to do, slid the ring into proper position, put a strip of duct tape on the gear shaft to keep the ring from sliding too far. And voila! Problem solved.
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