Unless you’re a car mechanic yourself, dealing with a repair shop may require a leap of faith. But if you pay attention to what your mechanic says (and does), you’ll find clues that could tell you whether you’re being bamboozled. Here are some things mechanics may say when they’re planning to take you for a ride—and we don’t mean in your car.
1. “Get That Engine Flushed Right Away or It’s Toast.”
Beware if your mechanic’s idea of “scheduled maintenance” bears little resemblance to the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Some shops “build the ticket” (translation: pad the bill) by recommending extra and often unnecessary procedures, such as engine and transmission flushes, or by scheduling some tasks prematurely. Some hawk high-priced “generic” maintenance schedules that may omit procedures your car needs.
Be especially concerned if the shop makes every recommendation sound like an emergency, says Larry Hecker, president of the Motorist Assurance Program (www.motorist.org), a nonprofit group that accredits repair shops.
Get the rest at Consumer Reports