How to Avoid Being Scammed By Service Stations, Repair Centers and Towing Services

While most whom service cars do a bang up job and give quality labor and use parts that are made specifically for your vehicle. There are a few out there however, that take advantage of people when their car is not running right and are not savvy to the intricacies of repairing their vehicles themselves.

Today, we’re going to look at a few of the scams that are run on unsuspecting motorists and once you know about them you can be alerted and ready if something seems fishy when you take your car in for servicing.

Service Stations

Scams on the road

Say, for example, you are driving to your relative’s house and she lives across the state line. While you’re traveling down a major interstate your car breaks down with a flat tire.

A service vehicle just happens to drive by and stops to offer aid. You may have just fallen into the clutches of one of the oldest swindles on the books. Take a look at your tire and see if you can find the source of the flat. You might be surprised to see that it’s a roofing nail take a quick gander up the highway behind you and see if you have any more visible.

Many unscrupulous towing companies strew the road with roofing nails and conveniently have their tow truck waiting nearby to offer assistance and gouge the car owner with an inflated repair bill.

Unless you can repair the flat, yourself you may have to go along with their help. However, if you’re carrying a cell phone take a picture of not only the tow truck but the driver as well. In addition, it would behoove you to become a member of the AAA club and verify that this particular tow truck driver accepts your AAA card.

Most tow truck services today are all registered and accept AAA. If yours, wants cash on the barrelhead, he’s moonlighting or trying to take you for a ride.

Repair Scams

This fraud is a little harder to detect and once again, you should only do business with reputable mechanics and service centers or ones that you’ve checked out with the Better Business Association.

Before having any work done on your vehicle, you should always ask for an estimate. Read the estimate carefully and make sure that there’s nothing in it that says remanufactured, aftermarket, and used parts.

Before you turn your car over the service center take out your cell phone, pop the hood, and take a couple pictures of the engine and that’s where the work is going to be done.

This ensures that after the work is done actual labor, in fact, has been done. Ask to see any of the parts that have been replaced and verify that in fact something has been replaced with a new part. The trick in this scam is to tell the customer that a part had to be replaced when actually, nothing was done and the used part was displayed as the one that was removed.

Also, examine the pricing and verify that you are not being billed for original parts when aftermarket, used, and remanufactured parts were put in their place.

Final words

Your smartphone today is your best weapon to protect you from being scammed. Using it before work on your car helps protect you when it comes time to have repair work done.

Today, police, the better business bureau, and advocate groups are cracking down on these predatory people. However, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So use common sense and snap a few pictures before you let anyone start working on your car. It could save you a bundle of cash in unneeded repair or bogus parts.

Source: Auto repair shops in Lincoln Park Michigan

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