Top 10 Ways You're Overcharged for Service Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited July 2015 in General
imageTop 10 Ways You're Overcharged for Service

Tricks that service advisors and mechanics use to upsell unneeded work and overcharge for repairs at car dealerships.

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  • crown5crown5 Member Posts: 24
    Item # 6 Having brake rotors unecessarily turned.
    Is very realistic; friend of mine needed brakes on hios 06 Toyota and was told even new rotors needed to be turned down!
    And get this; he was a licenced mechanic during his working life.
  • ariellwariellw Member Posts: 1
    There are a few that I would avoid.

    The rotors don't need to be turned unless they're warped from severe heat, or scarred from the pads being installed incorrectly or wearing out (metal on metal, it happened to me). You'll usually know before a mechanic if something liket this is wrong.

    Never heard of spraying oil on shocks, but I would be really unhappy if someone did that trying to sell me something.

    A check engine light though is one of those things where multiple things could be wrong with just one code. Things also usually go out in pairs or one and then shortly after the first, the second; like as O2 sensors.

    Parts at dealerships are getting less expensive because of their reputation for being too expensive and losing business to auto parts stores. Dealers however will usually carry and stock only genuine parts from the manufacturer. A manager at a store that I used to shop at (he retired, so I stopped shopping there) said some of the stuff the store carried or started to carry he wouldn't put on his own car, it was that cheap. It's profit driven, auto parts stores will carry what they can sell, even if a part is better than another one, they won't stock if it doesn't sell. Don't go for the cheap part because it's less expensive as a tow driver told me. "You might be towed once every 2 years with a good part, some things are unavoidable, but you might be towed 3 times a year with the cheaper part".

    Transmission fluid should be changed approximately every 25,000 miles or once a year. Of course it depends on how you drive, and what kind of vehicle you drive. If the fluid is brown, it needs to be changed (brown=burnt), if it's gettting brown but still somewhat red then you have some time.

    Unless your are is not moving because of a problem, saying no doesn't hurt anything. Also, your car is a big investment, don't be blind to what it might be trying to tell you such as noises or smells. An unneccessary repair can cost loads of money, but finding out when things on YOUR car should be changed will save you a large sum. Something I learned is if someone says that your car's whatever is squeaking horribly bad but you've heard nothing (and if it's that bad you'll hear something), ask for your keys and for the mechanics not to touch anything else and go for another opinion. There are quite few shady shops that lose business to legitimate ones, I now go to a legitimate one after wasting way too much money at a shady one.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I understand that auto parts stores in California won't do this but in the rest of the US many parts stores will pull the codes for free. The store obviously wants you to buy a sensor or whatever there, and the clerk may not be too car savvy, but the price is right. Once you get the code, you can go to the Edmunds Forums or Edmunds Answers and someone can tell you what the code means and tell you what part may have failed that triggered the check engine light.
  • chloeautochloeauto Member Posts: 1
    Should I trust a mobile mechanic? I understand the convenience overrides any danger, but are mobile mechanics equipped to deal with basic mechanic issues?
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