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Identifying a Dishonest Mechanic

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Anybody that owns a car knows that a trip to the mechanic is inevitable. Most people have anxiety over entrusting their auto repairs to a new mechanic. Considering there are some 800,000 auto mechanics in the US, finding a good mechanic can be a daunting task. A trustworthy auto mechanic is vital to the safety of every motorist. Your shop can keep your vehicle running smoothly, fix dangerous crash damage, save you money, and protect you and your passengers from life-threatening harm while on the road. Unfortunately, dishonest mechanics might exploit that inexperience, overcharging for auto repairs or suggesting unnecessary and expensive services, to name a few.

The best time to locate a reliable auto shop is before you need one, not when you’re sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Regardless of the timing of your search, look for these five signs of a dishonest mechanic so you know who to avoid:

 1. They Have No Credentials

If the auto shop you choose doesn’t have certifications in the field, they’re probably not dependable. Ask if the shop has the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. If they can’t provide the assurance that their services are objectively rated well, steer clear. Here at Koester, all of our mechanics are ASE Certified.

 2. They Won’t Give You a Written Quote

Dishonest mechanics don’t want to give you a written quote for any parts or labor because they want the chance to overcharge, or suddenly “find” a new problem that wasn’t on the original quote.

Don’t back down and accept their terms — assert yourself. Tell them that without a written quote, you won’t do business at their shop. Whether they comply is usually a good marker that will tell you all you need to know about the auto shop you’ve chosen.

 3. They Try to Scare You

Have you ever had a mechanic try to bully or scare you into giving the go-ahead for a major repair? Maybe they tried to shame you by telling you that you are putting your safety and your family’s safety at risk.

Don’t fall for it. This is a common intimidation tactic used by many dishonest mechanics.

 4. They Won’t Show You Old Parts

If they change a belt or brake pad and refuse to let you see the remains of the old component, it’s time to be on guard. Either they didn’t actually make the repair you requested and the old parts are still in the car, or the parts weren’t as worn as they originally claimed. Honest auto technicians have no issues showing you the old parts — in fact, they should offer.

 5. They Don’t Like to Answer Questions

If all of your questions are brushed off, or you’re told that the problem is too “complicated” for you to understand, consider taking your business elsewhere. You deserve to know exactly what’s wrong with your vehicle, and if you’re paying for the repair, you should know what the mechanic is trying to accomplish.

Admittedly, it can be difficult to recognize a honest mechanic, especially if you know little about cars. Start with reading the owner’s manual. To a honest mechanic, there’s nothing better than an informed customer!

At Koester Automotive and Collision Center, we don’t play games with our clients. If you have a car problem, our mechanics have the training, experience, and tooling to diagnose it, explain it, and repair it. If you have questions, we have answers!

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

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