How to protect yourself from fraud in a car service. 5 tips from experts
It is good when car owners have their master, to whom they turn from time to time. But, as a rule, such a specialist is not immediately available. It may take years – it seems easier to find the needle in a haystack than a qualified and decent car mechanic in countless workshops. And what about those who have not yet met such? How to minimize the risk of being cheated at an unfamiliar service station?
The first and probably the main rule – it is not necessary on the threshold of a car repairing service to tell its employees that you do not know anything about the car body repair. The more you talk about it, the more expensive repairs will cost you, no matter if you need rim painting or car scanning and diagnostics. After hearing such words, mechanics quickly inflate the cost of repairs, change quite suitable spare parts and create the appearance of serious work.
So what to do in order not to be deceived?
Before repair, it is advisable to diagnose malfunctions. It will help you find out exactly what needs to be repaired – and you will already be able to operate with this data when talking about repairs with mechanics. The user is unlikely to be able to independently determine any complex technical nuances. It is better to carry out diagnostics at authorized dealers, especially if the factory warranty is still valid, otherwise, there is a risk of losing this warranty partially or completely during the repair.
Replacement of a serviceable spare part
It is necessary to coordinate the list of planned works before the start of the repair. If malfunctions are detected during the repair process, they must always be agreed upon with the owner. If this does not happen, it is just a sign that something is wrong with the dealer or service center.
When giving the car for repair, it is necessary to discuss it with the service employees so that they do not carry out work on replacing additional parts without your consent.
Inflated cost of spare parts
A dishonest master can deceive you by installing an unoriginal spare part, the cost of which is much lower, and invoicing it at the original price. It is better to use original spare parts and track their replacement. In modern services, you can be present in the repair area, this somewhat disciplines the staff. You need to leave the car only in case of long-term repairs.
They can also cheat with scheduled maintenance of the car, especially when changing the oil. Unscrupulous workers change oil and other consumable parts without complying with the regulations of the automaker. The decision should always be up to the car owner. Before you go and replace the oil, you need to specify the filling volume, and how many liters are included. It is worth bringing your oil and putting your autograph on the jar, and after replacing it, ask to return the jar. In this case, you will not have to overpay for extra liters.
To increase the average check for repairs, the masters artificially increase the time of work. The clients are told that another breakdown has been found in the car, which prevents them from carrying out basic work, etc. You can check this with the help of video recorders, or, if you have free time, then follow the master during the repair.
An alternative solution is to use the increasingly popular “in-service support”. What does it mean? A person is assigned to the machine, who, as an independent person, will monitor all the work. This is a third party and, as a rule, these are people who have worked in appraisal and technical companies. This step will give some kind of guarantee, but these are additional costs that not everyone will go to.
Picking up a car from the service
Try to pick up the car from the repair yourself, and do not ask a friend or relative to do it. They have a vague idea of what repairs were carried out, and will not be able to assess whether all the work was done.
And remember: before you go somewhere, read the reviews of colleagues who have already visited a particular station. At the same time, keep in mind that there is an order of magnitude fewer negative reviews – they usually write only about a bad experience. But depending on how the employees of the service station get out of conflict situations, certain conclusions can be drawn.