Auto Repair – Consumer Tips

Most auto repair shops treat their customers honestly. Others, not so honestly. Here are a few consumer tips to make sure you’re being treated fairly. Be diligent and keep a look out for the following deceptive tactics:

  • Waiting until the vehicle is up on the lift and partially disassembled before getting your authorization to proceed with the repairs. By then, you are essentially forced to: (a) authorize overpriced repairs or risk getting your car back in a disassembled and unusable condition; or (b) pay a large and unexpected fee to have your vehicle reassembled, only to discover it no longer runs at all.
  • Showing you dirty oil with metal filings in it as evidence that you need a new transmission. Virtually all used transmissions have dirty oil with some amount of dirt and metal filings. This is normal and is not necessarily a sign that you need a whole new transmission. However, once the transmission is disassembled and reassembled with the same old seals and parts, it usually does not work the same as before.
  • Commencing repair work on your car without first getting your authorization to perform the repair work, and then charging you for repair work that you did not authorize.
  • Giving you a verbal estimate as to the cost of repairs, then charging a higher price.
  • Representing that repair services will be completed by a certain day in order to induce the sale, then failing to have the repair services completed by that day.
  • Telling you that repairs are needed when in fact they are not needed.
  • Failing to disclose reassembly or inspection charges before starting repair work.
  • Advertising that the shop wil provide “Free towing” and then requiring you to pay for your towing costs.
  • Telling you that the shop will provide a free rental car during repairs and then requiring you to pay for the rental charges.
  • Telling you that the shop will provide repair services pursuant to a warranty then charging you for repair work covered by the warranty.


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