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Warning Signs of a Dishonest Mechanic: Know Before You Tow

A dishonest mechanic could cost you time and money, not to mention cause you a whole lot of frustration.

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. But 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. Find out if AAA endorses their work. If they can’t provide the assurance that their services are objectively rated well, steer clear.

 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 told you, “If I were you, I’d have this job done right away!” Or maybe they even 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 a dishonest mechanic. Simply decline and take your vehicle elsewhere for a second opinion.

 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 claimedHonest 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.

At Stauffer’s Towing, we respond to your call for emergency assistance at all times of day and night. We will help ensure your car doesn’t end up in the care of a dishonest mechanic.