Since the beginning of an age of automobiles, there were always some cunning car workshop owners who charged their clients more for services that are not needed or services that they don’t even perform. Since the average motorist hasn’t got an advanced mechanical knowledge, he is always at mercy of a car workshop owner who can try to sell him services or parts he doesn’t really need. We are here to help you understand the trick that car workshops use and protect you next time you take your car for service or regular maintenance.
1. Be sure that you get OEM or original parts
Most of the workshops will install a part that is second hand or not by the original manufacturer and will charge you as if they put the original part. This is a common practice everywhere. But you can fight that. One way is to buy parts yourself and have the mechanic install them, or to ask the mechanics to show you the parts they are installing and see the bill of sale. Sometimes, even, they will report that the part is ready for changing and they will charge you as they changed it but they will leave the old part in the car. That is why, after the service, you will ask your mechanic to show you all replaced parts. This way you will see for yourself if they were honest or not.
2. Do not fall for oil tricks
Oil is essential for the engine to work properly. but because of that, there are lots of oil tricks that workshops use. One of the most common is frequent oil changes and use of synthetic instead of mineral oil. Every car has its specific oil change intervals, commonly around 10.000 kilometers. However, if your mechanic insists it should be more often, you should be suspicious. Also, if he suggests that you should use synthetic oil which is more expensive and not mineral which is recommended for your car, you definitely should find another workshop.
3. Ask mechanic to explain in simple terms
One of the gimmicks that workshop use is puzzling you with unfamiliar terms. Do not be embarrassed to ask them to explain to you exactly what they will do to your car so you can understand and see if it makes any sense. Sometimes, they use the terms like “coolant flush“ and “power steering flush“ which is a strong suggestion that they are going to trick you. Coolant flush is a regular car maintenance job but it is done once in 100.000 or so kilometers, not every 6 months. Steering flush doesn’t exist so if you hear something like that, run away.
4. Tire build date
If you are going to a tire shop to change tires, always ask the mechanics to show you the exact date when the tires were made. It is on the side of the tire, just near the description of the size of the tire. Tire shops often sell tires a couple of years old when they notice an inexperienced customer. They look the same as the new ones, but the compound is not as good since rubber starts to deteriorate after a while. So, you want a tire that is a couple of months old, and not a couple of years, and it could be an enormous difference in terms of road holding and braking, thus your safety too.