How to Avoid Falling Into an Auto Repair Scam
When your car breaks down, you would certainly want to get it fixed and back on the road immediately. Most of us rely greatly on our car that being without it just for a single day already causes a big inconvenience. When you do experience an unexpected breakdown, you completely depend on your mechanic to fix your car and charge you fairly for the labour and parts. Sadly, some of these car servicing centres in Singapore are not that honest, which is why you need to keep your wits about you to avoid getting taken advantage of. Here, we listed down some of ways on how you could possibly avoid any potential repair rip-offs.
1. Identify the Problem
If you noticed a problem with your car, gather as much information as possible before heading to a car servicing centre. Check at what speed does the noise start, or if it makes any kind of noise when you are in motion, full stop or both. Knowing these details will make figuring out your problem a lot easier. If you can, write down the symptoms you noticed so you can check if the service centre managed to fix the problem.
2. Get Multiple Quotes
You can never be too careful when it comes to dealing with automotive repair. So be sure to get quotes from the car dealership and from different car servicing centres in your area. Once you gathered enough repair estimates, compare them closely to see which service centre offers the best car servicing in Singapore with best repair services at a reasonable cost.
3. Ask for Referrals From People You Trust
If you haven’t hired a regular mechanic yet, simply ask your family, friends or colleagues who they recommend and whether or not they are satisfied with the services they received. The best car repair centres rely on word-of-mouth to get new clients. They are fully aware that treating their customers fairly is the best business strategy, and they also work hard to provide quality car repairs for everyone they are working with.
4. Visit an Accredited Dealer
Most car owners in Singapore prefer going to smaller auto repair shops, hoping that it will save them more money compared to visiting an authorized dealer. When in fact, smaller repair shops pose greater chances of getting ripped off. Unlike small car repair shops, an accredited dealership is monitored by the brand they are with to ensure that every customer is treated fairly and accordingly. This extra detail is definitely worth spending on that extra car repair cost.
5. Research About the Repair Shop
We now live in a world where online reviews are abundant, so be sure to perform some research on the car servicing centre you are planning to visit. Check on Yelp.com for reviews, or simply visit their Facebook page to read the feedback of their previous clients. These reviews will help you gauge the kind of deal and experience you will get in case you decide to get their car maintenance and repair services.
6. Ask for an Upfront Repair Estimate
Don’t just leave your vehicle in the car workshop and give your mechanic the complete freedom to whatever he wants. Instead, ask him to evaluate your car first and then provide an estimate for the repair bill. It would also be a good idea to have the mechanic call you and ask your permission in case the actual cost goes over the estimate he provided. This will keep you from getting ripped off, and the heads-up will give you enough time to make an informed and intelligent decision with regards your car maintenance and repair.
7. Check Their Warranty Coverage
Regardless if you have an extended or a factory warranty on your vehicle, it’s crucial that you know the list of repairs covered by your warranty. Some car servicing in Singapore will try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of what is covered to charge you more. So be sure to ask your car company or your auto repair shop for a detailed outline of their warranty coverage so you will know which services are for free and which ones you should be paying for.
8. Verify the Warranty Costs
Most warranties require car owners to provide a deductible. Some warranties also only cover a certain amount of the repair cost based on the average cost of the parts, labour rates, and the time it will take to repair the vehicle. This is where your potential car repair shop could potentially scam you – they could charge you and your warranty company with higher parts cost and longer labour time. So if you feel like there is a huge difference between what your warranty has quoted and what you are being quoted, then it’s a warning sign that you are getting conned.
9. Ask for Your Old Car Parts
Some auto mechanics in Singapore scam their customers by charging them for part replacements that they did not really perform. The best way to expose this swindling strategy, as well as to avoid this kind of rip-off, is to get your old car parts once the repair is done. When your mechanic calls to inform you about the parts they will replace, let them know that you will take back the old parts. That move is already enough to discourage an unethical mechanic from overcharging you on the parts they never really used.
10. Educate Yourself About Car Repair
It’s difficult for a shady car workshop to trick customers who are knowledgeable about car repairs. So take time to learn about your vehicle and how it works to avoid getting scammed. You don’t have to attend an automotive class to educate yourself. Simply reading your car manual and familiarizing yourself with the parts you see is already enough to gain the basic automotive knowledge.
Just because you don’t fully understand what goes under the hood of your car doesn’t mean that you will not be able to protect yourself against car repair scams. In fact, simply putting these tips to practise is already enough to keep you and your ride safe against unethical car servicing centres.