How to Avoid Auto Repair Scams and Upsells

TULSA, Oklahoma. – An auto expert and his son seek to help people figure out how to deal with car dealerships and mechanics to avoid being abused.

Ray Shefska is an automotive expert with YAA, Your Advocate Alliance.

Shefska and her son Zach air a weekly car advice show.

“If you start to know that the process is going to unfold, you can feel a lot more empowered,” says Zach Shefska.

They recommend that drivers read their owner’s manual, search Google for repair information, and log into online repair forums, many of which are specific to their vehicle.

It’s good to know what job needs to be done at times, and the mileage readings as well as learning some of the diagnostic trouble codes that might appear when mechanics hook your vehicle up to a computer and ask what they have. find.

While expensive work is recommended, experts say drivers may want a second opinion – a diagnosis at another store – even if it costs you an additional diagnostic fee, which can average around $ 130.

“That $ 130 might end up being the best $ 130 you’ve ever spent, because you might find that you really didn’t need the $ 3,000 of work someone was trying to sell you,” says Ray Shefska.

John called 2 News Oklahoma Problem Solvers to talk about his experience returning an older vehicle to service.

“Very frustrating, very frustrating.”

John says he knows a bit about cars, but after being burned out in a repair he started asking friends and family who they trusted as a mechanic, which experts say is a good start.

“Anytime you bring a car in for service, if you don’t understand exactly what needs to be done or what needs to be done, you are opening yourself up to someone trying to convince you that you need something you need to do. you really don’t need to. “

At one point, however, costly repairs cannot be avoided, which John unfortunately discovered.

“I’m going to trade in my car and buy something newer.”

He says he doesn’t keep driving in that deep money mending pit.

Here’s more information on some of the more common repair upsells you should know about:

  • If a trusted mechanic recommends brakes, don’t question it, but if you have a new one, get a second opinion.
  • Timing belts are sometimes another upsell. They are essential, but generally do not need to be replaced for 50,000 miles. If this is recommended before the manufacturer’s schedule, ask why.
  • Beware of flushing toilets and transmission service recommendations. Unless there’s a specific problem, experts say they’re probably not needed until at least 100,000.

Contact problem solvers:

  • 918-748-1502
  • problemsolvers@kjrh.com

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Sylvia F. Hernandez