Let’s face reality. People need money, and most times, when they see an opportunity to make more, they’ll grab it by the horns. That’s how life is, and it’s up to you to either fall for their traps or be wise enough to know when you’re being scammed. Being wise in this context means being knowledgeable enough to know if someone is pulling a fast one on you. Sure, nobody knows everything, but in this article, you’re going to find out ways your dealership or auto mechanic may be trying to exploit you and essential things you should know that’ll help you avoid it.

Have you ever taken your vehicle to a car dealer for a safety recall, and all of a sudden, you’re presented with a long list of damages and repairs you have to make? Beware of those ‘free’ inspections. Although some may be genuine, others? Not so much. It’s usually a scam when you’re given an enormous sum to pay for repairs, even on car parts you recently got fixed, and the scammer mechanic knows nothing about. So that is your number one cue to run as fast as you can before even your pocket starts to leak and need fixing.

What you need to know about “free” inspections.

As mentioned earlier, some of these inspections may be genuine as they may detect faults waiting to happen. However, most times, if you’re getting an alarming list of things you need to fix, chances are that it’s a scam.

Are all auto mechanics cheats?

Of course not. There are a few honest car dealerships and auto mechanics. An ideal mechanic should be competent enough to keep your car in ship shape without fleecing customers. However, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), there’s rampant exploitation of regularly scheduled maintenance and recalls by dealerships. In addition, these dealerships exploit unsuspecting people by adding an unnecessarily long list of repairs that costs a lot. 

Why this widespread exploitation among dealerships and mechanics?

The reliability and longevity of cars have gotten way better than they used to be. Dealerships and mechanics are not making enough profit like they used to. Since there’s a shift in demand to maintenance, more maintenance-related scams have increased.


Common scams to look out for

  1.   Radiator leaks.
  •   Truth- they poured coolants on some engine parts 
  1.   You need a total brake overhaul.
  •   Truth- replacing minor parts like brake pads may just be it.
  1.   Telling you to replace a commonly repaired part for your car model without running a check.

Red flags that should tell you to run as fast as you can

  1.   Repair to overhaul without clear explanation. 

If you find it shady, visit another mechanic

  1.   No estimate on the repair job. Run, please.
  2.   Mechanics without the blue seal of excellence certification. 
  3.   Impolite workers and lousy customer service.

How to get honest mechanics/repair shops

Simply get recommendations from trusted friends and family. Even at this, get second opinions too.


In summary, it is widespread that mechanics and dealerships scam people by recommending unnecessary repairs since many people know little to nothing about their vehicle. With the information you just read, you should be able to ensure you don’t fall. Also, get an honest dealer to work on your car.