With our busy lives, sometime we just don't have enough time to research a proper auto body shop, especially when we are consumed with trying to get our car repaired or find alternative transportation. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, haste makes waste.
While a few bad apples in the auto repair industry manage to ruin the bunch, believe it or not, the majority of auto repair shops are honest and and upfront about repairs. Fueled by the internet age in which a single negative review online can ruin your entire reputation, auto repair shops must be legitimate to stay in business. But that doesn't mean some don't bend the rules.
Here are four common auto body repair scams and how to avoid them:
1. The dirty air filter
Say you bring your car in for repairs or regular maintenance. While you're in the waiting room, the mechanic comes in to tell you your air filter needs replacing. In his hand is a dirty, black air filter. The scam? Maybe it's not yours. Always make sure you see the mechanic pull the air filter from your car before agreeing to have it replaced. Also know that most air filters can be blown out with an air compressors to expand their mileage.
2. The factory parts swap
This scam occurs when an auto body shop quotes a price to replace the broken or missing parts on your car with original factory parts, but when you are not looking swaps the parts for generic parts instead. This is bad for a number of reason, including the higher cost of factory parts, and the unknown reliability of generic parts. Always be sure to check the shop's work.
3. Improper air bag replacement
If you were in an accident bad enough to cause the airbags to deploy, putting them back to their prior working condition can be costly. A common scam in shady auto repair shops is to pack the air bag crevasse with anything from packing peanuts to paper towels and calling the job done. This is not only illegal, it's incredibly dangerous, especially if you're in another accident.
4. Inflicting more damage
Sometimes the bad auto body repair shops will intentionally inflict more damage to your vehicle in an attempt to raise the repair costs. Make sure you have done a thorough inventory of the damage to your vehicle before bringing it into the shop.
So what can you do? If you think you've been the victim of a shady repair shop, bring your car in today for a full inspection. The licensed auto body technicians at Suburban Auto Body will review the work done to your car and make sure it's on the up and up.