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Beware of Auto Repair Fraud

Posted on 09/04/19 by Mark Fetterhoff

AARP ElderWatch

Auto repairs are a fact of life for anyone with a vehicle. While most auto mechanics are trustworthy, there are some who are out to make a quick buck. Dishonest repairmen might falsely inform you that certain repairs are needed or they may bill for services/repairs that were not requested or completed. Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid fraudulent or unnecessary auto repairs:

Get referrals from your family, friends or co-workers for a qualified mechanic. For major, high-cost repairs, consider shops that hold certifications and employ specialists.

Ask questions and request definitions. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Avoid making on-the-spot decisions about repairs and instead request the technician contact you about any proposed repairs—and their estimated costs—before any work is done to your vehicle.

Demand everything in writing. Make sure you get written estimates for parts and labor before authorizing repairs. Ensure you understand all shop policies in relation to prices, guarantees, timelines and methods of payment.

Request a walk-through with your mechanic. Once your repair is finished, get an explanation of the completed work and guarantees in writing. If any major new parts are installed, be sure to check them before leaving.

Remember to research auto repair shops and mechanics before you select one. Read independent review sites and obtain information from the Better Business Bureau.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact an AARP ElderWatch volunteer specialist if you need more information or want to report an auto repair scam.


Denver Metro Area


This story is provided by AARP Colorado. Visit the AARP Colorado page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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