7 Things Your Auto Mechanic May Be Lying About

Portrait Shot of a Handsome Mechanic Working on a Vehicle in a Car Service. Professional Repairman is Wearing Gloves and Using a Ratchet Underneath the Car. Modern Clean Workshop.

When it comes to car repairs, finding a trustworthy and reliable auto mechanic can be tough. While most auto mechanics are honest and trustworthy, there are a few bad apples out there who are willing to bend the truth to make an extra buck. 

If you're searching for a good auto mechanic, here are 7 things to watch out for that your mechanic may be lying about. And remember, it's always smart to get a second opinion and do your research. 

Unnecessary Repairs

Some mechanics may recommend unnecessary repairs or replacements. You may go in for routine maintenance and be upsold on a service your car doesn't need. Women are notoriously targeted with this tactic–going in for an oil change and coming out with way more than you intended. 

If a mechanic recommends a repair that doesn't quite add up, getting a second opinion is always wise. 

Delayed Repairs

On the other side of the coin, sometimes a mechanic may not stress the urgency of a repair. It may be that they want to avoid working on your car's issue, or they don't want to overwhelm their customer and scare them off. 

If you think something is wrong with your car and your mechanic doesn't think it's a big deal, it's time for that second opinion. 

Deferred Maintenance

If you go in regularly for routine maintenance, sometimes mechanics like to get cars in and out the door, and they put off doing long-term maintenance tasks.

Things like checking the engine filter and air filter only need to be done once a year, but it's one of those things that can easily get pushed off until “next time,” and sometimes, there never is a next time. 

When you take your car in for maintenance, ask for a checklist of what they did and compare it to what you know needs to be kept up on your vehicle.  

Hidden Costs

Some mechanics give a cost estimate up front, and then once the work is completed, they mark up the final cost, leaving you with a much higher bill than you were expecting. To avoid this, you ask for a final written quote upfront to ensure your final price doesn't unexpectedly change. 

Parts Markup

There are times when mechanics pad the numbers on replacement parts to make extra money. This is easily done if car owners are unaware of the usual cost of parts. If you don't want this to happen, consider researching the parts needed and calculating the cost independently. If your mechanic quotes higher, you can show the price you found online. 

Use of Used Parts

Some mechanics will say they are using new parts to repair or replace something in your car but are using used or refurbished parts without telling you. This is dangerous and, in some cases, could void certain warranties on your car. To ensure that this doesn't happen, ask to see receipts before parts are installed.

Diagnostic Fees

If you go into the shop with an obvious issue, there's not much diagnosing that needs to be done. Some mechanics will charge the diagnostic fee even though they didn't have to investigate. Sometimes, the cost of the diagnostic fee will go toward the cost of repair. In this case, the fee doesn't matter much. Remember that it is okay to negotiate with your mechanic and ask them to take off the diagnostic fee if the issue is apparent. 

If you want to avoid these issues with your mechanic, the first step is to be aware of common scams that you may encounter. Then, work to find a trustworthy mechanic that has your best interest in mind. You can ask friends and family for recommendations in your local area and use referrals as a way to find someone you can trust. 

Author: Madison Cates

Title: Managing Editor - Autos

Expertise: cars, electric cars, car maintenance, car repair, best cars


Madison is a journalist and editor who finds her home at Wealth of Geeks where she proudly serves as Managing Editor of Autos. Madison is always down to geek out over the latest beautiful cars on the market, and she enjoys providing her readers with tips to make car ownership easier and more enjoyable.