By October 24, 20071 Comments Read More →

Auto Mechanic Scam?

Reader Question
Hello Austin,

Any comments about an auto repair shop selling your car when the repair bill will exceed the value of the car?

I have/ had a 1997 Mazda MX-6, ~120K miles, that stopped dead. I thought it was a transmission fluid leak. It turned out to be a “fried” computer, and the computer had to be ordered from CA or a junkyard.

The bill was up to $600 before the replacement computer costs.

The mechanic offered to fix it himself, sell it, and refund any difference.

Was I ripped off?

Thanks in advance for your help.


Yo Val how are ya?,

Hummmmmmmmm, good question! I would be interested to know why the repair bill was $600 before the computer cost, what did they do? I would have really liked you to have gotten a second opinion on the diagnosis before you sold this vehicle.

I have a feeling your computer was probably not the issue and the actual correct repair was probably not going to cost you as much as they claimed it would take to repair it.

That is just my gut opinion, I just wonder what their real motive was in offering to sell it for you. I bet if you drive by the shop a few times now and again you would find your car…sold to the mechanic or a very close relative.

Second opinions, second opinions second opinions……..when a repair bill gets close to $1K I would hope you have a great working relationship with the shop and really trust them OR you have already done your homework and got second opinion elsewhere. Ya, it is time consuming and a pain to shuffle the vehicle around to get another opinion…but it could save you a ton of money and frustration in the long run.

In Houston there is a mobile mechanic company that will visit the shop your car is at and give you a second opinion on the diagnosis and repair costs…I think this is a great idea and not sure if it is available everywhere…but should be!


Austin Davis

1 Comment on "Auto Mechanic Scam?"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. GrubbyGirl says:

    I recently learned a big lesson in blind trust when it comes to car mechanics. Eff you sir, just because I’m cute doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Check out the link below for 6 tips on avoidng being scammed on car repairs (for dummies or the just plain auto uninterested)…

Got Something to Say?