When you have mechanical issues with your vehicle, it’s a necessity to get it fixed because it’s your only transportation. Thousands of people get ripped off daily by scrupulous auto repair shops. Most are called ”backyard mechanics”. They’re a real shop but they are not qualified skilled mechanics.

They’re usually young guys hired by the owner to do repairs, such as changing oil, putting on tires, doing alignments, muffler, shocks and more. They don’t know what they’re doing so when you pick up your car it’s usually in the same condition or worse after driving it off the lot.

Some use inferior car parts from the junkyard charging the car owner new prices. They convince the owner the car needs more repairs than expected. It’s difficult to determine a good repair shop from a bad one unless you do your homework.

Most people report a bad company to the better business bureau, so that’s the best place to start. It will show the owner’s name, doing business as, how long they’ve been in business and any other affiliations. It’s best to check on four or five shops and see who has the best rating. Go to the shops and meet the owner in person.

Tell him what’s wrong with your car and watch him cautiously while he checks it out. If you know nothing about cars, take someone with you that does. Make sure you get everything in writing and go to three more shops. After getting four or five estimates, you should be able to determine the rip-offs.

Talk to some relatives or friends and show them the estimates for advice. Ask them if they’ve heard of them and are the prices reasonable. If you can’t get a straight answer, go to Angie’s list and sign up as a member. There is a small monthly charge. She has a list of thousands of good and bad companies from A to Z.

You will be provided all the auto repair shops in your area with a rating, how long they’ve been in business, the name, address, phone number, a description of their services and any other pertinent information. It’s much better than the BBB as these are real people who had work done by these companies and have given their comments on them and a score.

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