By Jack Cooper
In my years as an automotive adjuster and inspections not only do some shops rip-off their customers they also try to rip-off the Warranty company by adding unneeded repair our over charging on the repair. The reason for Warranty companies using automotive inspectors is to protect them from this kind of repair shop and abuse of the Warranty.
There are many rip-off schemes in the automotive business that will range from high end transmission and engine scams to the most popular quick under car repairs done in exhaust and muffler shops.
These questionable shops like the pre 1990 vehicles the best as the were not equipped with as much computer technology and were easier to scam (and the mechanics probably don’t know how to work on the newer systems as well).
Some popular major repair is on engine oil consumption and transmission leak and shift problems.
To mention a few engine scams for oil consumption and or a smoking engine. The mechanic will get your in on the lift and if you have an oil leak at the valve cover (on top of engine) it could leak down over and around engine a drip off the head gasket area or rear main seal and oil pan area. He would then state that the leak was severe and if you didn’t get it fixed you could wind up buying an engine.
The best way to confront this would be to have them clean all old oil off (where the suspect leak was stated to be) and then add oil dye to engine and let run or drive vehicle a few miles and then check with black light (most good shops will have these) and where ever there was a leak you could see the dye coming out (to see dye you use a special pair of glasses that comes with the black light) the oil-dye mixture will be a bright yellow.
If the shop doesn’t want to clean your engine or wants to charge a hefty fee to do it, go to your local discount auto parts store and purchase a bottle of engine oil dye then take your vehicle to your local car wash and use the high pressure spray to clean top and bottom areas of your engine. Make sure you don’t spray a lot of water on wiring or if vehicle has a distributor don’t get wet.
Then return to the shop or another shop and have them check for the oil leak with their black light.
At that time you will be able to see the exact problem and make an informed decision on what repair is needed.
About the author:
Jack Cooper Occupation: Auto Appraiser/Inspector Website: www.jtcbiz.com
Biography: I have over 40 years experience in the Automotive field, from ASE Master Tech to owner of my own repair shop and have been doing Automotive Appraisals and extended warranty/pre-purchase inspections for the past 12 years.
I have been working on building and just about anything connected with cars all my life. I have been a Drag Racer (early year)