As Hal from Malcolm in the Middle used to say, “just because someone’s smarter than you, that doesn’t make them a genius.” Thus, I can’t tell you whether car shop owners are geniuses, but I do know they have managed to pad their profits by blinding car-ignorant saps like me with science that’s way over our heads, getting us to spring for unnecessary repairs.
The Modesto Bee spells out some warning signs to watch out for when wrestling with grease persons.
Here’s one of the story’s more poignant observations, which stings all the more because I’ve fallen victim to such ruses:
When you do select a shop, don’t let anyone there tell you that your vehicle can’t be released unless the recommended work is done. Bolten said shops cannot threaten to hold on to your vehicle for any reason — even safety concerns.
The piece of advice I’d like to add is to avoid agreeing to sketchy-sounding repairs on the spot, get the shop to spell out the recommended work in a written estimate, then run that by someone who is smarter than you.
By no means should you actually try to learn something about cars, because such knowledge is way too complicated for our simple minds.