Have you been ripped off by an auto shop?

Anyone who has owned a car in the United States is almost always worried about car repairs. Nowadays with computerized engines, repairs can be time-consuming and costly.

Luckily, Michiganders have fairly substantial rights when it comes to dealing with repair facilities. The Michigan Vehicle Service and Repair Act regulates mechanics and auto repair shops.

Here are some of the most common complaints:

  • Holding a vehicle to make repairs for unreasonable amount of time;
  • Failing to properly repair the truck or car;
  • Failure to provide a written estimate at the time the vehicle is dropped off;
  • Failing to honor a warranty;
  • Stealing parts from a car;
  • Failing to repair the vehicle without a written explanation on the final invoice;
  • Failing to return older previously damaged parts to a customer

Some facilities don’t have well trained technicians. In fact, there are software databases available to repair facilities that demonstrate the proper steps to take when diagnosing an issue with a particular vehicle. Those guides often provide the shortest route to determine the real problem at issue.

If a repair shop fails to subscribe to these sources of data then technicians could very well be learning on your dime. That can make your repair far more expensive than it really should be.

Make sure to look to see the exact certifications earned by the technician working on your vehicle. The name of the mechanic and license number is supposed to appear on the final invoice you receive.

You can use online databases of the Michigan Secretary of State to look up a specific mechanic as well. However, look at the shop to see the certifications on display as they denote a particular mechanics skills in specific areas.

Additional signs of a bad repair shop:

  • Employees who refuse to provide a written estimate of all charges, the hourly fee and time estimated be spent on specific tasks;
  • Employees who refuse to be straight with you;
  • Employees who refuse to return old parts to you upon request;
  • No licenses displayed in the waiting area;
  • No facility registration displayed
  • No display of special certifications of mechanics;
  • No written notice of storage charges;