How to Spot a Scam Mechanic

How to Spot a Scam Mechanic


rev up your engines, today I’m going to show
you how you can avoid dealing with bad
mechanics, now being a mechanic myself for
the last 50 years, I’ve met good
mechanics, bad mechanics, scam mechanics,
and some mechanics that just had no idea
what they were doing, so today I’m going to
show you how you can avoid the bad
mechanics, or the crooked ones who might
not be bad mechanics, but they just
charge you way too much money for what
they’re planning on doing, now when
looking for a mechanic, you got to make
sure they have the right tools to work
on your car, but don’t be overly
impressed by a whole bunch of fancy
tools, because with modern computers very
good tools can be very small, it’s the
tool itself what it can do and what the
mechanic has in his head who knows how
to operate them, and find out who’s going to
be working on your car, it doesn’t do any
good if the owner of the shop actually
understands quite a bit about cars, but
then you go and you see there’s a young
kid who’s actually working on your car
and doesn’t have any idea what he’s doing,
over the years I found many good shops
that I known did great work for decades,
only to find it now the son or the
grandson has taken over the shop, he’s
not all that interested in it and they
do pretty shoddy work, eventually they go
bankrupt, but in the mean time they do
some pretty bad stuff to people’s cars,
and when you think about it’s kind of
amazing I’m not burnt out anymore after
doing it for 50 years, but I like a
challenge
and when I see something that’s broken
to me it’s a big challenge to get it
working right again and yes really
good mechanics, hey we can be an odd
breed, look at my garage there’s stuff all
over the place,
I got tools hanging everywhere, but that
doesn’t mean anything because I know how
to use them and where I’ve got most of
them hidden away, now there’s some really
anal mechanics out there, they’ll have a
picture of the tool on the wall and each one
goes in its neat little place, but hey
from my experience, some of the guys I
knew that worked like that, there were
some of the worst mechanics I ever met,
they were neatness freaks but they
weren’t that good at actually fixing
cars, they just like their place to look
neat and clean, and as far as it goes for
those certificates that people have
saying they’ve completed courses,
they’re okay for some things but really
there’s book-learning and then there’s
real learning, years ago my father hired
a guy and he paid to train him to get
all these certificates, he was one of the
worst mechanics we ever had, but he could
take tests really well, and if you know
anything about the real world, the test
of the real world that you can actually do
something means a lot more than somebody
sitting with a pencil and a piece of
paper and circling multiple-choice tests,
now here’s something to definitely avoid
in a mechanic’s shop, if you look around
you see a whole bunch of cars, but
they’re in various shapes of disrepair,
flat tires, inspection sticks are
out of date, you want to avoid them
because a lot of times they use those
as eye candy to make it look like, oh
they’re busy all the time so they must
be good, or they take forever to fix cars
and some of them will be there for months or
even years before they get done, now here is some advice that you have to use
with any mechanic, good or bad, never say
oh I’m in no hurry take your time,
because a really good mechanic is busy
all the time and then he’ll just let
your car slide to the side, because you
said you’re not in a hurry and everyone
else is, and a bad mechanic might just
think, I’ll just let that one slide
forever, he’s in no big hurry, I’ll do
the next job that comes in first to make
as much money as I can, and when it comes
to prices, it pays to shop around and
see what you’re actually paying for, a
friend of one of my customers called me
up and said, Scotty my friend told me
about you, I got my car at the shop and
he’s going to charge me 350 bucks to
reprogram my computer I think that’s
kind of high what do you think, well reprogramming the computer just consists of
erasing the data and putting new data
in, the computer does all the work, it usually
takes about an hour or so, so I just said,
I’ll call up the dealer, so I called up a
dealer and they only wanted a hundred
and thirty five dollars to do the same
job, so when the dealer is charging $135
for what somebody else is going to charge
$350, obviously the guy charging you $350,
hey he’s not very honest, so if you find
a guy like that, put some internet
posts out there saying how he was
charging you too much money to warn other
people, so if there’s warnings about a guy
being a bad mechanic on the internet, you
pay heed to that, but on the other hand
if there’s really good praises of them,
be very leery,
I know a guy down the street, he had his own
mechanics when they weren’t busy, typing
in great reviews of the shop, how great
they were, to sucker people to come in
they just made them all up themselves,
now you can’t beat word of mouth of
people that you know, I’ve been working
on cars for 50 years, you know much money
I’ve spent on advertising my garage,
nothing not a penny, all word of mouth my
customers are happy, they tell their
friends, they tell their friends,
everyone’s happy and no money’s wasted
on advertising, and yes these days it can
be hard to find a good mechanic, but it’s
hard to find a good doctor, or a good
dentist too, just keep searching and who
knows you might get lucky and find a guy
like me around you, so if you never want
to miss another one of my new car repair
videos, remember to ring that Bell!

100 Replies to “How to Spot a Scam Mechanic”

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  2. I hope Scotty has a lot of patreons from his subscribers. He deserves it. I was going to sell my 1995 Geo Prism with 130,000 miles on it, I have owned it for 15 years and only put on 63,000 miles in 15 years. A good car, think I will keep it, its been a very good car for me.. Nothing ever goes wrong with it. Original parts and I get vacation checks every year with the feed back" its all  still good.

  3. A honest mechanic! big respect from me. Do the job and move on.

    I hope many mechanics are like this.:)

  4. Scotty,i am amazed;
    Thanks much for your amazing videos,how do you get your floor jacks through that gravel every time ? that's hard work in itself, no concrete,smooth,area to work?
    How about a lift,you don't have one either?

  5. I've seen two of your videos and I'm hooked already. You're like a fusion of Christopher Walken and Rick Flair. Have another subscription sir!

  6. Hi Scotty, I have a UK Chevrolet Captiva 2007 2ltr Diesel that needs a cambelt doing, I am being made to believe it is a nightmare job for this car, can you look it up and see if you agree ?

  7. "He could take test's really well!" Hahahah! That goes to say for just about EVERYTHING! Book smarts, usually have no clue what the hell they are really doing!

  8. Scotty, I sure wish you had your shop in Kansas City! I learn so much from your vids, thank you!

  9. Another idea is find a mechanic that actually has the same car as you. And actually works on their own car and loves the car. (And doesn't pay other mechanics to work on the car).

    I knew a mechanic friend that drove a Toyota 4 runner and he loved Toyota's and knew a lot about them. We had him rebuild some of the engine on our Toyota Corolla for $600 that probably could have cost us $900.

    Then I knew another friend that owned an auto body shop. He mostly did auto body work. He always drove Nissan cars and trucks. And so on the side quite a lot he would also rebuild some of the engine like timing chain and whatever known engine issues. He hired me for few months to work on his auto body projects so he could do some Nissan engines.

    But also careful. I heard about mechanics that might drive like a Cadillac or something and they will hire some other mechanic to work on it because of all the crap in it because they don't want to deal with it themselves. They just want the car for looks.

  10. I made the mistake if taking my 2001 Maxima to Meineke years ago for an oil change. After 15 minutes the mechanic sat down next to me and essentially told me I needed about 3 grand in work done, but he'd do it for $2500 if i agreed to do it then and there that day. The car drove fine and i didnt have any issues with it soni was immediately suspicious. I told him no after he tried convincing me that I'd be lucky to make it home, and he went ahead and did the oil change. I took the car to a independent mechanic that a friend recommended and the guy confirmed that aside from some very minor stuff that would cost no more than $300 to fix, the car was in excellent shape. Needless to say I tell everyone to stay the hell away from Meineke now.

  11. I wish I was lucky enough to find someone like you! I live in Southern California Murrieta California any recommendations? LOL

  12. Sears , which is bankrupt now, tried to scam me for a wheel alignment on a 1987 Ford Ranger XLT. I bought all the front end components from Autozone and installed them myself, so it only needed a 39.99 as advertised wheel alignment. The mechanic however , said that all the components that I installed , were worn too bad, and needed to be replaced at the tune of 560 dollars. Showed manager the receipt from Autozone and all the parts the mechanic said needed to be replaced were listed. The manager then tells me that he would tell the mechanic to complete the job, but the warranty is voided because I did not approve of the suggested work. He and the mechanic were crooks of the highest order and I never again returned to Sears Autocenter for anything. They did however correctly alighn the truck and I was only half pleased, if they weren't crooks, I would trust them.

  13. Hi Scotty! I'm looking for someone in Randallstown, MD for a paid vehicle inspection. Where are you located?

  14. What kind of questions can we ask to spot a bad mechanic…..like….what do u think of the blah blah blahs…..and according to his answer …we'll know . But, we need the answer too to see if hes right 😁
    I interviewed a couple with things u taught me, and so far…no one could answered right. Like , do you like CVT transmissions? One said…what is that?

  15. I hate mechanic shops with a passion. Most of them are scammers and crooks. I dont know how to fix cars but im not stupid. I always do my homework before i take my car in. I diagnose the issue beforehand n request a direct quote for a specific job. They cant scam me.

  16. Had terrible service at Midas’s. They up sale you Services you really don’t need and try to convince you into getting more done to your car/truck that’s not really needed. Once I got a brake job done at Midas and in a few days my car breaks down on the highway. Another mechanic looked at what was done and he couldn’t believe the work done. He told me Midas did a Hang and Bang job. Never again.

  17. Lol this is old but meinakins by me has been taking pictures of cards info and getting into their banks😂😂

  18. hi Scotty! love your videos. I was wondering if you knew of any mechanics in Massachusetts or southern New Hampshire you could point me towards?

  19. Hey Scotty, I have a power seat in a 2003 Ford Windstar se minivan that's off track. I'm very poor and don't have a dime. I know a little bit about cars. I can take the seat out, but I don't don't know to get it back on track, but it's going to cause an accident, as it free slides when hitting the break or gas. Please help!

  20. A ford dealer wanted to charge me 160 to remove 4 bolts and replace the throttle body I wound up doing it myself

  21. Kept thinking of a local shitshow "Jerry's front-end" every time bad or scam mechanic was mentioned. They screwed me out of 3 days of work to replace one axle and charged me over 100 dollars more than my usual mechanic would have (he was on vacation). Then, when i put my experience as a review, they CALLED me demanding to know why I was trying to hurt their business. I told them that a shady business would reach public ears one way or another.

  22. If your car or truck has something wrong with it and you don't know what it is, describe it to your mechanic with as much factual detail as possible. That new weird noise: at low speeds only? at high speeds only? when accelerating? when coasting in neutral? any change when you rev the engine and the vehicle is stationary? A knowledgeable mechanic will be interested in these details and will pay close attention, visibly delighted with your explanation. A bored or dismissive reaction is a danger sign.

  23. Hey Scotty, want me to spread the wood chips you have behind you around your trees/shrubs in exchange for your mechanics? I have your favorite car to work on and it needs a new suspension~gen 2 Prius :0 My name is fast freddy~let's make a deal! LOL

  24. Midas Muffler~scam shop extraordinaire!! Guy tried to sell my wife 2 front calipers on a Toyota Tercel and 9 YEARS LATER we sold the car with the same calipers that were supposedly bad still running fine!

  25. Since Scotty is from Niagara Falls, I can relate the two WORST mechanics I met in Niagara Falls NY. I went there 2 winters ago to install my winter tires and, when I came home, I found these:

    1. Tightened my wheel lug nuts instead of loosening them. Ended up they could NOT even remove them until I helped them out

    2. Installed my tires backwards (these are directional Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow winter tires)

    3. Overly tightened the lug nuts so much that I could not loosen any one of them, even with the help of my electric impact wrench!

    4. The recommended tire pressure for my tires is 32 psi, according to Honda's sticker on the door. They inflated them to over 50 psi!

  26. Here licensed mechanics get to inspect cars for registration to be approved. People who need their cars badly are under pressure to get them on the road right away which for some mechanics is an invitation to pad bills and overcharge. Better that such inspectors are not allowed to do the repair too so that problem doesn't happen.

  27. Idk. Theres a guy in town thats been around about 35 years and is trusted. Hes not the cheapest but hes fair priced, and he wont rip you off. He'll pass on easy money because hes honest. Good guy. He had an old ford? Up there for prob 6-mos/ year some old guy was paying him to fix it up

  28. A few years ago …..this mecanic made me pay for expensive parts ……and, in reality he would go to junk yards get
    Cheap used parts and install it on my car…..i wonder if this is current common practice among crooks….
    What do you think????

  29. I wish there were more mechanics like you Scotty! It really makes me sick that most mechanics are always telling you that there are things that are wrong with your car that they say, need to be replaced (when they really don't need replacing,) just so they can put more money in their own pockets!

  30. AS A PERSON WHO USED TO WORK IN AN AUTO PARTS STORE YOU COULD SPOT THE BAD MECHANICS BY THE "BOOMERANG" PARTS.
    THAT MEANS THEY MISDIAGNOSED A PROBLEM WRONG FIX THEN ,OOPS LETS TRY IDEA B,ESPECIALLY IF IT IS AN ELECTRICAL ISSUE.

  31. Yo Scotty! Saw your 101st tag, was just wondering where you served. I'm a former Ranger from Benning and turn a wrench also, but used to cook like the rest of the groundpounder's I've known since getting out. Seems that infantry/airborne training paid off lol.

  32. I just took my car to a place I didn’t trust, but it was much cheaper than the other mechanics. (There’s the mistake). I went in for the knock sensors. I had already bought the two sensors ($50.00 each) I told them to put it in, they agreed on $150. I went to check on the car, they were working on it, had seen two sensors out, a new one and an old one, I went back hours later and the first thing the manager told me was if the check engine comes back, he recommends this great electrician. I asked for the old sensors and they gave me one. I didn’t believe it was an electrical issue, I drove a while and the light came on. Went back there after I scanned the computer and saw one knock sensor code. Putting the pieces together I found out that they only changed one sensor and hid the other new one. Tomorrow I’m going back, watching them take apart my engine again for no extra cost and resolve my issue. They are buying me a new sensor. I forgot to mention they tried to play me and say that a sensor for a different car was the one they took out of my car. It looked brand new and so much more different. Don’t take the cheapest deal just because.

  33. Scotty, I feel tempted to be a mechanic myself and open up a shop in front of the scam shop and charge cheaper and get things done right, then thank the bad ones for bringing me more customers.

  34. I suspected my engine parts has changed with the old cylinder head with worn out rods i dont know what u call it because they put washers by cutting tin can.its a diesel engine.makes the engine noisy ticking sound.yeah dont trust a mechanic.

  35. Worst mechanic I've ever had was the guy at the Ford Dealership when my Ford was under warrenty. Always insisted there was nothing wrong with the car when there obviously was or that he changed something he obviously didn't

  36. I used to rely on a machanic that has fancy clients: old and new bmw's, jaguars, mercedes, jeeps, among regular hondas, renaults, vw's. The thing is that once he said to my brother "you will need to change your fuel pump soon, consider that" and another mechanic, an honest one drew a piece of hemp hurd… a week later.

  37. Well said, Houston!!! I amma body man too…Mortician!! LOL….San Jacinto Memorial Park and Earthman…Uo North off 45…Loved telling the women At Passas way back…"I work inna body shop…LOL..Love your vids…

  38. I found a scam mechanic on YouTube scot Scotty something lol just kidding !!!!!! Enjoy the knowledge. I brought a car into get water pump looked at , I watched like I do , and he had my tire off I was like what are you doing ??? I brought my car in because water is gushing out , he said oh . Luckily fixed it but never went back

  39. I’m a dentist and I see the same bull crap. Fixing cars and fixing teeth is a lot alike (although I wish people could drop off their teeth while I fix them!). And I spend exactly $0 on advertising. Word of mouth is king.

  40. I had two Honda dealerships try to rip me off and charge me for what was already covered under a recall. A 3rd Honda dealer did the work under the recall notice and said that I was right on the two other ones. Guess which one I went to in the future to buy a new car?

  41. The crook mechanic is one the walks out and says this part is broken and isn’t why you’re there in the first place. Plus you know that part wasn’t broken and you know he broke it.

  42. One tip if you fix a lot of your own stuff then you know who is the best mechanic at the auto parts store. Hire him. He makes more fixing your car than his job pays for cheaper than any shop.

  43. Hello Scotty. This is James Millard from Oklahoma. Could you suggest a good reasonable priced dionostic computer tool that I could buy

  44. When you call a mechanic and ask for prices, throw in a request for a quote on a preventative thing, like power steering fluid flush on a really old car. If they respond with "duh duh duh, hold on and let me see" then it takes them forever to answer, you know they don't give a squat about preventative maintenance, and that's not a good mechanic.

  45. This may sound funny, but avoid repair shops who can't retain their receptionist. I know it sounds strange, but if a shop goes thru a few in a short time period, that really tells alot about the owner. Beware!

  46. Hey scotty, could you drive up all the way to Minnesota to tune up my classic car. Cause I believing that you're a great mechanic.

  47. I’m only 14 and I’m pretty good at fixing cars, I’m what to be the first mechanic in our family tree. (I’m sorry, most of y’all don’t care 😂)

  48. Every weekend I do an inspection on my van. check the oil, check the radiator, smell around, looking for anything wet. Listen to my vehicle start up, n going down the road. check the tire pressure. keep track of my gas mileage too. Recently after I parked it I could smell gas under the hood. nothin was leaking that I could see. Took it to F.S. for state inspection. failed. fuel pump leaking. sounds reasonable. got that replaced. drove it home. next day it totally crapped out right in front of my house. They towed it back to F.S. installed another fuel pump. N/C. Been good so far a couple months later.

  49. In a shop where i went they would remove the a/c refrigerant during the winter so that they could come back on the summer because their A/c wasn’t working. It’s smart but it has dishonest.

  50. I remember a very good and honest bike mechanic. Did everything, from fixing huge Harley Davidsons to fixing bicycles. Unfortunately he got retired a year ago…

  51. I don't know anything about your "mechanising" but I can surely see you're an interesting guy to be around!

  52. I live across country. If only there was something called the Kilmer Network to readily identify all trustworthy mechanics state by state. If. Only.

  53. Good mechs are busy mechs for 2 simple reasons. 1. They are constantly practicing their craft. 2. They are too busy to RIP you off! If you just need a battery changed, they'd rather just tell you and get on to the engine rebuild they need to finish!

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