• How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off for Auto Repairs

    Victoria Rumsey felt as if she was being taken for a ride. The brake warning light on her 2000 Volkswagen Jetta was on, so when she was getting her oil changed at the dealership, she asked the shop to look into it. She was told she needed a new suspension, brake pads and rotors. Rumsey didn’t want to put a lot of money into the car, so she told the shop to skip the suspension. Then she got a call from the dealership’s used-car division telling her that the service department mentioned she might be in the market for a car because hers was not drivable. Rumsey called the shop and found out that a broken knuckle (part of the steering assembly) would add $2,000 to the tab, and she couldn’t drive the car without the fix. She decided to have the car towed from the dealership and ask a friend to do the repairs. The cost of parts: less than $150. “I felt as though I was being misled because I was a woman and didn’t know too much about cars,” she says

    Nine in ten women believe they are treated differently at auto-repair shops than men are, according to a national study by the Car Care Council, an association that encourages consumer education. Even I, the car writer at Kiplinger’s, have been the target of repair-shop gender politics. Take our advice on taking control — but keep in mind, anyone can get ripped off. These rules aren’t just for ladies.

    Get a clue.

    You can diagnose what’s wrong before you hit the shop by using the CarMD tool ($99; www.carmd.com). Just plug the hand-held device into your car (every model after 1996 has a standard connection port) and it reads the car’s computer codes. You can then plug it into your computer for a full report of what problem the codes indicate, the most likely fix, and what labor and parts for the repair cost in your area. The report also lists recalls for your vehicle and summaries of technical service bulletins (recall notices are also available at www.nhtsa.gov).  See More

    CarMD Corp. 300X250

    As a woman I can relate to this story as I have been in a similar situation. After reading this article I looked into this product and purchased it.  I felt it important to share this knowledge with other woman to help them save money and not be taken advance of again. Now, I am empowered with the knowledge of what condition my car is in before I go to the auto mechanic. This product is worth the one time price, to saving me hundred to thousands on unnecessary repairs.

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