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Biggest Scam Caught by an Honest Toyota Mechanic

Just how devious can some mechanics be? How about quoting $7,000 for an engine rebuild when all a Corolla really needed was new spark plugs and other minor maintenance! Here’s the story behind the biggest scam witnessed by this honest Toyota mechanic


The Value of a 2nd Opinion

How much will getting a 2nd opinion cost you from a mechanic? In many cases, not even an hour’s worth of labor. However, by getting a 2nd opinion you could easily save yourself thousands of dollars in needless repairs.

In previous articles we’ve learned about the importance of getting a 2nd opinion---especially when receiving an unusually high repair quote from a mechanic. Unfortunately, many car owners realize that something is wrong with their car but lack the wherewithal of knowing and understanding the extent of what is really wrong with their car.

That was the message from a recent Toyota Maintenance YouTube channel episode where the host---Peter---takes the time to record an inspection request from a client who just two months earlier had been quoted a repair cost of $7,0000 from another mechanic for an engine rebuild and $1,800 for strut replacement in a 2010 Toyota Corolla with a little over 200,000 miles on it.

Related article: Repair Scams Only Another Mechanic Could Catch

In this example, the car had some engine misfiring and a check engine light warning that something is amiss with the vehicle that the owner was aware of. However, a dishonest mechanic attempted to cheat a potential customer by over-stating the owner’s vehicle problems.

Related article: The First Thing to Check with a Check Engine Light Warning

The value of this video is that it illustrates one of the most common repair scams---finding some potential problem or minor problem with a car and trying to scare the car owner into agreeing to an expensive repair. And it works.

Related article: Scare Tactic Scam from Lube Center Caught with Second Opinion

That said, here is the video posted below that serves as a good example of why car owners have to be diligent when it comes to their car repairs and service that can be as simple as taking the time to have a second opinion to confirm a repair is needed…or catch a dishonest mechanic trying to scam you.

The BIGGEST SCAM I saw so far...

And finally…

For additional articles related to scams and protecting yourself, here are a few chosen pieces for your consideration:

Common Brake Repair Scam in Major Name Tire Centers

Car Repair Scam Outed by Mechanic is a Lesson to Car Owners

Two Service Center Mechanic Scams That Are Easy to Spot If You Know Where to Look Under the Hood

COMING UP NEXT: Consumer Reports Tests the Most Fuel-Efficient Hybrid Cars, Minivans, and SUVs

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pexels


Warren jep (not verified)    July 4, 2022 - 6:31AM

Dealers are always trying to upsell repairs or service at a minimum . I took my crv in for oil change service and the service writer told me I need power steering flush , rear differential and transmission fluid change. My response was well the car has electric power steering so how does it need a power steering flush when it doesn’t have fluid and oh by the way you changed the the Atf 15 k miles ago and the rear diff was done at the last oil change? Do you look at your records or is this a scam that most uninformed consumers would fall for? Oh oh we are so sorry that shouldn’t have happened was the response. I know what I am doing and do many repairs on my own car so it’s easy for me to check . Every really needs to be informed or get another opinion as the author states. There are always articles like this or YouTube to assist in basic to detailed diagnostics so we can all become more educated on many repairs on just about any subject except medical. Leave that to the professionals and always get a second or third opinion on those diagnoses . Every one keep learning.

Connie B (not verified)    July 10, 2022 - 8:18AM

Or not mentioning a minor problem until it becomes a major repair. Just took my RAV4 in for 30k service, first after 2 years free service. All 4 OEM tires almost bald on inner edges, obviously an alignment issue, despite service every 5k. Should have been identified much earlier, so new tires wouldn't be needed. Quoted $1,200 for new tires after only 30k miles. What a scam by the dealer! And dealer refused to take any responsibility for this.