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

Here is a recent car repair scam by a dealership on a relatively new car that serves as a good lesson to all car owners seeking help from a dealership when something is amiss with their car.

Zip Tie Award Winners

Previously we’ve reported on car repair scams that vary widely from just plain bad repairs done with zip ties and duct tape, to one’s that required some complex electrical system manipulation fraud to ensure that a customer would have to return for additional repairs.

In today’s warning to car owners seeking help from a dealership for repairs or service, we have one example that (if such a thing existed) I believe would win this week’s Zip Tie Award for lazy car repair.

While some may argue that a bad repair is not the same thing as a deliberate scam, I would argue that anytime a customer is charged for a repair service that is one a mechanic would not be willing to show to his customers what was done and how much it costs, then it definitely qualifies as a scam.

That said, here is a recent video on the Car Wizard You Tube channel that shows what one dealership mechanic did to a 2020 Dodge Charger that developed a problem following installation of aftermarket exhaust system, that serves as a good demonstration of why you should ask the mechanic to show you what repair was done and how.

Related article: Front End Alignment Fail Car Owners Need to Check After Servicing

Please Note: The actual scam can be picked up beginning at the 8-minute 30-second time point, everything before that is the Car Wizard extolling the performance of a V6 engine in these models.

Dealer does very questionable repairs on 2020 Charger GT!

And finally…

We want to hear from you: If you have a “Zip Tie Award” contender story to share, let us know about it in the comments section below. Perhaps we can make this a real thing!

For additional articles about car scams, here are two selected articles about why “Ford Mechanic Catches Engine Rebuild Scam”; and, “Two Service Center Mechanic Scams That Are Easy to Spot If You Know Where to Look Under the Hood.”

COMING UP NEXT: Do Not Fall for This Car Repair Reverse Scam

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: Pixabay


Chris Cox (not verified)    November 19, 2021 - 11:12PM

I had to have an engine replaced and when i li led it up and drove home it ran fine. Later that day Instaryed it and it smoked really bad. I shut it off and checked the oil. He had overfilled it with too much oil. I texted the mechanic and was told he does that on purpose and to "drive the hell out of it". After 4 return visits over the next few months I finally resorted to filing a small claims suit. The court ordered him to replace the engine by such and such date. Right before that date arrived he messaged me asking if I would just take this older car with more miles as payment. Thinking at least I get something out of him and I could sell the car I agreed. The problem- the car wasn't even in his name. He agreed to get it out in his name and then I heard nothing. The deadline apptached and I returned before the judge and told her what had happened. He did not show up on this court date. A judgement was issued for the full amount $5760 plus $260 court costs. When he found out he went crazy calling me all kinds of names and threatened to sue me. I am going to request an asset hearing next week to seize his asstes.

Robby (not verified)    November 20, 2021 - 9:46AM

This is an aftermarket modification. Shouldn't he be going after the muffler shop that installed it improperly in the first place?

Kit (not verified)    January 13, 2022 - 6:05PM

Mechanic replaced rear driveshaft on my 2015 Chrysler 300, realized it was going out by a constant ticking noise and had it promptly replaced with a brand new shaft ($1300 repair.) About 2 weeks down the roady car starts to shake terribly. I took it back to the shop and he said it was my rear axle. Didn't have much money at the time so I parked it for about a month. Fast forward, it's at a different shop close to my house. They call and tell me the axle is fine, although there are zip ties and electrical tape all around my driveshaft, and a missing weight indicated by the weld marks. It's been 4 months since the initial repair and it's back at the original shop, now the guy can't find another shaft in stock due to supply chain issues. Wish me luck everyone, it's a financed car and I'm not very happy right now paying for something I can't even drive. Moral of the story, check the damn part they fixed if you have any idea of what you're looking at. May help you in the future.

Timothy Boyer    January 16, 2022 - 2:03PM

In reply to by Kit (not verified)

Sorry to hear about that. But, yeah, you are correct---every repair needs to be pointed out by the mechanic to ensure a repair was done/ Zip ties and electrical tape?! Sounds like they kept the original drive shaft on and tried to balance it in the worst possible way. If that's the case. I would recommend finding another mechanic to confirm the "repair" and demand your money back and take the car elsewhere---you cannot expect anything good to come out of shops like this.

Jake Thompson (not verified)    April 24, 2022 - 11:42PM

I believe this is a serious issue that is being seen through a lot of different mechanics. We go in for one thing and we walk out with 5 things we didn't need. Not to mention sometimes the quality of work you recieve through some mehanics. Very good article!

Chad Ullery (not verified)    November 28, 2022 - 3:27AM

We have recently sued a car restoration shop in Gig Harbor. The company called Defenders Northwest, LLC specializes in Land Rover Defender parts and restoration projects. It’s owners are a local couple, Brian Troy Hall and Michele Anne Hall. They took in six figures and our vintage Land Rover and never delivered a restored car. We allege that the car no longer exists and the restoration was never completed.