Over 20 million dollars are lost every year by car owners on unnecessary and fraudulent auto repairs. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair gets a purported 25,000 complaints about bad car repair jobs. This isn't to say that all car shops are likely to try to scam you. On the contrary, most shops are staffed by good, honest mechanics. But there are exceptions, and for these exceptions, it's easy to people off, since most car owner don't know much about auto repair. Here are some of the most common auto repair scams. Knows these might help you avoid becoming a victim to them.

The Highway Scams
Roadside car shops know that people whose car breaks down on the side of the road, far from home or their destination, will pay almost anything to get it fix and not get possibly stranded in the middle of the highway. These shops might charge ridiculously hiked up prices and some mechanics will even add to the damage during inspection, knowing that you'll probably go ahead and pay rather than risk getting stuck.

False Estimates
When you take your car in for inspection, some shops will give you a really low repair estimate. It won't be in writing and it won't be signed. When you come back to pick your car off, you'll find that the final costs are way higher than the original estimate. The excuse is usually that, during the repairs, additional needed repairs were found. Since there's no way to really verify the legitimacy of these claims, car owners usually end up paying for them. Always make sure to get your estimates on paper and signed to avoid falling for this scam. Be sure to do your research and only hire a trustworthy mechanic for your next smog test in San Diego.

Hook Schemes
This is when car repair shops advertise super low deals on maintenance services like oil changes in hopes that you'll come for the special deal and be sold on paying for more expensive repairs or maintenance procedures. Sometimes mechanics will claim to have "discovered" new problems in need of urgent repair, though often time it is they who caused the problem intentionally.

False Parts Replacement
Dishonest mechanics will sometimes claim that a part needs replacing when in fact it is working perfectly well. They'll convince the car owner to pay for the labor and the cost of the new part, when in fact they haven't really done anything to the vehicle at all. To avoid this scam, always ask to see the part that supposedly needs fixing. Ask for this old part back after repairs are done to make sure that it was actually replaced.