Many auto repairs that people spend money on every year are actually not necessary. The problem is that, unless you know a lot about auto service and repair (in which case, you probably wouldn't be going to an auto shop for help because you could probably diagnose and maybe even treat the issue yourself), you have no way of knowing whether a mechanic is charging you for something you don't need. Now, there are many honest auto shops out there, but if you know what to look out for, you can protect yourself against those that aren't.

"Loss Leaders"
Loss leaders are deals offered by auto service shops that seem "too good to be true". These are usually incredibly low-priced services, on which the shop knows it will lose money. Sometimes the service will even be free, like a free tune-up or oil change. Their hope is that customers who come in for the deal, can be sold on additional, more expensive, services, many of which the customer might not have even known his or her car needed. In this situation, always ask mechanics to explain the suggested repair. If not convinced, go to another shop for a second opinion.

Needless Replacement of Parts
Some mechanics will try to convince you that a certain parts of your car need replacing, when in fact they are working perfectly fine. A good way to make sure they are being honest is simply to ask to be shown the part and what exactly is wrong with it. Also, request to keep the old part when the job is done, to make sure that a job was in fact done. If you are still suspicious, take this old part to another shop and ask to see if it actually was in need of replacing.

Sometimes even honest mechanics will mess up and misdiagnose your car. If they make the repair and the car is still not fixed, they will usually not charge you for the ineffective repair, as they shouldn't. To avoid having to go through the hassle, make sure that the mechanic's diagnosis matches with the symptoms you've seen, and ask as many questions as you have to.

Work You Did Not Authorize
Never tell the auto repair shop to fix whatever it is that needs fixing. Doing so is giving the mechanic a free pass to charge you for whatever he wants. Always request and itemized repair estimate, so that you can see exactly what is being done to your car and how much each thing is going to cost. That way, when it is time to pay, you'll know if you were charged for something you didn't authorize.

San Diego, California auto shops have some of the finest places around that can give you great service and good deals.