Avoid car repair rip-offs (part 8)

One of the most common ways car repair facilities can rip off unsuspecting customers, is to oversell items – services you don’t need, or don’t need just yet.

This is the eighth in a series of articles, developed exclusively for readers of CARP.ca and 50PLUS.com by X-Mechanic Inc. that explains how to avoid this trap.

In all, we’ll cover 14 separate items that are prime candidates for being oversold.

#8 – A/C Service

The rip-off:
Selling this service to you when not required

What it is:
An air conditioning service or A/C service is a general check of the A/C system to make sure it is operation normally.

What the service consists of:
An A/C service consists of the mechanic installing pressure gauges to the air conditioning high & low pressure lines of the system to verify the proper pressures. Also the mechanic will check compressor clutch belt and operation as well as cooling fan operation and a general overall check of all the components.

When should you have it done?
In our opinion it is not necessary to have this done on a yearly basis. If the A/C system works fine and is as cold as usual then we recommend that you don’t do it.

There are only two exceptions to this rule:
1. In the rare event that the manufacturer recommends it at a certain interval in your owner’s manual that came with your vehicle. (Not the dealer, whose “advisors” are on commission).

2. If you notice that your air conditioning isn’t blowing as cold as it normally does or you are noticing a noise when the A/C is switched on

With these two exceptions, don’t let them sell you an A/C service.

Read the rest of the articles in this series:

About X-Mechanic Inc.: X-Mechanic Inc. is a national service that will re-negotiate your car repair estimate, before you have the repairs done, and save you money. If they save you money, you pay them 40% of the savings – to a maximum of $200. If they can’t save you money, you pay nothing.

Click here for more information.