One of the major problems within the automotive industry is something known as “over-servicing”. What is over-servicing? This is when a customer drops their car off at a workshop for a routine service only to get a call with a large list of subsequent repairs apparently “required”.
In many cases, these repairs may actually be necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and maintenance of the vehicle. For example, most manufacturers recommend that the brake fluid in the braking system be flushed and replaced every two years or 40,000kms. The reason being, brake fluid is prone to building moisture in the system. Excessive moisture in the brake fluid system can result in poor braking performance and even internal rusting, which in turn can lead to premature brake wear, or leaks that have the potential to be extremely dangerous. So although the problem may not yet be evident while driving, it’s something that has to be done to keep the car safe.
Unfortunately, in some cases, mechanics have been known to suggest additional repairs or services which are just plain unnecessary. For example, a suspension bush — such as a lower control arm bush — may be starting to show signs of wear and has formed small cracks in the bushing. Now whilst it is evident that the bush is in the early stages of wear and may require replacement in the future, it is far from worn out. I have personally witnessed some repairers up-selling complete control arms (an expensive job) to rectify the issue where in my opinion, the bush would have had at least another 50,000kms of life remaining before needing replacement. In some cases, I have even witnessed fear tactics used to convince the customer that the work is urgent and needs doing immediately.
These sort of deceptive tactics and over-servicing has given the industry a poor reputation and has eroded the trust of many vehicle owners who are looking for their car to be taken care of without expensive, unnecessary costs.
Some other forms of over-servicing I have witnessed are brake pads being replaced with only 50% wear, shock absorbers being replaced at 70,000kms where no visible signs of wear or leaking have been detected, and tyres being replaced where at least 20,000kms of wear remained.
One of the many benefits of being a mobile mechanic is the opportunity to show our customers their worn or faulty parts on the spot. We take pride in building trust and we believe in building long term relationships with our customers. We aren’t here to make a quick buck, but to rather offer affordable and transparent servicing.
Before we offer to replace any parts on a customer’s vehicle, we can show the customer exactly what needs to be done and explain in plain English the reasons for replacement. Customers also can watch to see how long we have worked on the car so that labour times and charges are not exaggerated, ensuring you only pay what is fair and reasonable.