Mechanic reveals what really happens when you bring in your car and they look over whole vehicle

@royaltyautoservice/TikTok Artit Wongpradu/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I would rather tell a customer this is your current issue’: Mechanic reveals what really happens when you bring in your car and they look over whole vehicle

‘Some people would rather be ignorant than know the actual condition of the vehicle.’


Phil West


Two mechanics, discussing what happens when you get your car checked out at an auto shop, liken it to getting a physical at your doctor’s office.

The video showcasing the conversation, from the prolific TikTokers at Royalty Auto Service (@royaltyautoservice) in St. Mary’s, Georgia, generated about 64,000 views since going up on Monday, concerning the question about whether auto shops are trying to “scam” customers by upselling them on repairs they need.

Are shops trying to scam you by looking over the whole car?

The sprawling discussion, in a nearly six-minute video, addressed several different issues, including whether it’s best to tell customers everything that needs to or could be repaired all at once to not only prepare them for how much it will cost but also help determine whether it’s better to trade the car in than invest in repairs.

“I’m not saying that they’re gonna find every single thing every single time,” the older mechanic in the video says, moving toward the doctor and physical analogy. “We’re not fortune tellers. We can’t see the future. But you can definitely see things that are going on now.”

The same mechanic notes, “For example, maybe your tires are getting low. Yeah, right. And they can let you know ‘Hey, six months from now or whatever a year from now you’re gonna need tires,’ you can start preparing for it.”

The younger mechanic in the video, pointing out that their shop does digital inspections and provides pictures and videos, says, “It’s all about transparency, right? And if you’re transparent, then it develops trust. But if you’ve got some vehicles that come in, they need a lot of work, right, but the majority of its maintenance, it’s about having a conversation with that client, getting to understand what they’re trying to do with the vehicle, what their plans are, how much they drive it, and then at that point, you can really be able to personalize what they need based off of that.”

Capitol One, in a 2018 article, laid out “5 Steps to Finding a Mechanic You Trust,” including “doing your homework,” consulting maintenance records, asking to see your car and the problem once the mechanic shares the diagnosis with you, prioritizing repairs, and getting a second opinion.

The article points out, “Be careful of service centers pushing dozens of ‘urgent’ repairs; failing brakes can kill you, but a wheel alignment can probably wait.”

The Royalty mechanics say that a lot of these discussions boil down to good communication and, in their case, their willingness to field customer questions. “People ask us all kinds of questions. We don’t care,” the older mechanic said. “Because at the end of the day, we want you comfortable with what we’re telling you.”

They also believe that most auto repair shops are being honest with customers when diagnosing issues and discussing repair costs.

@royaltyautoservice Vacation was much needed! Back to work now! #mechaniclife #mechanicsoftiktok #cartok #automotive #cartips #tips #maintenance #autorepairshop #viral #fyp #foryou #truck ♬ Pop beat BGM / long version(1283324) – nightbird_bgm

Commenters brought their observations.

“Some people would rather be ignorant than know the actual condition of the vehicle,” one charged.

Another said, “but if you get your vehicle tamed on the regular. like replace things every couple thousand miles then hopefully at one point it won’t add up [to] a huge bill.”

Someone else observed, “People will get upset if you did an inspection with their oil change and next week the check engine light comes on for something new. Nothing breaks conveniently.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Royalty Auto Service via TikTok direct message and website form.

The Daily Dot