These days, almost everywhere one goes, for the kind of techniques evil minds apply to make a quick buck, does make the following resound in your head, “If you let them, they’ll eat you alive.” You might think that as a motorist, you are pretty-much cocooned from all that happens on the outside. But hey, there are prying eyes aiming at your wallet, ready to make it lighter, the moment you fall for their methods.
The “Your tyre has a puncture” air refilling station
In the last month, every single outlet we visited to refill air in the tyres, most of them had one thing in common. Every time we were told by the guy that one of the car’s tyre has a puncture, there was a tyre shop right next. We decided not to pay heed to the conclusion of these people, every single time, and just asked them to fill it up to the required levels. Because upon getting the tyres checked at a reputed shop, not one puncture was found.
Since then, we’ve been making it a point to get out of the car and follow the guy as he fills up each tyre. You should too because such is the expertise of these people, they can simply damage the valve in no time or create a puncture before you get out of the car to check things yourself. Having said that, if one or any of your tyres have been consistently showing less pressure, even after filling it up regularly, it’s a good thing to get the rubber checked at a reputed tyre shop. The simplest solution though, get a tyre pressure gauge for yourself or better still, invest in a portable pump which does the filling and checking too. You won’t have to spend too much on it.
The “Your car has a scratch which I can remove” guy
At a food court or a mall’s parking lot or even while you are getting the tank filled, a guy wearing a baseball cap and an apron can walk up to you and ask if you’d like to try his skills and products to remove the scratches on your car’s paint. These guys are so pinned by their masters to achieve their targets, they come up to you and ask if you need their services, even if your car hasn’t got one scratch, anywhere.
The other day, one such person walked up to me and offered to help with non-existent scratches on a week-old car. I told him there are none, but he looked at the car in a weird manner and walked away. I got suspicious too and decided to not walk into the food court and observe what he does from a distance. Once I disappear, the man walks up to my car, takes a walk around it, and just when he sat down and was about to inspect something on the rear door of my car with his hands, in my absence, I ran and confronted him. He dismissed his behaviour with a smile and said he thought he saw a scratch, which I think he was about to create.
Even if your car has been mauled otherwise and you decide to get help from these guys, they mostly indulge in a temporary con job to impress you and then ask you to buy products which are guaranteed to not work. If they somehow do, they are very harsh on the car’s paint and will do more damage than any good.
The friendly fuel pump attendant
So you stop to refuel and then the attendant tries to upsell various treatments for the car in the name of a “Free car check”. These quick jobs can range from checking water levels in the battery, injector cleaning additives, fuel economy enhancing fluids, magic potions to make the engine run smoother or something as random as a coolant top-up. For the last item, the attendant lets his human body become the temperature sensor of your car and tells you the car is running hot and requires a top-up. You might even give in, open the bonnet, and he’d show you how there’s less fluid in the container like he said. But he won’t tell you that a lot of it is being circulated in the radiator and for some reason, if you agree to his tactics, he’ll tell you that coolant is never mixed with water and pour in at least 3 cans with a wicked smile while the engine is still running.
There are con artists out there who work as valets, temporary car drivers or in some cases even those who pick your car for service since some dealerships outsource this job to a third-party. These guys are masters in cloning your car key and we don’t have to tell you what can happen after that. We aren’t suggesting that all of these guys indulge in such practices, but it’s a cruel world.
The Road Runners
You can be stuck in traffic someday, inching forwards, and out of nowhere, a biker can tap at your window, suggesting to be angry about something or politely pointing towards your car like something’s wrong. In both cases, the idea is to get you out of the car and then, whilst you aren’t paying attention, a third-person appears out of nowhere, picks out any valuables from your car and vanishes into thin air. In addition to all these instances, there are urchins who roam about at red lights with sharp objects in their hands and scratch your car on purpose if you refuse to pay. Then, there are really young kids who pick brand badges off your car to make a quick buck.