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Spongy brakes, 'mayonnaise' under your oil cap? - 7 types of mechanic jargon that baffle motorists – and what they really mean

2018-07-05 15:00

READERS RESPOND: Wheels24 readers make their displeasure known about being taken for a ride by mechanics and workshops in South Africa. Image: iStock

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Nearly half of motorists (47%) feel they’ve overpaid for car repairs because of confusing jargon used by mechanics, reports a survey by MotorEasy.

Drivers hearing the phrase "big end has gone" or that there's something wrong with their car's "bushes" is causing them to lose faith in their garages.

It’s even worse for women with baffling workshop lingo causing a third (32%) of female drivers to stop using a garage because they felt they were being taken advantage of due to their gender.

The firm has compiled a list of seven commonly used terms that leave drivers baffled and what they actually mean.


What jargon have you experienced by mechanics in SA? Share your story with us

MotorEasy founder, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: "Garage mechanics are among the worst around for using phrases and terms that may make sense to them and may even be technically correct, but which mean nothing to the casual car owner.

"While some garage customers may be bold enough to ask for an explanation, the majority are very British about it and will simply accept what they’re being told, trusting that the technician knows best.

"The problem is that this trust is open to abuse and unscrupulous garages could even use jargon to deliberately confuse their customers and even get them to part with more cash unnecessarily."






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