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Blair Looney, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Central California.

Dear Action Line: I took my gently used car to a local repair shop. It started making a noise that I had never heard before. The repair shop told me it was my brakes and that I needed to have them replaced. So I replaced the brakes. I drove it for twio days and the noise returned.

I took it back to the repair shop. Now they want me to pay for more repairs that have nothing to do with the brakes.

I decided to take it to another shop. They told me it was my transmission and for $400 it could be fixed. I had it done and my car is running right now. Can I get a refund for the brake job I didn't need?

Car repairs can be challenging. Most of us are not mechanics and have to trust the businesses we choose to work with. There is no guarantee that you can get your money refunded, but you do have options.

First, I hope you kept your estimate and receipts so you have proof of the repair and contact the company that did the initial repairs to let it know what has transpired. BBB recommends that you always go back to the company to give it an opportunity to work with you to correct the matter at hand.

If that does not work, you have other options. Call the BBB at 322-2074 and file a complaint against the company. You should also file a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair at 335-7400.

In the future, a good way to find a reliable repair shop is to check first with your BBB office or go online at to check out the shop's reliability report.

Also, ask your friends and co-workers which automotive repair shops they would recommend. A really quick and easy way to get preliminary estimates is to use the BBB's Request-A-Quote program. Go to, click the Request-A-Quote button and enter your information. Within 24 hours, you should receive free estimates from auto repair shops in your area.

(P.S. This service works for all industries, so request before you drive).

-- Blair Looney is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 1601 H St., Suite 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301 or