TikToker warns motorists to be aware of EML ‘scam’

Sherwood Cooke Jr. is the owner of Royalty Auto Service in the US

TikToker warns motorists to be aware of EML ‘scam’
Photo: Bigstock

A popular TikToker and garage owner from the United States has generated more headlines for UK-based media outlets.

Sherwood Cooke Jr.’s video, entitled ‘The Biggest Scam in the Auto Repair Industry’ has been viewed more than 2.3 million times.

But it’s worth noting that the garage owner begins the video by pointing out that he doesn’t consider it to be scam…

Instead, he says that some garages are guilty of mis-diagnosing an engine management light and then charging a customer for a mistake.

“I don’t think it’s a ‘scam’. I don’t think it’s a shop purposely trying to do something wrong. What I think happens is there’s a lack of training or they’re not charging for the diagnosis properly, so the technician doesn’t spend any time; they just pull the code and throw a part at it.

“But when that part doesn’t fix it, unfortunately, they still tell the client that they needed that part.”

Sherwood says the garage should foot the bill for the error, saying: “If you make a mistake, you shouldn’t charge a client for that.

“That’s probably the biggest ‘scam’… [but] I don’t think it’s actively trying to rip people off, I think it’s just a lack of education and then they’ve put that money in a part and they don’t want to eat it.”

Source: TikTok


  1. I think calling this a “Scam” is incorrect and can damage the reputation of otherwise good garages, and why are you trying to damage the reputation of your own profession??

    Vehicle diagnostics can be a very complex and time consuming operation and during the fault finding process other components often show up to be faulty, A bit like going to the Dr’s for a routine check-up and he starts to tell you other things that are wrong with you.

    We charge for a minimum 1 hours labour for even basic diagnostics then the techs know they have sufficient time to accurately diagnose the problems. It is also well worth investing in the latest diagnostic equipment , keeping the software up to date and providing the appropriate training.

  2. Working as a Roadside Patrol, I saw many examples of garages charging owners a lot of money for time spent on vehicles due to their own lack of knowledge and the fitting of unnecessary parts. For example, complete electronic distributors where just a module would have cured the problem. As always, you can’t tar the whole industry with the same brush.


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