Watch Out for Certain Auto Repair People

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Lord Garth, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We hear this all the time. But it's actually true. I have to tell you this story. I posted it in the "Things That Frustrate Us All" thread but this needs its own thread. If I can help convince someone to take action that will save them -- or someone else -- thousands of dollars, I've done my good deed for the day.

    Auto Repair people just tried to rip me off. BIG TIME.

    Let me re-type that in a way that's more accurate to the situation: *B* *I* *G* __ *T* *I* *M* *E* !!!!!!!!!

    B
    I
    G

    T
    I
    M
    E


    They were going to charge me over $2,300 to fix my car. My father talked them down to...

    ... $250.

    I took my car in for one thing and then they said "You need this, you need that, you need this, and that and that and that and that and that, and..." And it all sounded very fishy. But I don't know enough about cars, so I couldn't call him on it. So I called my father, since he knows about cars and I don't, and that was the end of that.

    And this guy was a fast-talker too. Talk about living up to the stereotype of ripping people off and acting the part.
     
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  2. Spectre Of The Fun

    Spectre Of The Fun Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Well you had the good sense to turn to someone knowledgeable about cars for a second opinion. Back in the late 80's my Dad found an honest mechanic near our home and I used him for years even after I left home.

    When I moved recently I used a business I had never used before to get rid of a heavy TV. They had good reviews online and I found those good reviews were well deserved.

    Glad you didn't get taken by their dishonest business practices. It will catch up to them.
     
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  3. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Houston, we have a problem...
    Actually - the best thing to do, once you knew he was a crook --- leave.

    Don't even give them the time of day.
     
  4. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would've done that if I could've. The Serpentine Belt and the Water Pump needed to be replaced. And I couldn't drive it anywhere. I had my car towed over there.

    But I don't disagree with you at all.

    They tried to add a list of a whole bunch of other things on top of it. The car was fine just yesterday. If it really needed $2,000 worth of repairs, I would've seen signs of it much sooner.

    And with the way cars are these days, they let you know immediately if even the smallest thing is wrong with it.
     
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  5. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They did the repairs they were told to do and they tried to pull more bullshit on me. The engine still won't start and I didn't trust a word they said...

    ... so I called the tow truck and had them tow it to another mechanic who I trust.

    I'm not going to type some of the more outrageous, ridiculous shit they tried to pull. I'm angry just thinking about it. The car's at the other place but it still doesn't look good. &$%#**#@%^!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  6. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Houston, we have a problem...
    Having a trustworthy mechanic is a very good thing! (Mine's fifteen miles + away, and worth it.)

    Water pump seized up? That would destroy the serpentine belt as well... Leave it to the pro (the honest one) to figure it out.
     
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  7. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    And what happens if they find all the same faults as the original place, will you assume the original place tampered with your car or that, actually it did have that damage to repair and you annoyed a trustworthy mechanic?
     
  8. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    What with the internet reviews, I'd think it would be harder for this type of business to get away with that BS.

    I tend to look at Google reviews for just about everything. Every place will get an occasional bad review, you can't please everyone. But if there are shit tons of bad reviews, I keep looking.
     
  9. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why is it that whenever you respond to my posts, you're trying to undercut me in some way? This happens every time without fail. Did I rub you the wrong way at some point in the past?

    Anyway, you don't know the whole story. That was part of the "I'm not going to type some of the more outrageous, ridiculous shit they tried to pull" bit I typed earlier.

    Listen to me. My father (who used to operate in a garage and knows cars) said I shouldn't have taken it to the first place. The second AAA guy who towed my car to the second place said I shouldn't have taken it to the first place. The first place was trying to give my father a whole laundry list of things that were suddenly wrong with the car. The first place I only took it to because the original AAA guy recommended it and I wasn't thinking straight...

    ... And I've been going to this second place for the past 20 years! My father's been going to them for 40 years.

    Stop trying to undercut me every time you respond to a thing I have to say.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  10. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You can bet I'll write a review on Yelp once I know what's really wrong with the car and how much it really cost to fix.

    The original people tried to scam my father after he said just fix the belt and the pump. They came up with a list that added up to $6,000. Almost as much as what the car is worth itself: a 2009 Toyota Carolla. A) I can't cover that. B) My father's not going to cover that. It's a rip-off. Then they started trying to fix things that my father didn't approve of them working on. So he said we'd only pay for what he told them to fix. They were just trying to get more money out of us.

    The second AAA guy who towed it to the second place said it looked like it was an issue with the timing belt. Still waiting to see what the mechanics in the second garage say.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  11. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    A good honest mechanic is worth more even than the money implies. You have a certain peace of mind going down the road for the repairs you've got, the money you paid AND for those future repairs you know you'll end up needing (even if you hope you wont) at some point. Once you know a shop tried to overbill you, you're never going to trust them again. My wife and I have been managing with one car under warranty and my motorcycle for years now, but now with a second, antique, car that I'm intending to restore, I'm in that search for the honest shop too. Cause the other thing is, people don't want to admit it, but we all care for our car. It's not sentient, its not alive. But it kinda is.

    Serpentine belts is that they can just wear out on their own, though they do last a very long time, or something else can lead to the failure. One thing I like about older engines with multiple v-belts. you didn't have catastrophic failures, just individual systems going out as soon as their belt snapped. It sounds like they were going to bill you for every single thing that belt touched whether they knew it was bad or not or at least grossly over estimated the hours for the repair at first.

    It's like when I was new in this town and needed to go to the dentist. I made the mistake of going to this really nice shiney new dentist office first thing. They had no wait, and I needed help. I had decent insurance, had enough cash and I had a toothache that was like a dagger being driven into my head. They wouldn't see me until they went through a 30 minute spiel on their financing options. They had a whole corporate-done thing for that, glossy fliers, a video. It was weird. All the place was, was a credit factory built on people's tooth misery. I gave them instructions on how they could best have intercourse with themselves, walked in at a smaller dentist shop down the road with a friendly dentist who had me on laughing gas within an hour. I'm getting these "It'll just be $2500" guys already had the financing forms ready to hand out.

    Get real. It sounds like gave him a 2 and a half grand estimate on a broken belt without checking very much.


    They bigger shops have gotten better at learning how to manipulate those ratings with falsified reports. I'm not saying the all do it, but they know where there business comes from and some do. What they can't do is prevent people from starting to get a better handle on what things are supposed to cost. It seems like it would just be simpler to be honest and get the work done. Being shady requires too much work, these days.
     
  12. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've seen this kind of thing so many times. There's a place that we always used to take our cars to, and everyone there was clearly an incompetent crook. And despite this, my Dad kept going back to them for quite a few years. But it did prove extremely difficult to find a place that knew what they were doing. Some had no idea what an automatic gearbox was.
     
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  13. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't say I've ever been subject to a $6,000 quote, but I've had enough negligent mechanics that for years now I've tried to find a reputable one and stick with them. When I moved here, I found negligent local mechanics and kept asking if there were any reliable ones — no answer. I ended up continuing with the shop I'd used in the previous town, 20 miles away, for an additional 15 years. That has some obvious problems.

    That place's service finally started going downhill 3-4 years ago. Just when it got to be intolerable, I finally found a local shop that came highly recommended. They lived up to the hype — but then went out of business within 6 months due to lease issues.

    Now I'm using the shop THEY recommended. That place strikes me as "meh". I suppose that previous recommendation has some value, though.

    Lord Garth, I hope you get some satisfaction.
     
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  14. Doctor Bombay

    Doctor Bombay Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My bad experience with mechanics seems to stem around time. On two different occasions, with two different mechanics, I was told to leave my vehicle there all day. Well, that's my only transportation and I can't do that, so I told both of them I would wait in their lobbies... all day if necessary. Lo and behold, both jobs were done in under an hour. Now, I don't know if they were going to charge me for multiple hours, but I strongly suspected so.

    A friend of mine told me the other day that the Toyota dealership he has to go to has a set labor price book they go by... a certain problem takes X number of hours to fix regardless how long it actually takes, and that's what you get charged for labor.
     
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  15. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    That story is infuriating, but the upside is they didn't get the money.

    On a similar subject, beware of this one:

    I got a tire pressure warning and checked my tires at home. One was low, so I filled it up and checked the pressure again in the morning. It was a little low again, but just a few pounds. So I filled it up again and went to work. After work the tire was still OK, so I stopped at a tire shop, a national chain. I usually go to a local shop, but this was closer and I thought I could get in and out quicker.

    So I'm in the waiting room and the guy comes in and says my tire valve is "frozen." If he tries to replace it, he warns me, it could break the tire pressure sensor, which is $100.

    "The tire valve, the Schrader valve?" I asked.

    "Yeah."

    "It's frozen, like you can't get the valve to work?"

    "Yeah."

    "Well I filled that tire with my compressor this morning and it worked fine."

    "Well, I don't know..."

    "Can I see it?" I'm starting to get mad.

    "Just a minute."

    A few minutes later he came back in and, guess what? They got the valve to work, what a miracle.

    So I got out of there for a $12 dollar repair, but I know it would have been over $100 if I had said OK to replacing the valve. I will not be returning to that shop or that franchise, obviously.
     
  16. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Do I? Well my apologies, I know some people don't appreciate being asked questions while giving anecdotes when their whole point is to gain sympathy, but it wasn't meant to "undercut you." (whatever that actually means)

    That's very nice for you and impressive confirmation bias and can be chalked up to you making a few mistakes.

    But anyway, I'll assume you'll go for the former option in my question.
     
  17. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't want your fucking sympathy and I didn't ask for it.

    They didn't get thousands of dollars out of me and my father so it was a mistake to chalk up to experience and nothing more. It could've been a lot worse.

    You and I might be different but I actually do like warning people to look out for things and want to make sure people don't make the same kinds of mistakes.
     
  18. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Nor am I going to give you any, glad we agree that.

    Maybe you should drop me a message and explain how I have right royally pissed you off in the past and explain how I have undercut you.

    All this anger and shouting from a simple question seems rather disproportionate.
     
  19. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Garth, I assume this is the first time this has happened to you? Back when I was driving it happened to me in 1992. And 1993. And 1994.

    Etc.

    Businessmen will do or say anything to drum up business. Don't trust them. Pay for the work you asked for and nothing else.

    This is nothing new.
     
  20. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's no point.