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I think some mechanics have a trick. They'll be real nice to you on something small. Sort of makes you want to come back. So of course you do. Then they screw you real bad. I bought a wheel at Pick-N-Pull. It had an old tire on it. I took it to "______'s Tire and Auto" in San Jose California to have it removed. They did it for free!! AND threw away my tire if I remember right. I thanked them and the guy just said "well, next time you need tires, come to us". Actually, I had bought at least one set there before. So naturally I came back for tires next time I needed them. They do other repairs too.

Anyway, to keep this short (no details), they really screwed me over on my last problem. They're crooks!

AND this has happened to me before at another place. A different "set up" but it happened at TWO places.

It makes me suspicious of the muffler shop guy who found a broken part between two hoses that was sending exhaust fumes into the drivers compartment. I couldn't find the problem. He did. I can fix it. He did the hard part by finding the problem. "Can I pay you?" I asked. "No thanks. It's on the house" (or something like that) he replied. If I ever need any exhaust work, manifold to tailpipes, I'd go there. But did he set me up? I sure hope not. I'd like to think there are some honest mechanics.



Is this common practice? Do they have a name for it? "bait-trap- N screw"?
 

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There are honest mechanics, there are shady mechanics. If a guy at a shop screws you over, talk to the owner or the manager of the shop, if they care about their business, they will make it right. If you can find a good mechanic, stick with them ;) There's a good guy near you in san jose, but you knew that :) stick with him, and he can probably point you in the right direction for things he might not have the means to do himself.
 

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Well I'm nice on small stuff, hoping to get your business back but I only repair what's needed and tell the customers up front what's needed, but I come out right and tell them the comPlete deal if they try an hold off
 

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It's in Misc. - Thought that would be the right place for it lol.

Some mechanics are nice just to get money, some are honest - go with the ones who have a good rep imo, or if you know them for a long time. Still doesn't mean that they will know all, all of the time. Always search out second and even third opinions then make your choice from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There are honest mechanics, there are shady mechanics. If a guy at a shop screws you over, talk to the owner or the manager of the shop, if they care about their business, they will make it right. If you can find a good mechanic, stick with them ;) There's a good guy near you in san jose, but you knew that :) stick with him, and he can probably point you in the right direction for things he might not have the means to do himself.
I know a good mechanic? That's news to me. You mean the guy at the muffler shop? My car broke down on a busy expressway. Stalled and wouldn't restart. I was lucky that a passerby helped me push the car out of traffic. It was still sort of an emergency situation. I needed to get off the expressway. I called AAA. Have him take it to the muffler shop from 5 years ago? I don't even know if he does other jobs. The shop where I had the good experience was only about a mile away. You get one tow per problem with AAA. I had to get it right the first time. I made the wrong choice.
 

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This "conspiracy theory" is WAY over thought. I find it hard to believe that any legit business is gonna look at a customer coming in, think / check records to see if that is a "new" customer, give them great deals, then when they come in again, again check the records, "oh this is 2nd time - put the screws to them!"

Gimme a freakin' break. If any business has the time on their hands to actually keep records and plan / conspire to screw customers like that - you must be one of TWO ENTIRE CUSTOMERS!

Seriously, think about what y'all are discussing here. Maybe YOU have too much time on your hands to come up with such thoughts? I'm just sayin' ......
 

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Im only getting half of the story here, you didnt say what really happened.

No idea what kind of repairs this shop did to your car, but typically ... Tire shops mechanics are OK for small repairs, oil changes, belts, etc .. some do suspension / alignment also, but I wouldnt ask them to do any other kind of work. Same with the muffler shop, they do exhaust work, thats about it.

I usually purchase tires from Americas Tire Co. .. I have a buddy / classmate who works at the El Camino location. I have another buddy (Wyotech grad) who used to work at Wheel Works - not really a good mechanic. I heard a story about how he "accidently" drained the transmission fluid on a WRX instead of the Oil .. instead of admitting the mistake, they told the customer he needed a transmission fluid change and the fluid is not cheap for that car.

Theres a whole lot of good and bad tech's out there. And then theres the BAR if you want to report them - one of my instructors is a part time inspector .. :tongue:
 

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It makes me suspicious of the muffler shop guy who found a broken part between two hoses that was sending exhaust fumes into the drivers compartment. I couldn't find the problem. He did. I can fix it. He did the hard part by finding the problem. "Can I pay you?" I asked. "No thanks. It's on the house" (or something like that) he replied. If I ever need any exhaust work, manifold to tailpipes, I'd go there. But did he set me up? I sure hope not. I'd like to think there are some honest mechanics.
It takes someone with integrity to own up to their mistakes, because I know most people are so proud, they couldnt admit to doing anything wrong. I usually go ahead and admit when something very possibly could have been my fault, but if I know 100% it's not, I will defend myself. When you deal with the public, you get to hear all of the accusations from the stupid people of the world.

I had a woman accuse me of trying to kill her a few months ago. She came in with a broken LH wiper transmission and was already getting into it with the other workers and my dad wasnt there, so I handled it. She said you put wiper blades on my car and charged me $40 for it and now my wipers are broken. I explained that doing wiper refills or blades wouldnt have broken the transmission unless I grabbed the arm and pulled around on it like crazy. I also explained that 99% of wipers sell for $12.99 a pair installed and she was like nope, you charged me $40. She said it happened in the rain and it almost gave her a heart attack, which she was blaming me for. At this point, I found it very difficult to not smile because it was so ridiculous. I told her she couldnt get a refund without a receipt and that I wanted to see the receipt anyway to see what type of wiper repair we had done for her. "well I dont have it anymore." I told her I cant do anything about it. She got in the car and snapped at me about selling her the wrong size tires and I smiled and told her to have a good day as she drove off. She came in like a month or two later and apologized to me. I always thought she was a nice lady, but whoa, you never know about some folks.

I hate people who come in for me to diagnose their problems, give them a quote and then they want to go fix it themselves. I am nice about giving away diagnostics, because I am banking on the customer realizing I do go the extra mile for them, within reason. I have wasted up to an hour before figuring things out that people give me some BS story on about how they will show up and never come back. I do remember those folks so I know to not mess with them every again or make sure to throw down a heavy diagnosis fee next time they want something checked, that will keep their cheap asses going to someone else who wants to deal with them. Alot of people do come back when they see that you wasted minutes and minutes of your time, which they know you charge for, and just let them slide.

If being nice in hopes of someone giving you their business is predatory, and hey I'm authentically nice usually, then what are business owners supposed to do? Be short with them, overcharge for everything and call them "stupid *******s?"

p.s. I also hate people who think we are rich or something, just because we do a big job here or there. I am far far far far from being rich and never will be, and I work my hands to the bone almost everyday with only like 3 days off a year not counting Sundays. I am on salary too, no commission, so I dont get paid extra for "netting" more customers.
 

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I'm a Mechanic and I have the opposite problem. I'll help some one out and then I'll get the "I'll be right back with a check" and the never show up. In some cases it was money well spent, but it gets expensive sometimes.
 

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This "conspiracy theory" is WAY over thought. I find it hard to believe that any legit business is gonna look at a customer coming in, think / check records to see if that is a "new" customer, give them great deals, then when they come in again, again check the records, "oh this is 2nd time - put the screws to them!"

Gimme a freakin' break. If any business has the time on their hands to actually keep records and plan / conspire to screw customers like that - you must be one of TWO ENTIRE CUSTOMERS!

Seriously, think about what y'all are discussing here. Maybe YOU have too much time on your hands to come up with such thoughts? I'm just sayin' ......

I have to agree, being a small business owner all my life I've seen customers dream up some wild ideas about why things happen to them.

As for mechanics, I've had more trouble with the big chains setting me up with free check ups so they can find every little thing wrong with my car and "fix" it for me. The smaller shops will concentrate on what's necessary.
 

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This "conspiracy theory" is WAY over thought. I find it hard to believe that any legit business is gonna look at a customer coming in, think / check records to see if that is a "new" customer, give them great deals, then when they come in again, again check the records, "oh this is 2nd time - put the screws to them!"

Gimme a freakin' break. If any business has the time on their hands to actually keep records and plan / conspire to screw customers like that - you must be one of TWO ENTIRE CUSTOMERS!

Seriously, think about what y'all are discussing here. Maybe YOU have too much time on your hands to come up with such thoughts? I'm just sayin' ......
I guess you're right. Of course they don't keep records and they probably don't remember me. I just seems odd that this has happened to me a few times.

It takes someone with integrity to own up to their mistakes, because I know most people are so proud, they couldn't admit to doing anything wrong. I usually go ahead and admit when something very possibly could have been my fault, but if I know 100% it's not, I will defend myself. When you deal with the public, you get to hear all of the accusations from the stupid people of the world.

I had a woman accuse me of trying to kill her a few months ago. She came in with a broken LH wiper transmission and was already getting into it with the other workers and my dad wasn't there, so I handled it. She said you put wiper blades on my car and charged me $40 for it and now my wipers are broken. I explained that doing wiper refills or blades wouldn't have broken the transmission unless I grabbed the arm and pulled around on it like crazy. I also explained that 99% of wipers sell for $12.99 a pair installed and she was like nope, you charged me $40. She said it happened in the rain and it almost gave her a heart attack, which she was blaming me for. At this point, I found it very difficult to not smile because it was so ridiculous. I told her she couldn't get a refund without a receipt and that I wanted to see the receipt anyway to see what type of wiper repair we had done for her. "well I don't have it anymore." I told her I cant do anything about it. She got in the car and snapped at me about selling her the wrong size tires and I smiled and told her to have a good day as she drove off. She came in like a month or two later and apologized to me. I always thought she was a nice lady, but whoa, you never know about some folks.

I hate people who come in for me to diagnose their problems, give them a quote and then they want to go fix it themselves. I am nice about giving away diagnostics, because I am banking on the customer realizing I do go the extra mile for them, within reason. I have wasted up to an hour before figuring things out that people give me some BS story on about how they will show up and never come back. I do remember those folks so I know to not mess with them every again or make sure to throw down a heavy diagnosis fee next time they want something checked, that will keep their cheap asses going to someone else who wants to deal with them. A lot of people do come back when they see that you wasted minutes and minutes of your time, which they know you charge for, and just let them slide.

If being nice in hopes of someone giving you their business is predatory, and hey I'm authentically nice usually, then what are business owners supposed to do? Be short with them, overcharge for everything and call them "stupid *******s?"

p.s. I also hate people who think we are rich or something, just because we do a big job here or there. I am far far far far from being rich and never will be, and I work my hands to the bone almost everyday with only like 3 days off a year not counting Sundays. I am on salary too, no commission, so I don't get paid extra for "netting" more customers.
Wednesday 8:20 AM The car stalled and wouldn't restart.
9:00 it's at the shop.
3:20 I call them for an update "we're still diagnosing the problem, we won't finish today. we'll call you tomorrow"
4:00 PM. I ride my bicycle to the shop to get something I need out of the car. I had left my paycheck in it. It was in the parking lot. That upset me. I feel like they lied. They should have said "we're busy and didn't start it yet." I'd understand. After all I came in without an appointment.
Thursday 12:00 PM. I call. "We're still diagnosing it". Are you actually working on the car right now? "yes"
Thursday 5:30 They haven't called. I call them. They explain that they're having a lot of trouble finding the problem. It could be the mass flow sensor. It could be the throttle positioning sensor, it could be the 02 sensor it could be the idler control valve. By the way, you need new plugs and wires but that isn't why your car is doing what it's doing. Another lie. The plugs have 7000 miles on them. I do that myself and keep records. The wires, maybe 15000. I have to look it up. I bought the Motorcraft/Ford from the dealer.

Friday they call me. Supposedly the car has no problem at all except the plugs and wires and they'll replace that for $200.00 I think they said. That's BS!! That's NOT what the mechanic told me the day before he already said that's not why I had the problem. Only a fool would pay them $200.00 for new plugs and wires when I changed them myself and also they're fine. I said I'd do it myself and he said by the way, a heater hose broke when we test drove the car. We can fix it for $86.00. I agreed only because I can't drive it home like that or fix it myself at their shop. Oh, if you want new coolant, it's another $40.00 and we also recommend a new thermostat. No thanks. I have coolant in the trunk. Don't refill it.

Later Friday. I pick up the car and express my disappointment that they didn't find the problem which I said is intermittent. I reminded them that they said it's not the plugs but not they're saying it is. I reminded him there's no way plugs would do what happened to my car. He said "but it could be the thermostat". I told him there's no way for that either. He said that since I won't buy the plugs and wires then they can't continue with the diagnosis.
 

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Sounds like you just got a very inexperienced mechanic, at least with our cars. BTW @$200.00 for a shop to do plugs and wires for our cars is not that over priced (not saying that was the problem, but) Wires go for 80-100 + and plugs go for 20+ so that's over 100+ in materials alone. Most shops charge 60-80 an hr for labor.

Again I don't think that this was the problem, and yes I think they were trying to get money out of you, but that price is not unreasonable if the customer wanted them to do it.
 

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Later Friday. I pick up the car and express my disappointment that they didn't find the problem which I said is intermittent. I reminded them that they said it's not the plugs but not they're saying it is. I reminded him there's no way plugs would do what happened to my car. He said "but it could be the thermostat". I told him there's no way for that either. He said that since I won't buy the plugs and wires then they can't continue with the diagnosis.
It wouldnt be a problem with the plugs / wires .. more likely the ignition coil if it is in fact a spark problem and intermittent. Need to check for spark / fuel when it is not starting.

Properly diagnosing the problem is key, throwing parts at it never works ..

The only problem I see with diagnosing a car like yours is that its a Pre-obd2 .. its not like you can just plug in a scanner and watch the sensor readouts to determine what exactly is going on like most modern cars.
 

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LOL, you say that like it's prehistoric.
Back when OBD1 was new Im sure the old guys in the field vs the new guys said the same things. When my car is touched my a shop I assume its gonna be rape and when its not I count that as a lucky visit. And when I say rape I mean a price Im certainly not happy with it but I can come to accept if I want their help this is what the cost is plain and simple. Doesnt mean I have to pay it with a smile but its sure nice to have things fixed isnt it. That said I just minimize letting other touch my car and thats life. So far the bird only needed help 3 times that I couldnt do, trans swap, ac moved/discharged/recharged to do CPS and once time a hurt my hand badly I couldnt finish a job. It filled the bottom of a bucket with blood :)

And yes Ive messed up tons of times in an effort to fix things that a shop wouldnt have messed up but at least I didnt feel like I got mugged in the process. Just a couple scars on my hands.
 

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That sounds like a hell of a story! I know the feeling of getting overwhelmed with too much work, but like others have said, they probably dont have much experience!
 

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LOL, you say that like it's prehistoric.
I know its not that old, but OBD2 has been the minimum standard for vehicles build in the last 15+ years ... its going to be obd1 type vehicles going the way of the carbed engine, there will be less on the road as each year passes, and a lot of the tech's in the industry dont know how to work on something you cant simply plug a scanner into.
 

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PostWhore, The AFDB is on a lil tight.
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I know its not that old, but OBD2 has been the minimum standard for vehicles build in the last 15+ years ... its going to be obd1 type vehicles going the way of the carbed engine, there will be less on the road as each year passes, and a lot of the tech's in the industry dont know how to work on something you cant simply plug a scanner into.
XACTOMUNDO!!!
 
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