Repair shops suck

Joined
Dec 19, 2013
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7,167
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Fort Worth, Texas
Some of the worst Mechanics I've ever seen are Full Patched ASE certified & some of the best I've seen couldn't spell ASE certified if you spotted them the "certified".

Not that I think ASE testing is a bad thing, But the industry as a whole needs MORE training!!! I really enjoy training seminars & employers need to incentivise their employees to attend them like they do with ASE certifications.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
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13,462
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MA
Some of the worst Mechanics I've ever seen are Full Patched ASE certified & some of the best I've seen couldn't spell ASE certified if you spotted them the "certified".

Not that I think ASE testing is a bad thing, But the industry as a whole needs MORE training!!! I really enjoy training seminars & employers need to incentivise their employees to attend them like they do with ASE certifications.
Yeah, the key part seems to be how well organized they are. The guy I use now is pretty well organized, puts all his tools back in the same spot and keeps track of everything he takes apart. I tried one ASE mechanic before who was sloppy, parts were all over the floor and he didn't care where they landed. He was buttoning up my rear brake drums at the time and almost left out a part until I pointed it out to him.
 

ls1mike

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In the Garage...
If I find I can't do something I have always had luck with a couple of indy shops that will listen and know my skill level.

Never been a fan of the dealer, not because of the mechanics, but because of the service writers/advisors.
 

BlueOvalFitter

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I watched a show called MARKETPLACE about an oil change place in Canada that was ripping off customers left and right. They had an indy shop owner go over 3 bait cars to make sure EVERYTHING was ok on all 3 cars.
Watch the video below.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
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Kern Co. California
This is a difficult topic. I spent some time in the automotive industry in an independent shop and dealership. I have also been a customer to dealer and independent facilities as well, so I have felt both sides. I agree that there are many under qualified repair facilities out there and trade schools that turn out under qualified technicians. Like many industries, you can train everyone, but not everyone can do the work. Plus the overhead/operating costs are very expensive especially at a dealership so the cost to do business is high. Many customers think every repair is a simple (cheap) one. People forget that it costs money to do these repairs, and the good technicians have a lot of experience, knowledge, tools invested to do the job. A lot of customers come in expecting to be screwed over and it can be almost impossible to change that even if you do the best work. They are mad they have to spend money on the car and inconvenienced to come to the shop. Now I also agree many shops/dealers have given themselves a bad name with countless upsells to make money that make people feel like they are getting ripped off. I remember arguing with my boss because I refused to sell people injection flushes at 15k miles. I felt the car was too new and shouldn't need it. Yes it lost me money, but kept my ability to sleep at night. I eventually lost the job to a person who had no issue upselling someone with a "new" car at 10-20k miles and having them walk away with a $300 service. I just couldn't.

So, like many have said, since we depend so much on our cars, and spend a lot of money on them, I highly recommend taking the time to find a shop that is reputable and does work that meets your standard. Then be a repeat customer, those are gold in the business. I have seen many repeat customers given special treatment..

Last, thanks for the rant, we all need to and I get it, it gets very frustrating just trying to get a simple repair done and getting strong armed and having to fight about it.
 

buck91

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Apr 17, 2012
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West Michigan
If by *ALL* you actually mean some, then I agree

I mean what I said. So far I’m batting 1000 with dishonest shops in my lifetime. Every. Single. One. I have ever tried to use has attempted to fleece me.

I’m sorry if that offends you and while it cannot be extrapolated across the entirety of repair shops it’s still a ****ing indication.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
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29,207
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
Some of the worst Mechanics I've ever seen are Full Patched ASE certified & some of the best I've seen couldn't spell ASE certified if you spotted them the "certified".

Not that I think ASE testing is a bad thing, But the industry as a whole needs MORE training!!! I really enjoy training seminars & employers need to incentivise their employees to attend them like they do with ASE certifications.

I got the certifications because my job at the time required it but I got more out of corporate trainings and seminars over the years as you say. I still do training on my own dime and may go another Gene Winfield workshop out in CA depending on his health and the current situation but yes I 100% agree more training is needed.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
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615
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NC
Recently I had some preventive maintenance service done on my ride at the dealership I got the car from when new. Had a fluid exchange for the CVT, brakes, front/rear differentials and had a full synthetic oil/filter change as well. About 2 weeks leading up to that I did get a confirmed price for all of that. Once the work was done the service advisor texted me to let me know it was ready and the total cost was about $200 higher than the quote just a few weeks earlier. I called him out on that and sent a screenshot of the service dept. conversation and after a slight pause he apologized saying it was something overlooked on his part. Yeah you think?!? I had noticed a very slight leak from the transfer case previously and asked them to take a look at that while it was on the rack that day. It was confirmed a minor leak and the fix would be $402. I suggested that surely should be covered under my extended warranty as it has another year or 45K miles left on it. There was a bit of a pause and he then took time to look it up and confirm that 'yes you do have that coverage'... Then tells me my part of it will be 'around $100' and Zurich will cover the rest. I pointed out my paperwork specifically states a $50 deductible and silence again for a bit, lmao.

Within 2 days of that service work being done the right rear shock started leaking. I found that a bit ironic that the car has been pretty much flawless and no leak like that and now after the dealership had it on the rack, etc. it suddenly started. Granted at 73K miles it had likely seen some wear, but still... I was quoted $170 per shock and another $200 for the 'install kit', so roughly $540 just for parts and surely another $150-200 for labor. I said the hell with that and found the exact factory shocks, the only parts that actually needed to be replaced instead of reused (4 rubber bushings) and all said/done spent about $330. Did the job myself in a few hours and saved quite a bit. The ONLY reason I still go to the dealership for service is to keep that extended warranty intact so nothing is ever questioned, but once it expires I will find a local independent shop to do the things I don't have the tools/capacity for. Also quite annoying is that with each trip to the dealership I always get calls, emails and texts from the sales manager/Internet specialist pretty much begging me to trade for a new car for the latest/greatest 'special' deal they have for 'great customers like me'... that my ride is highly sought after in this part of the state and the supply is much lower than demand. I have told them countless times the car is paid for, in like-new condition and I intend to keep it indefinitely. Moral of my story is that IF I ever plan to get another car in this lifetime I **** sure wouldn't go to a dealership as it's generally more headache than it's worth at times. End of rant!
 
Joined
May 18, 2012
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7,863
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Baltimore, Maryland, USA
My only gripe with my mech is how far out he is booked, last time I made an appointment to have a brake line leak fixed it was 3 weeks. I just found out the other day one of his mech's quit so now it's just him and one other guy, I can only imagine how far out he will be booked next time I need him. Good thing we have three vehicles!

That seems to be the way to do it. Have a spare vehicle so you can take your time and DIY.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
8,041
Location
Connecticut
Some of the worst Mechanics I've ever seen are Full Patched ASE certified & some of the best I've seen couldn't spell ASE certified if you spotted them the "certified".

Not that I think ASE testing is a bad thing, But the industry as a whole needs MORE training!!! I really enjoy training seminars & employers need to incentivise their employees to attend them like they do with ASE certifications.

Not knocking ASE certifications, but being a mechanic and having good diagnostic skills is a mindset. A lot of the training available (and our education system in general) is about getting people to memorize things in order to remember it for a test, not about understanding how those things work, or thinking outside the box to solve problems.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
703
Location
Southeastern, PA
This is a difficult topic. I spent some time in the automotive industry in an independent shop and dealership. I have also been a customer to dealer and independent facilities as well, so I have felt both sides. I agree that there are many under qualified repair facilities out there and trade schools that turn out under qualified technicians. Like many industries, you can train everyone, but not everyone can do the work. Plus the overhead/operating costs are very expensive especially at a dealership so the cost to do business is high. Many customers think every repair is a simple (cheap) one. People forget that it costs money to do these repairs, and the good technicians have a lot of experience, knowledge, tools invested to do the job. A lot of customers come in expecting to be screwed over and it can be almost impossible to change that even if you do the best work. They are mad they have to spend money on the car and inconvenienced to come to the shop. Now I also agree many shops/dealers have given themselves a bad name with countless upsells to make money that make people feel like they are getting ripped off. I remember arguing with my boss because I refused to sell people injection flushes at 15k miles. I felt the car was too new and shouldn't need it. Yes it lost me money, but kept my ability to sleep at night. I eventually lost the job to a person who had no issue upselling someone with a "new" car at 10-20k miles and having them walk away with a $300 service. I just couldn't.

So, like many have said, since we depend so much on our cars, and spend a lot of money on them, I highly recommend taking the time to find a shop that is reputable and does work that meets your standard. Then be a repeat customer, those are gold in the business. I have seen many repeat customers given special treatment..

Last, thanks for the rant, we all need to and I get it, it gets very frustrating just trying to get a simple repair done and getting strong armed and having to fight about it.

I had this exact thing happen to me when my car had only 20,000 miles on it. Went in for an oil change and tire rotation, only to have the service advisor come out 30 minutes later and try to upsell me on $600 in additional "recommended services". When I pointed out the car only had 20,000 miles on it and was only 1.5 years old, he insisted that these were all services that were recommended at that mileage. I refused the services, and the service advisor put the items on the paperwork as "refused, recommended services". They then texted me every day after the appointment to schedule a time to have the additional services completed. I finally had to contact the service manager and ask for them to stop bugging me about the upsells. The service manager apologized and said he would discuss the upsell issue with his team, and agreed that suggesting $600 in services on a car with only 20,000 miles was a bit aggressive. The next day, I received another text message from the dealer requesting for me to schedule an appointment for the $600 in refused recommended services. Haven't returned to that dealer since.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
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Minnesota
I went to auto school for 12 months over 50 years ago and even the 'greatest generation' often wanted 'sonny boy' to be a doc/lawyer/businessman. A career field where one 'got their hands dirty' was't brag material for mom/granny. I think it's even worse now and the shortages of competent trades is happening-but there are jobs to be had even as the liberal arts grads go begging. I never cared for snobbery and thought looking back at a good days work was rewarding even involving dirt under the fingernails.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
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13,494
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Suburban Washington DC
It's no different for other fields, plumbing, HVAC, tree service, etc.

Have seven juniper trees that next to the sidewalk that needed to be trimmed back. A major tree service wanted $985. A one man service wanted $650 and when I asked if he would do it for $500 and I would haul away the debris, he said no. I ended up doing it myself with a pole trimmer in under 3 hours.

House has a 20+ year old hvac system. Called out a company 8 years ago to check why it wasn't cooling too good. Tech said it was low on freon but suggested a whole new system for $6,000 because of it's age and it would cost $500 just to recharge and it may not last. I ended up buying a 30 pound drum of freon on Craigslist for $160 and adding 2 pounds every few years. System works fine.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
14,908
Location
Buffalo, NY
I had noticed a very slight leak from the transfer case previously and asked them to take a look at that while it was on the rack that day. It was confirmed a minor leak and the fix would be $402. I suggested that surely should be covered under my extended warranty as it has another year or 45K miles left on it. There was a bit of a pause and he then took time to look it up and confirm that 'yes you do have that coverage'... Then tells me my part of it will be 'around $100' and Zurich will cover the rest. I pointed out my paperwork specifically states a $50 deductible and silence again for a bit, lmao.

Very wise on your part to catch any seepage. If this transfer case is anything like the one on my 2019 Nissan Pathfinder, they only hold a few ounces of gear oil. The slightest seal leak and you're toast.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2004
Messages
9,057
Location
Texas
I cannot count how many customers I have gained from dealers and Firestone repair shops! Famous Cadillac and Mercedes dealers in the DFW area alone I have lost track of and the worst work and thievery I ever saw is from Firestone shops.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
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2,790
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Juno Beach FL
I mean what I said. So far I’m batting 1000 with dishonest shops in my lifetime. Every. Single. One. I have ever tried to use has attempted to fleece me.

I’m sorry if that offends you and while it cannot be extrapolated across the entirety of repair shops it’s still a ****ing indication.
You sure do know how to pick those shops. I've had many experiences with shops with no fleecing involved.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
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Connecticut
I cannot count how many customers I have gained from dealers and Firestone repair shops! Famous Cadillac and Mercedes dealers in the DFW area alone I have lost track of and the worst work and thievery I ever saw is from Firestone shops.

It makes sense. A lot of those shops hire people at the lowest wage possible to try and pump out as much green as they can. They are just a stepping stone for those entry level workers.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
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MA
You sure do know how to pick those shops. I've had many experiences with shops with no fleecing involved.
Yeah, or he has super bad luck. There's several shops I've gone to that were fine, they weren't cheap though. I think with the costs so high in this area, if business was down, they'd soon go out of business.
 
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