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Old 02-13-2019, 09:33 PM
 
28 posts, read 6,796 times
Reputation: 28

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I was just reading this anecdote from 2008:

Quote:
In November of 2008, I took my 2003 Nissan Sentra to Maroone Nissan of Miami on SW 8th street. The car shook during driving and the "check engine" light was on. The service rep told me that my car had a "broken head gasket" and that I would need a new engine, estimate $5,000.00. I argued with him. My Nissan JUST had the head gasket replaced a little over a year ago at the same dealership. He told me that repairs were covered by warranty for a year and, of course, I was over the year limit. I declined the repair and drove the car home. Weeks later, my father, a mechanic of 30yrs managed to look at the car. He replaced the sparkplugs, the distributor cap and wires. The car ran great.....and continues to run great almost 2 years later. He also said that it looked like the engine had NEVER been opened (in other words, my first "blown head gasket" never happened). I reported Maroone Nissan of Miami to Dade County Consumer Protection Division (305 375-3677). I also reported them to the Florida State Attorney's Office. To make extra money, many of these "service repair centers" make false repair claims while the vehicle is still under warranty (my first "blown head gasket"). The consumer doesn't get too upset because the cost is covered. As long as we continue to tolerate these abuses, they will continue. I would encourage everyone to file complaints with their local consumer protection agencies and State Attorneys offices. https://www.carcomplaints.com/Nissan...d_gasket.shtml
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:11 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,061 posts, read 52,677,678 times
Reputation: 29960
Yes, of course there are dishonest dealers and repair shops that profit from the naivete of the average driver. My worst experiences have been with local Chrysler/jeep dealership service departments. I tried 4 of them before trading in our Jeep and never did find one that didn't try to sell me service that I didn't need. The most glaring was when we went in for a recall, and they called to tell me that the from brake pads were worn out. I told them that I would take care of it with my regular mechanic, and they argued, saying that it was not safe to drive. The next day I did take it to my independent mechanic and he called an hour later to tell me that the brakes still had a good 20,000 miles of life left on them. I always got the most satisfaction from posting reviews on social media and auto repair review sites.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:24 AM
Status: "Beto/Klobuchar or Beto/Harris 2020!!" (set 23 days ago)
 
7,033 posts, read 2,737,078 times
Reputation: 6010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Yes, of course there are dishonest dealers and repair shops that profit from the naivete of the average driver. My worst experiences have been with local Chrysler/jeep dealership service departments. I tried 4 of them before trading in our Jeep and never did find one that didn't try to sell me service that I didn't need. The most glaring was when we went in for a recall, and they called to tell me that the from brake pads were worn out. I told them that I would take care of it with my regular mechanic, and they argued, saying that it was not safe to drive. The next day I did take it to my independent mechanic and he called an hour later to tell me that the brakes still had a good 20,000 miles of life left on them. I always got the most satisfaction from posting reviews on social media and auto repair review sites.

UGH, that's gross. I always felt like my local Nissan service department was pretty honest with me, thankfully.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Austin
779 posts, read 336,116 times
Reputation: 856
If you think they faked a repair, report them to the manufacturer
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:11 AM
 
Location: D.C.
2,091 posts, read 1,720,794 times
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They all do this, and it is a classic example of why you should spend a little time to learn about what you own. This also speaks to home ownership too. Don't have to know every little detail, but certainly "having a clue" will keep a lot of money from jumping from your wallet to theirs when totally not necessary.


Brakes are almost a guaranteed "go-to" item as well, because (1) they're SUPER EASY to replace, meaning very little time needed, (2) they're essential to safety, so they always play that card, (3) they're a wear item, meaning warranty excluded.


The more expensive the car, the more they try this crap to see if they've got someone who doesn't really care about the money.


Let me give you an example - I have a Mercedes, and I am always being told that my pads need to be replaced. Car has 40k miles on it now, and I replaced all brake pads/rotors at 25k miles shortly after I bought it just because I wanted to. The dealership's cost to replace the pads/rotors - close to $3000. My cost to replace all pads/rotors with genuine Mercedes benz parts (not aftermarket) - $400 total.


Car went in to have a bent rim fixed at 30k miles. Guess what they told me about my front inside pads.....Yup, you guessed it. "Sir, our technician noticed that your inside pads on the front are completely worn down and need to be replaced - $800". He called me on my cell to tell me that, he didn't realize I was still in the dealership. I walked over to him as we were talking, and when he saw me, I insisted on seeing the car and be shown these worn out pads. Said it was against corporate policy to allow customers back in the shop area. I said "fine", I'd like to talk to the "technician" about this. When I talked to the technician about 30 minutes later, after he had clearly been advised to BS me about this, I asked one simple question - what could cause a brake pad on the inside of a rotor to wear out faster than the outside, that wouldn't be a defect with the braking system and therefore be a warranty claim item?


They said "sir, these pads only last about 30k miles, which is what you have on the car now".


I said "no, they last about 60k miles, but mine only have 5k on them, as if you even looked at it, you would easily tell those are all new parts on the car, AND THEY BETTER STILL BE THERE!"


Uh, uh, ummm, uh, well, uh, ummm....


Bring me my car, now.


I lit that place up on Yelp. I also filed a formal complaint with Mercedes Benz corporate about this dealership.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:17 AM
 
Location: USA
2,593 posts, read 3,513,492 times
Reputation: 2222
All the time at some places.

Took my vehicle into what I thought was a pretty reputable shop to have brake pads and rotors replaced which really needed to be done. While there, they said my CV joints were bad and needed to be replaced. I declined having that work done bc I hadn't noticed any noise or issues, took the vehicle to a friend's garage who has a lift & we checked the CV joints on our own, they were just fine.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:46 AM
 
4,203 posts, read 3,889,930 times
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Ive never replaced a head gasket, but bow can you tell if an engine had never been opened?


What if they did a excellent job on the repair. Now I have had a Pontiac Dealer tell me my air filter was dirty and wanted $75 to replace it and that my coolant was dirty, so I tool it to another dealer and was told my air filter and coolant were perfectly fine.


Another good one was Firestone telling me in 2007, that my ball joints are bad and I come back a month later wand was told my tie rods are bad, and I said, I though you said my ball joints are bad and they said, well one can cause the other to fail and that the car is not safe to drive, fast forward 12 yrs later and Im STILL on the same ball joints and tie rods, granted the ball joint have been bad for about 2 yrs now though.


So Ive had independent shops lie and the dealers themselves lie too.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:48 AM
 
447 posts, read 105,652 times
Reputation: 674
It does exist, but I think ignorance combined with dishonesty is a recipe that we can all live without.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:49 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 600,612 times
Reputation: 2757
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchwagon View Post
I was just reading this anecdote from 2008:
I'm sure this story, by now, is well-traveled and is told in all corners of this great country, but there was a "legend" about a service adviser who racked up suspicious amounts of commission selling a single procedure - replacing a torn CV boot.

Depending on who tells the story, he either slit them himself or had a mechanic who did, but the outcome was the same. A lot of people paid for [previously] unnecessary repairs due to his tampering, or conspiracy to tamper.

It's not unheard-of for mechanics to either tamper with a customer's car, replace perfectly good parts, or lie about performing work altogether. I would hate to think every single video of mechanic fraud that's made it to YouTube was fake and planted there by manufacturers of OBD-II readers.

-------------------------------------------

My uncle had an older Ford Expedition he brought to a local, independent garage when the engine began to misfire and the check engine light illuminated. The first diagnosis was that he needed a new catalytic converter. $700 to perform and the issue persisted. The vehicle was brought back. It was then determined that it needed a valve job - $4000. The vehicle wasn't even worth that much.

It's kind of strange how technical support reps "live and die" by issue resolution and customer surveys. What if mechanics' and doctors' jobs were contingent on the same metrics?
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
1,998 posts, read 3,455,438 times
Reputation: 1946
I've had both experiences before, and I at least taught my wife to call me before any repairs were made.
She went in one time to get some air in her tires and the guy was trying to convince her that her brakes were bad and she couldn't leave. I've also been to the dumpiest muffler shop and a lady came in and needed a tail light the guy sold her the bulb and put it in for free.
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