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Old 11-18-2016, 05:37 PM
 
793 posts, read 909,664 times
Reputation: 572

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I use to take my carS to this shop locally that recently closed or moved. One of the mechanics who use to work for the shop, I called him over to install a new headlight for me. While we were chatting he admits that the car shop (he know longer works there) use to unplug vacuum houses and do stuff to people's car so they would have to get it fixed. He told me that they did it to my car, but he didn't have anything to do with it ..I was kinda lose for words. The shop isn't a mobile mechanic shop...I just asked became familiar with one of the guys.

Even if the car shop was open, I'm not sure if their is any legal action I could take, because I have no proof.

Mechanic shops are a fking rip off...I need to learn how to fix my own cars...especially since I have 3. Never in my life have I meet bigger crooks then auto mechanics...they tell you anything, and its nothing you can do about it.
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:18 PM
 
Location: TX
99 posts, read 112,239 times
Reputation: 138
It's funny, but i have just replaced both of my headlights one hour ago. It was the first time i did it and it took me 10 minutes.
The more you will hang around in these independant/dealership you will see and find out more things that will make you angry.
I would suggest you to start learning how to do basic maintenance by yourself.
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,721 posts, read 14,690,238 times
Reputation: 11035
You "new" mechanic is lying to you and anybody with any experience with a new car (1996 or newer) knows it. You pull a vacuum line to make it run like crap and it will set a CEL before you can leave the shop. It will set a PO 171 or PO174 code immediately. There's very little they can do an engine these days that won't immediately set an OBD code and a CEL.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:31 AM
 
Location: San Diego A.K.A "D.A.Y.G.O City"
1,992 posts, read 4,003,790 times
Reputation: 2718
Like TrapperL said, new cars are very sensitive to changes especially if a vac hose or sensor has been disconnected, but if someone comes into a shop with a CEL already on, then it's a whole different story as the shop can simply disconnect a sensor and claim that the part has failed therefore telling the customer that they need a new TPS or IAC valve.

It's even easier for them to mess with cars pre 96 and get away with it.

I work in the auto parts industry and drive to independent auto shops daily, and the majority of them survive on very thin margins. It cost a lot of money to run a repair shop, and the returns are low (sometimes I wonder why they even bother to own a shop) since prices for parts continue to rise, including payroll for good mechanics that have a lot of experience.

So in order for them to keep the doors open, especially the desperate ones that don't know how budget or even operate properly, they will all try to upsell to customers hoping that they give in. Or in some cases unfortunately, if a certain shop is really in need for money, they will break something on your car purposely in order to make extra cash.

It's a tactic that has been used for years, and it will never go away unless sensors are installed on every part in a car in the future to prevent fraud.

What is easy for shops to get away with is in suspension and brake work. They can easily unbolt something and say that you need new struts, when really maybe the rubber mounts have wore away. A $10-20 part, but they'll charge $100 to fix.


Far too many people these days simply know absolutely nothing about automotive repair or even basic maintenance and they get taken advantage of. I blame this on the fact that modern cars and trucks are so reliable now, that people really don't have to worry about their car breaking down like they did decades ago, so drivers have no incentive to learn how to fix them when something does finally fail.

The cars PCM tells mechanics whats wrong, but even then, you always want to have an experienced mechanic/technician to diagnose hard to find or unexplained issues that no laptop will ever tell you.

I would just tell everyone please buy yourself a book on how to maintain your car, and what to look out for when it comes to shops. Trust your instincts, and if you see dirty shops with tons of parts sitting on the shop floor, tools, open grease containers, dirty towels, basically an all around filthy shop conditions, 99% of time these types of shops are operated by people who don't care and possibly screww you over.

Unless you're into cars and like fixing them, then you probably already know what to watch out for, but sadly the majority of the general public are like a deer in headlights, they are blind and clueless to it all, and they are the most vulnerable.
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
2,048 posts, read 2,542,586 times
Reputation: 5874
I'm not "into" cars and I don't like doing mechanical work, but a good knowledge of mechanics is unbelievably invaluable in todays world. The difference between repairing a car yourself and paying a professional to fix it is staggering.

I have made several repairs that cost me an hour and $50 dollars in parts and the same repair at a shop would be $1000. In fact when I used to take my cars to a shop, I can't remember any repairs that were less then $1000.

Yes, and I can verify that almost all professional auto shops will spike a repair to get more money. The people that say shops don't do this work in these shops and are protesting their rears. I have caught shops red handed doing this to me.
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:57 AM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
2,769 posts, read 2,353,476 times
Reputation: 3828
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdlife619 View Post
Far too many people these days simply know absolutely nothing about automotive repair or even basic maintenance and they get taken advantage of.
kid at work: so do you know how to work on cars?
me: yeah
kid at work: so you can change a tire and stuff?
me: uh, yeah
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Old 11-19-2016, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
5,791 posts, read 2,782,575 times
Reputation: 6375
Fortunately, I have a guy that doesn't do any of this stuff. He fixes what needs fixed and nothing more.
And if there are repair options (like you can use Brand X and pay $$ or Brand X and pay $) he gives me them.

He's also done "not by the book" repairs at my request.
I had an old Cadillac with rear auto leveling air suspension that was stuck at the high ride height.
To fix it was big $$$, but since it didn't leak we set it to level and then disabled it.
Couldn't really tell any difference and it saved me a lot.
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Old 11-19-2016, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
8,308 posts, read 11,878,208 times
Reputation: 7709
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperL View Post
You "new" mechanic is lying to you and anybody with any experience with a new car (1996 or newer) knows it. You pull a vacuum line to make it run like crap and it will set a CEL before you can leave the shop. It will set a PO 171 or PO174 code immediately. There's very little they can do an engine these days that won't immediately set an OBD code and a CEL.
And yet shops still do it. I took a car in, running fine, got a state inspection, then when I picked it up, suddenly the intercooler boots were loose and it sounded awful and instantly threw a CEL. The shop claimed they never touched them!
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:08 PM
 
8,222 posts, read 4,014,600 times
Reputation: 21818
Good to learn auto mechanic tricks of the trade.

Yes shops sell, ripoff, and enjoy watching you scramble to find the funds.

I work on my car ( lady here !) . And what I don't know...my friends come and help on.

To those saying the computer throws a code...and ??? What's your point? All the mechanic does, is says... while working on your ( insert technical nonsensical word) it threw a code...it will cost an extra ( insert $200-400) to fix it. Most will not question it. The fear of not being safe ....great scare tactic.

Learn the basics and enjoy the camaraderie with friends.

My mechanic for inspection loves to be evasive when trying to do the safety scare tactic. I recently got tired of his scamming...and called his main company. I got a full refund and an apology . Rarely do I want someone to lose a job...but this guy was released and the new guys in there are more budget minded.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
5,791 posts, read 2,782,575 times
Reputation: 6375
I have a code reader.
They're cheap and at least you're not flying blind having to take someone's word for it when you get a CEL.
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