Michael's Blog

Stupid, funny things.

27 July 2004

My car is broken... or is it?

Today I heard a really strange noise coming from my back right tire. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I thought maybe the breaks were warped thus producing the rubbing sound. I thought maybe the axle was broken.

I got really worried because I dreaded that I would have to take my car into the shop and ask them what was wrong with it. I have done this many times before, as I am sure many of us have, and we all know that there is no way to tell weather or not the mechanic is telling us the truth or not. I have taken my car in for tire rotation and I 've gotten calls saying that this that and the other thing is broken, and I had better fix it or my car is going to fall apart. So I take it in thinking I may spend 70 bucks and then all the sudden they have talked me into 500 bucks of work my car needs.

I decide that before I go subject myself to the shop, I will take a look myslef and see if I can figure what is wrong first. So I jack up my car and spin the tire. I hear the same sound coming from behind the tire. I still can't figure out what it is so I stick my hand behind the wheel hoping to be able to feel the problem. Sure enough, when I put my hand back there, a sticker falls out. I have no idea where it came from or what it was even for. Maybe I got it from the road. I figured that was the problem so I took my car for a spin. Sure enough, the sound was gone.

I kind of wish I could have seen what was wrong before the sticker fell off. Then maybe I could take my car into the shop to see what they would charge me to fix it. I have never been able to tell if what they have charged me for repairs was really ligit or not. I would love to be able to test it.

Maybe I will stick the sticker back on and take it to different shops to find out who is honest and who isn't.

Update::: A friend sent this to me. A perfect example of what I am talking about. The poor girl doesn't know anything about cars.



Blogger Jeff said...

I know, I'm commenting on a post from a whole year ago, but I did have the chance to try out the honesty of a mechanic a few years ago, and they failed miserably.

My car just completely died electrically once. We tested the car, determined there was no spark, replaced everything in the system that was cheap and easy, with the distributor itself being the only thing left.

Being beyond my abilities, we brought it into a fairly close repair shop that my father-in-law recommended(and where he brought his fleet of work vehicles).
Two days later they called back and said "the fuel pump is broken". ($600-$700 repair job on this car, distributor was only $300-$400).

Interesting, I thought, that a bad fuel pump could cause electrical problems. I commented to the mechanic's boss that we had thought it to be an electrical problem, to which he replied, "my mechanic said he put some fuel right into the engine and is started right up".

Yeah, right.

So, I got the vehicle towed to a place we knew to be honest but expensive, and sure enough, it was a distributor problem. Go figure.

One more note: about 6 months later our alternator went out. It had been replaced less than a year earlier by this same dishonest repair shop with a "new" one. I think they gave me a refurbished one, and charged me a new alternator price.

At least justice was served: They lost the rather large fleet of vehicles from my father-in-law's multi-million dollar business after he heard what happened.

I'm convinced that you have to get to know somebody at most shops so that they will not feel right about ripping you off. And, know something about the problem before you bring it in so you can accurately know when they are telling you a lie.

November 07, 2005 10:12 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Thanks for the comment.

Now a days, I tell them what to do and as soon as they start telling me that I need something more than I thought I needed, I pull my car quick. You know how it goes. They quote one price and then later you get the call where they say that they noticed that I really need something or my car is going to explode. I just say, "You know what, I don't like being jerked around so you can just forget about doing anything with me car. I will take it somewhere else."

November 07, 2005 1:14 PM  

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