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Thread: Had i not seen it with my own eyes i would never have believed it.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Angry Had i not seen it with my own eyes i would never have believed it.

    Well i been having one heck of a NOT fun time becoming the family mechanic and i can tell you it aint because i want to be or am saving loot but after this experience i simply do not have the TRUST anylonger in taking a vehicle to any local shop around me ever again.

    My wife drives the family mini van. Yeah thats the vehicle she made me promise to buy her before she would leave her family and come to Canada. (who would have thought these cars have such powers).

    Well i remember being so impressed with the "handbrake" or parking brake as you folks in NA call it. In the mini van its a footbrake and a release catch. I remember thinking at the time wow had my mom had one of those she would not have pulled her back out which she did while yanking on her handbrake way back in the day.

    So for some years now i dont drive this van. It gets to go to the shop for all its work etc. But i get into it the other day and man the brake aint working.

    Of course my wife never uses the darn thing either so i figure well must be the rust and all and this old truck is getting on but i aint laying out cash for a new one given soon its only going to be the two of us. (hopefully ).

    So i decide what the heck we had this in for this problem several times and it never seems to come back like it was when new.

    So fresh from a training session on the sons honda i get stuck in and pull off everything except the pedal part. Well i am mystified everything seems to be moving etc so i figure in the end its got to be the front cable (there are 4 cables in this parking brake). Checking underneath this cable has damage and looks like rust got to the sheath and so its seizing in my view.

    Well i get to take the underside panel off the dash and proceed to remove the pedal to replace the front cable.

    Wait for it guess what.

    Little by little i see piece of car key sticking out from between the lever and the rubber stop the lever bangs on when you release it. I go no surely no i am seeing things so i go get the wife to make sure i aint been snorting those solvent fumes from the brake cleaner..

    She takes a look and non committingly says yeah looks like something is stuck in there.

    So i wiggle and jiggle the lever and next a label falls out and it has my name and date 2006 on it. The puzzle gets more interesting. In 2006 my oldest banged up the van when he was exiting a local bank plaza and not paying attention. The guy he pulled in front of hit him on the front drivers side.

    So wiggle and jiggle and eventually out comes an entire dodge key. This key fitted the car ignition suprisingly we have the two original keys or at least we thought we did. Turns out the panel shop must have "lost" the key and replaced it without our even knowing. Why the panel shop would shove a key in the brake pedal i have no idea. Its impossible for it to get into that location without being put in their. Well long story short i replaced the cable which was actually neccessary and all is well with the parking brake.

    BUT this was the straw that broke the camels back. No longer will my cars go to any local shops. I will do my own work from now on and if i cannot it means its time for a new one.

    Last time i took my Jeep Commander into the shop to have oil change and a rear tailight changed under warranty my vehicle got driven into the wall by the mechanic who had never had his foot on a hemi before. So what was a afternoon repair ended up being weeks of fighting to get it repaired.

    Then the "warranty repair" to my heater core has ended up with me having to consider replacing the entire vehicles carpet due to the drainage pipes from the sunroof not being inserted into their drain holes and causing the entire carpet to keep getting flooded.

    Their aint enough space here to list all the things i have had to put up with in such a short time. So sorry to all the mechanics but between you and your shop owners you just lost a customer. Now ask me where my shop time has gone lately. Of course this had to be sorted out quickly with MIL arriving this week.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    There is a reason I like bicycles, they are very simple machines......
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Does at least sound like it is time for a new mechanic!!! If you decide to do all your own work, you will soon need a diagnostic reader. Have had good luck with one from HF. Here is the page I found quickly.
    If you decide that is what you need and need help getting one, let me know. Will be your middle man Rob.

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Johnathan thanks for the tip and the offer, but i got one of them gadgets while back and air tools too had to teach the kids what the engine light meant.

    I just normally have a philosophy of supporting local business at the end of the day they your neighbor or your neighbor works for them. Keep the money circulating in the economy, but its like Steve says in his signature.........You gotta have pride in your work and i personally got such a shock when we came here to learn that mechanics get paid piece work.
    So great the good old bean counters in the sky have the whole thing nutted out but it dont lead to quality work. Service businesses need to learn the most critical thing in their business is the word TRUST.
    You only get one chance at it especially when the task at hand affects your safety.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I have the HF Code Scanner also, works great!
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    There is a reason I like bicycles, they are very simple machines......
    I actually take my bike in to the local bike store for a tune up once a year.
    (But then I totally trust and get along with the owner of both stores that I frequent.)

    The key saga sounds very bizarre, Rob. In truth, I virtually never use the parking brake on my van either.
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Sounds like the experiences I've had Rob. I don't choose to do the work myself either. Automatic Transmissions and Alignments are about the only thing I don't tackle. I have a life time alignment with a local shop. I've found they try to make an average of $700 per car if possible (must be the average of what folks expect to part with).

    My wife's car just got out of the shop for a transmission leak and shifting issue, and being that it was a sealed transmission, I had someone else do the work. They also found a few other minor issues on other parts of the car, all totaling up to $1500, which the car isn't worth. I've learned to say no to having some things done by the shop, where I think they try to overwhelm you with all the work and you just cave. Anyway, the $5 seal and flush cost me about $400. Being that I didn't have the time to mess with that and my wife needed the car, I just had them do it, knowing I'd get stiffed. The car needs new front bearings, they wanted $500 for the work. I picked up the parts for $80 and should have them done in under an hour, so I'm not sure how they calculated their estimate. If they'd stop stiffing people and did honest work they'd probably get more referral business to make up for where they gouge folks, but I sure won't refer them.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Before I moved to Nevada, I wrote a column about my community for the local paper. I loved meeting all sorts of people. In meeting with the seniors group I walked into a conversation one day regarding mechanics and who to take the car to and who to never darken their doors. These folks live on a fixed income and every price increase comes directly off their pantry shelves. They make frugality an art form. They recommended a tire dealer who also did repairs as a very senior friendly vendor.

    I talked with the tire folks and found they had discovered the value of word of mouth. They now have one more person than they have bays, so bays are full each day all day. They are very reasonable, never pressure to do 'work' when it is not what you asked for. Guess who gets that work when it is time and money to do so? And guess where new tires are purchased? Their philosophy is to treat everyone like their own mother. Guess where I will drive 400 miles to have my car worked on?

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    North of Reno, NV...middle of the desert
    I've had a few new cars...the ones I got extended warranties on, paid off because of problems with them. The ones I didn't, never broke down. I think there is a conspiracy here

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oliver Springs, TN
    A friend of mine is a mechanic at one of the car dealerships. If he doesn't do any repair work he doesn't get paid. He and one of the other mechanics that he works with found out that the maintenance supervisor was giving many of the repair jobs to the guys in the quick change lane where they change fluids. The guys aren't trained in mechanic work. They found out when the supervisor almost got killed when one of the guys did a front break job and didn't put the rotors back on. They said he put the car in gear and proceeded to drive it into the wall in the back of the bay and just missed pinning the supervisor against the wall. Needless to say all the mechanics were ticked about them cutting their throats.

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