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Old 11-24-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
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Default Trust today'* mechanics/ service profesionals?

Inquiring to see if other members have confidence when using mechanics or service professionals that they DO NOT KNOW.

I continue to have bad luck. This is the reason I do the work myself- seems I typically can do the job right and/or better. I am not sure if work actually gets down when I take it to a shop.

Latest example was a simple oil change in September. I currently travel all week for work, and am gone many weekends. Decided to take my Wife'* Bravada for an oil change. Came home and noticed the front left tire was nearly flat. Thought I ran over a nail. Checked the tire and found no nail nor heard a leak. Started the compressor and filled the tire. Checked the other three and two of them were under 20lbs. They were all at 32 when I went to the quickie lube. After this discovery went to check the dipstick. Over filled by about a quart.

I have many more stories like the above. While out of town the hot water heater kept going out. Called the oldest plumbing/ heating service company in town. The serviceman stated the vent was installed wrong and needed $400 to replace the vent. The heater was a direct vent- that was why there was no chimney. The problem was a horizontal pipe was under 12", which meant a tiny piece of metal needed to be installed across the exit to restrict air flow. I found this on-line and did the work myself.

I can go on and on, but what I'd like to know if others on this board trust service people they do not know.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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I can't say I have had bad luck like you. I was a AutoTech by trade so I have had my cars only serviced once by someone else since the end of high school. That was for an extened warranty I have. As far as other trades I usually use people that I know or my friends know. I have family and friends in the trades.
The old saying goes, "Its not what you know but who you know." When I need something done I cant do, that becomes the golden rule.
Are you in McHenry Co?
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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Experienced Service Techs are like any profession. Good and Bad. It is best to ask around your circle of aquiantances where they have had good luck. Usually a good shop keeps good Techs and builds a reputation.

Any and all "quickie lube" centers do not have Tech'*. They use bottom line low pay scale people who really know nothing about mechanics other than what they've been told on the job. Otherwise they wouldn't be at the local Jiffy*** Center. These places have high employee overturns to. I will say that some individual ones treat their employee'* well enough to keep them on, and use checklists and supervision to keep things done right, but don't expect it, it is not the norm or average. It can be a convenience, but to risky in my opinion. To you, your family, and the car. If you have to take the trouble to double check everything they do, why bother? If you don't have the time or place to do it, pay a few extra dollars and have a reputable "Full Mechanical Center" do it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
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I have a small circle of people i trust they are the only ones allowed to touch my car.

When i was in Iowa i needed a strut mount and took it somewhere to make sure they told me i need to replace everything up front including the springs for $800 i told them i don't think so went to parts store bought my strut mount. While replacing it i checked everything else over under there both sides and did not find anything else wrong with the car. gotta love scamers plus they itemized everything on the estimate and broke the mount down to all it'* compnents that totaled around $200 each mount i got a monroe strut mount with everything needed to put it in and be complete for $50 how nice of these idiots
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:16 PM   #5
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Living in one of the wealthiest counties in New Jersey (not being one of the wealthiest... or is it just the tax sucking out the $ from my paycheck/?) I have a bit different experience.

I've had the curious experience of having shops tell me that certain jobs aren't worth doing. A couple years back when I bought my Bonneville the engine blew. I looked into getting it replaced professionally, and I think I could've paid for it if I'd decided to, but did it myself instead.

An old High Sierra pickup I once owned blew a brake line and I took it to someone I knew to get the job done. Again, at the time, I had the money to replace all the brake lines (I thought) but my mechanic didn't want to bother. A week later, another section of brake line ruptured, and a few months later rust was eating my gas line and tank. My mechanic friend doesn't like to work on dirty cars, (or old ones) which is why I don't take my work there anymore... mine are all old and grimy.

I have found a good shop or two willing to do quality work even on older vehicles.

Then, there'* the long horror story with the service department at my local Dodge dealer; when I had the unfortunate experience of having a brand-new custom-ordered Dakota made for me back in 2000...

So, I buy old cars, limit my $ risk, and do most of my own work.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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There are professionals I spend a great deal of time researching on before I pull them into my circle of trust - primary care physician, dentist, veterinary doctor for my dog, legal lawyer, family law lawyer and a mechanic. They all get a probationary period and a few test run'* before I bring them into my fold.

I am not shy about asking questions and asking for 'what if'*' and if "I was you, what would you do?" questions. I also don't hold back when I feel that they are doing me wrong and firing them if the fail to deliver.

Having had bad experiences in the past at places that call their sales people or greases monkey'* 'Techs', I don't take the title as a grain of proof that they know what the hell they are doing. Don't get fooled by titles unless they are backed up by professional certifications from organizations that are the governing charter for that particular certificate and are overseen by a licensing organization.

Also...experience along with sound ethical business practices and a dedicated moral obligation to do the right thing mean more to me than a cert hanging on a wall. But those along with the cert are like gold!

I do most of my own mechanical work, unless the vehicle has an extended warranty or warranty repair that was done earlier by a shop needs attention.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
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I've not had any problems taking cars in. But my wife has. I found playing dumb and letting them talk, I get a feel with how they are. They start trying to pull something, I get on them. I prefer the small shops when I need to take it in. Not that I have that happen much.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:32 PM   #8
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I lean towards doing the work myself. I haven't had the best of luck taking my cars in. If I do let someone touch my cars it'* someone who has worked on my friends cars for awhile and has proven themselves
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:08 PM   #9
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You should have seen me when the crew from a friends Custom Shop tore the stock suspension out from under my brand new GXP. Me constantly going around the perimeter, wiping and cleaning everything and putting all in boxes, and asking him if they knew what they were doing and saying "tell me itz going to be OK" .
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:10 PM   #10
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Others working on my car makes me nervous. I'm always watching. I was at walmart getting new snow tires last year. I was not in the shop area when I heard what I thought was my engine, then squealing tires. I went running back to the shop only to see my car still parked.
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