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Old 02-20-2002, 10:19 AM
Posts: n/a
Steve - I know what you are saying - perhaps people get disgusted with ALL mechanics - because they have been taken to the cleaners or not been happy with the work done by untrained or unscrupulous mechanics. The good get tarred with the bad. I myself became a shadetree mechanic because where I live good mechanics are hard to find. My first bad scenario happened in 1990 when I took my Aerostar to a Ford dealer for a tuneup and got hit with a $200.00 labor bill to install a cap and rotor, air filter and 6 spark plugs. They said they had to jack the motor to do it. OK - I understand. The part I didn't like was after I drove it for a week, I popped the hood to check oil and found 3 bolts about 2 1/2" long sitting on the rad by the hood latch. When I asked them about it - they said "if it is running right -don't worry". I worried until I got rid of the van. Stupid thing that a pro should not have done. When I got my Mercedes I thought - the techs at the Dealership MUST be good. - I took my car there for a miss at idle - $400.00 later and one new spark plug wire - it still missed. The answer " it can't be- the computer says it is ok" When I showed them it wasn't - they said they had no idea. I was ticked off but decided to work on the car with my friend who does mercedes repairs as a hobby. When we started checking under the hood - the computer box was loose - they took out the nuts that held it in place and forgot to replace them. I now maintain 4 VW's, my Mercedes and an Olds. My daughter just took her VW with battery problems back to the repair center that sold the battery to me to check the battery - $20 later the guy said there was nothing wrong with it. I learned about checking batteries on the net and found out one cell was shorted. When we took back the battery with this info they replaced it under warranty but would not refund her $20.00(oh yes it was the problem). I know all this sounds like puny nit picking -BUT - when I am expected to pay premium dollar for professional diagnosis and repair and I get sloppy work and poor attitude in exchange - I decided to do my own repairs as my standards seem higher than theirs. As many threads show on this site others have had bad mechanic experiences. It is truly unfortunate that quality shops and techs like yourself suffer because of some shoddy shops out there. I guess it is just human nature to classify all the industry the same. You ever notice on this site how people always ask for a quality shop in their area??? When the choice is aggrevation or do it yourself, I choose do it yourself. Yes I have spent money needlessly for parts - but I wrote it off to education.Too bad cars were not small enough to send in the mail - I'd rather have an honest pro like you do the work than me. If your shop does quality work and your mechanics are pros - you will always be busy - a running car is not the goal - Customer Satisfation is. It is also the best advertising. Sure you will get the deadbeats that will try to get things for nothing from you - but I bet they are in the minority. Most people (especially those who own Mercedes) don't mind paying if they get what they paid for.
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