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Old 08-04-2004, 08:07 AM
nazrat nazrat is offline
Diesel on the brain
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Upstate Virginia
Posts: 566
Oh boy, don't get me started. I have no doubt that there are many mechanics in my area who have far more experience and skill at repairing vehicles than I do, however I haven't found them, and I can't afford to keep trying.

I have an honest indy mechanic who'd I'd trust to do anything, however they don't do everything. Things like alignments and exhaust systems they don't really do so I'm forced to go elsewhere.

I've spent close to $1500 (on two vehicles) at 4 shops to fix exhaust leaks. Both vehicles still leak (although I only still own one). I actually just got another vehicle that I can drive to work, so shortly the entire exhaust system will come off and I'll fix it myself.

I've been through 4 alignment shops. One was just mismanaged and not worth the hassle of getting in and out. Another was "crooked" from the start, refusing to align the vehicle because of worn out components. I can accept that, however they circled almost everything on the sheet: 4 tie rods ends, steering box, steering idler, center link, ball joints, etc. If they'd circled just the problem part (steering idler) I might have been able to trust them.

Another shop charged me $95 for an alignment, which turns out they didn't do. The sheet from the computer that they gave me says that they didn't do the alignment. However, they are willing to align it for another ~$130 - which is their charge if they have to get into anything. Crooks. Another store in that chain was willing to help until they found out that I'd started at a shop where they knew the manager. Then they turned me back over to that shop, and suggested that I pay the extra money.

I went in to have my tires balanced. That's 4 tires balanced, and all over the sheet I wrote to not rotate the tires. I had one that caused the truck to pull, so I needed it on one position on the truck. 2 hours and 2 tires balanced later, and the truck vibrated and pulled into the gutter. I had to go back to have them balance the other two tires and put the tires back in their appropriate places.

Another vehicle... those "Lifetime mufflers" - well they will replace it only if they can charge you to replace the pipes on either side, since they aren't technically part of the muffler.

I don't know how most people manage to get cars worked on. I really don't. I can't be the only one with luck like this. I can only imagine what kind of service I'd get at most places by asking for a bearing repack, or changing the transmission fluid. It makes me shudder to think about it.

My wife agrees. She's not opposed to me getting a lift (at our next house) because she sees the bills from the places too (the ones that don't do the work) and then sees me actually doing the work.

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