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Cho Baka
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reply to IowaCowboy

Re: Major car repair

There isn't an easy way to ask this, but is it possible you are sending off bad vibes?

I have seen shops decline estimates when they are "afraid" to take on a certain customer. This might be someone who tells them what to do, or has unrealistic expectations.

What you are asking for is bread and butter work. I can see no reason why you can't get an estimate.

For what it is worth, aftermarket cats are notoriously crappy. They may get you through one emissions test, but in following years the chance of a pass is less. Although the dealer cat is likely cost-prohibitive, I would still give them a chance at an estimate. A phone call should be enough given that you know you need exhaust from the manifold back.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Juggernaut
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said by Cho Baka:

I have seen shops decline estimates when they are "afraid" to take on a certain customer. This might be someone who tells them what to do, or has unrealistic expectations.

I think you can add 'knowledgeable' to that as well. Informed consumers are not 'big buck' consumers.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


Juggernaut
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reply to Cho Baka
To add, my mom's Taurus blew the timing chain. Took it to have it fixed. She called me from the shop because they asked her if she wanted them to check if she had antifreeze in the oil. It was a $50 charge. $50 to pull the dipstick? WTF?!

I said I'd check it. It was fine. Bastards.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


Cho Baka
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That needs qualification in my opinion.
Knowledgeable people will spend the bucks when appropriate.

An example would be replacing a power steering pump to prevent damage to an alternator.

There is a time and place to spend money.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


IowaCowboy
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reply to Juggernaut
said by Juggernaut:

said by Cho Baka:

I have seen shops decline estimates when they are "afraid" to take on a certain customer. This might be someone who tells them what to do, or has unrealistic expectations.

I think you can add 'knowledgeable' to that as well. Informed consumers are not 'big buck' consumers.

And those are probably the same shops that rip customers off by upselling repairs that are not 100 percent necessary to restore the function. Shops probably don't like informed customers since they know what the car needs and will decline repairs that they know are not needed. They try to tell me the whole exhaust is bad but I know that everything past the cat is in better condition.


Cho Baka
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2 recommendations

That is a pretty broad brush you are painting with there.
What is a repair that is not 100% necessary?

Is it a cracked CV boot that is on the side of the vehicle next to one that has already failed? Wiper refills that might go another 6 months? A properly functioning thermostat on an engine that just blew a head gasket for another reason? Valve seals when pulling the head to replace the gasket?

Everybody wants to save money when having a repair performed. Everybody also likes to point fingers when something fails after a repair is performed.

The following refrain is quite common:
"The XXXXXX should have been obvious that it was going to fail", followed by a demand that the shop pay for it.

Best of luck with getting your vehicle repaired.

As for next time, always have an inspection performed on any vehicle you are thinking of buying.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Juggernaut
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reply to Cho Baka
See my post below the one you quoted. I think that qualifies, don't you?
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


Cho Baka
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It may. I'll assume that they weren't sending off an oil sample to a lab for testing, or removing the oil pan.

With failed timing chains I recall plugged oil strainers. Inspecting/cleaning these is crucial. Something that crucial should be part of the basic repair. (I'm not sure it applies to the Ford)

This all goes back to my pet peeve, poor communication between shops and customers. Part and parcel with this is that no bullshit charges or services are performed. There must be trust.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Juggernaut
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Indeed. Trust is the qualifier. We all know that antifreeze in oil turns oil milky. I had changed my mom's oil 3 days before. It was a BS money grab.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


IowaCowboy
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reply to Cho Baka
Rip-off shops are the reason I'll never take a car again to Pep Boys. When I first got my license and my first vehicle (a 1991 GMC Sonoma pickup), it failed inspection for an E-brake not working. Took it to Pep Boys and I knew the truck had new brakes as it belonged to my grandmother's husband and they sold me a complete brake overhaul when I figured out years later (after learning the inner workings of a vehicle and learning how to do simple repairs myself) that the only thing wrong with it was a bad cable or poorly adjusted cable. And when you see the words "premium" on the estimate, that is a clue to run, don't walk or drive the car out of that shop faster than Jeff Gordon on the Indy 500. And I was young and clueless at the time and was excited about driving.

The fact of the matter is that many of the national chain shops set quotas for upselling. Take your car to Jiffy Lube, they'll push wipers or air filters (which are easy to do yourself at half the cost).


Cho Baka
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reply to Juggernaut
Coolant in oil does turn it milky, but if it is very recent - co-incident with the chain failure/damage (or due to the repair), then it could be sitting in the bottom of the oil pan.

That doesn't matter here though, as in either case is isn't right to sell that as an inspection.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Juggernaut
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Any AF in oil will blend in seconds for the leak check.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to Juggernaut
said by Juggernaut:

said by Cho Baka:

I have seen shops decline estimates when they are "afraid" to take on a certain customer. This might be someone who tells them what to do, or has unrealistic expectations.

I think you can add 'knowledgeable' to that as well. Informed consumers are not 'big buck' consumers.

I have sort of seen that. I am not super knowledgeable yet some shops like to add on the extras. The rusted bolts that will cost you. Rusted bolts are impossible and you need to replace everything you know.
I do not probably get the cheapest pricing yet I do not get the bend you over outrageous pricing. A shop boots me away I am better off.

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
said by nonymous:

said by Juggernaut:

said by Cho Baka:

I have seen shops decline estimates when they are "afraid" to take on a certain customer. This might be someone who tells them what to do, or has unrealistic expectations.

I think you can add 'knowledgeable' to that as well. Informed consumers are not 'big buck' consumers.

I have sort of seen that. I am not super knowledgeable yet some shops like to add on the extras. The rusted bolts that will cost you. Rusted bolts are impossible and you need to replace everything you know.

The old blue wrench takes care of rusted bolts.


LazMan
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canada

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Rip-off shops are the reason I'll never take a car again to Pep Boys. When I first got my license and my first vehicle (a 1991 GMC Sonoma pickup), it failed inspection for an E-brake not working. Took it to Pep Boys and I knew the truck had new brakes as it belonged to my grandmother's husband and they sold me a complete brake overhaul when I figured out years later (after learning the inner workings of a vehicle and learning how to do simple repairs myself) that the only thing wrong with it was a bad cable or poorly adjusted cable. And when you see the words "premium" on the estimate, that is a clue to run, don't walk or drive the car out of that shop faster than Jeff Gordon on the Indy 500. And I was young and clueless at the time and was excited about driving.

The fact of the matter is that many of the national chain shops set quotas for upselling. Take your car to Jiffy Lube, they'll push wipers or air filters (which are easy to do yourself at half the cost).

GASP!!??!! Shops trying to do up-sells on high-margin items? The HORROR!

Seriously, though... Nothing wrong with them trying an up-sell, in the right context, and accepting "no thanks" as an answer... And it's not always an upsell, either... Just because something isn't broken YET, doesn't mean that the suggestion to replace it, is a bad one. It's call preventative maintenance.

BTW - the most successful up-sell question in history (according to the business classes I took, anyways) - "Do you want fries with that?"

WRT to you brake job - you're looking back at it from years later, saying they ripped you off... No way of knowing if it was a bad or mis-adjusted cable, or if the e-brake assemble in the drum was seized up, or what... You're assuming you know the problem, and that they ripped you off. You knew the symptom - the e-brake didn't work. You don't know why... They might have ripped you off. They might not. I don't know. Neither do you.

Finally, to your OP about the cat - as others have said, it sounds like a super-routine job to me... Couple hours work, maybe - not fun, having to cut nuts and stuff, but not out of the ordinary, either... Is the car in really rough shape, or is there another factor that could be scaring them away from the job?

Lastly - and don't take this the wrong way - look at yourself, and they way you're approaching the job, and them - their PiA meter may be going off, and they are deciding the job isn't going to be worth the headaches... I'm basing this on your assertions that Pep boys ripped you off, that the dealer ripped you off when you bought the car, that your LL's a slumlord, etc, etc... You may be throwing off a vibe that they are picking up, and reacting to...

Just sayin'...