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Non Tesla Service Shops (and non-Tesla vehicle)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by green1, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Mar 25, 2014
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    #1 green1, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
    I need a model S, Elon has promised to revolutionize the entire car owning experience, and boy do I need that!

    Short history of my vehicles and various mechanics:

    1983 Mercedes 300SD:
    - 2Square Auto Calgary charged me for replacing the brakes, "turned" them instead. Additionally charged me about double the going rate to replace a timing chain
    - Lone Star Mercedes Calgary returned car with a two inch long, half inch deep gouge missing from the grille and offered to charge me to fix their damage, also broke two glow plugs while testing the electrical systems, again offered to let me pay for repairs.
    - Hyatt Mercedes Calgary while troubleshooting a sudden increase to the amount of smoke the vehicle produced, coupled with a sudden decrease in acceleration "that's normal, it's a diesel" (it wasn't normal last week... or for the past 18 years! (turned out to be a jammed altitude compensator))
    - Hyatt Mercedes Calgary while troubleshooting a persistent dead battery, boosted the car to get it in to the shop, tested it, boosted it to get it out of the shop, told me nothing was wrong with it, charged me for their time, and boosted it again to let me drive it home.

    1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300
    - Diesel specialist investigating a hard starting issue sheared off a temperature sensor on the engine block, refused to fix it, or take any responsibility. (Also didn't fix the problem (but charged a lot of money for their time) which I eventually fixed in my driveway by tightening the connections on the starter motor.)
    - Shop dealing with a cracked head put a timing pulley on backwards resulting in a valve "tapping" a piston and eventually breaking off and falling in to the cylinder
    - Different shop repairing that damage didn't fully tighten the crankshaft pulley on to the crankshaft resulting in it falling off while I was driving a little later (that was fun... :scared:)

    2008 Ford F350
    - Universal Ford Calgary balanced the wheels as part of a tire rotation, before balancing no problem, after balancing the vehicle gave me a full body massage any time I hit the highway, they blamed the new tires I had on it, and said I needed to buy new tires. I took it back to the tire shop who rebalanced the wheels to fix it.

    And now this:
    1994 Mitsubishi Delica L400
    - Nurburgring Automotive Calgary have done physical damage to my vehicle twice. The first time they broke a skylight on my vehicle, and admitted fault and repaired it at their cost (though I was without my vehicle for about a month while they repaired it, with no compensation). I understand accidents happen, so I continued to use their services. Unfortunately they now put a very large dent in the roof of the vehicle (about an inch deep and 6 inches across). This time when I asked about it (politely and reasonably) the owner got quite upset at me, told me they couldn't possibly have damaged it, and refused to even look at the damage, let alone do anything about it. He in fact started blaming me for daring accuse him of the damage (which I know for a fact happened while it was in their possession, and due to the placement could really only have been a hoisting incident, it is a tall vehicle, but that's no excuse.)

    Needless to say I'm awfully sick of mechanics in general, and have a rather low opinion of the profession in general right now. Please Elon, put all these places out of business!
  2. djplong

    djplong Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Examples like those are precisely why I'm already saving for my Model E. If my life had turned out a BIT differently, I might already have a Model S but I don't regret it at all.

    Over the course of my life (I'm 51) I've discovered that finding a good, HONEST, independent mechanic is worth it's weight in platinum!

    Some of the more egregious examples...

    My (now-ex) wife takes the car into Midas for brakes. They quote her a price of $800+. I take the car in two days later and they quote me under $200.

    My adoptive mother leaves her car with the Buick dealer for service while she is on vacation. Upon return, they lie to her about having started work (they hadn't even looked at it) and finally quote her several hundred dollars worth of work. She tells them where they can stick it. They refuse to give her the keys as they was $40/hr for the diagnostic work (this was about 1983). She shows them her spare keys and says "You lied to me and, additionally, did nothing while trying to defraud me.". Taking the car to an independent mechanic, the problem turned out to be a $9 windshield wiper transmission ($9 - under $20 with labor).

    My Camry throws a belt. I nurse the car home (since no water pump means engine gets hot FAST, even in the middle of February). Towing it to the Toyota dealership, they try to tell me I need to replace the water pump, transmission parts and several other things "as a precaution". They want over $2000. My mechanic laughs at them. (Total I agreed to was around $200 for the belt and labor).

    My best for last. In 1990 I had a bit of a windfall and bought a new car - a $29,000 Olds Toronado Trofeo with ALL the gadgets (including a color touch screen). After a few months it started developing engine problems that caused rough running (like you were constantly having engine hiccups) before performance would go away, acceleration would be as mushy as a sponge, fuel odors would present themselves and mileage would go from 25 to about 9. Several trips to the dealership (still under warranty as the car was only 6 months old and I had also bought an extended warranty) had them confused as to what was wrong - with them wanting to charge me for the labor of looking because "we don't have a diagnostic code to tell GM what's wrong and they won't reimburse us without it". I said "That's a problem between you and GM - my problem is you sold me a car that doesn't work!". Several visits into this, while being in a bit of a tense but polite discussion with the service manager, some mechanic walking by suddenly breaks into our conversation starting to swear at me and yelling all sorts of insults, echoing throughout the entire service area. Talking to management they said "We'll talk to him again.". I said "Again? This has happened before?". They eventually sent me a letter, which I still have, asking if we could "just part friends". I have a car under warranty that they admit they can't fix and just want to wash their hands of it! I spent nearly $30K on this top-of-the-line car and THIS is how they treat me? Oh - and then they sent me ANOTHER copy of the letter to tell me that they'd put it on the wrong letterhead the first time!!!

    My date with giving Elon money can't happen soon enough.
  3. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Mar 25, 2014
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I'm now getting even more pissed off. I reported the most recent incident (the physical damage Nurburgring did to my vehicle) to the Better Business Bureau. They forwarded the complaint to Nurburgring, who responded with "we didn't do it" and the BBB promptly closed the complaint saying "BBB found business made a good faith effort to resolve complaint but customer not satisfied with business response."
    WTF? how is "we didn't do it, and we refuse to investigate or even talk to the customer" a "good faith effort"? it makes it sound like I'm being unreasonable asking them to take responsibility for what's likely several thousand dollars worth of damage that happened in their shop!

    Considering that all people see when they go to the BBB website is that summary statement, and no details of the case, I know I'll be looking at BBB reviews a LOT differently in the future!!

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