This is why I work on my own car.

Fuselage Years

  1. challenger

    challenger Member

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    Today I decided to check my spark plugs. I had them changed many years ago but drove the car so little that I didn't see much need to check them. I've made a few changes on the car and thought it would be good to see how they look. Anyone with a 440 knows the 7 & 8 plugs are no joy to access and change. They aren't the worst I've done by a long way but still not something one looks forward to like a child on Christmas morning. I got to the 5th plug and took it out. All the other plugs were Champion RJ12YC except this plug was a Champion RJ14YC. It also looked pretty bad, much worse than the others which all looked just like you want to see them.
    Things like this have happened before when I've let someone work on my vehicles and it's another example of why I do my own work.
     
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  2. DCMC

    DCMC Member

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    One of our designer's that works at our store engine light came on in her son's car, he brought it to a Goodyear dealer where his mother knew the manager. They called him and said he needed coils and plugs and that would be $940! I said don't let them touch it, and we went to pick it up. At first they claimed to have already did the repair but said they were mistaken when he pressed the issue of no authorization to do so. Bought 4 Honda coils and Bosch plugs for $58.69 and took 20 minutes to install. Car runs great and he learned 2 valuable lessons.
     
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  3. rags

    rags Active Member

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    my neighbor asks me to look at his car. drive by wire camry. garage told him it had an electronic throttle problem but they didn't have the right equipment to diag and repair. told him to have it towed to toyota. he has it towed home instead. i pull the cold air tube off. dead mouse caught in the throttle.
     
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  4. 65 500

    65 500 Senior Member

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    Even mice prefer death to being in a Toyota.
     
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  5. mrfury68

    mrfury68 Active Member

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    This is why we work on our own cars. It may not be easy or fun anymore but we have cash to spend on other things. Like groceries, utilities etc.
     
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  6. commando1

    commando1 Old Man with a Hat

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    What's the code for "dead mouse caught in the throttle"?
     
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  7. 65 500

    65 500 Senior Member

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    It's the one right after "I'm too stupid to operate a floor mat".
     
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  8. pgadler

    pgadler New Member

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    My now passed father-in-law drove a MB S500. The car was lacking power, so the garage changed air-mass-meter. At the same time they informed him that his headlights weren't working, and had identified the code for faulty xenon-driver-unit, at a cost of 1.700 EUR.

    Somewhat baffeled he took the car home, became worse and passed a couple of months later (not related, I hope). Now me helping mother-in-law with the estate, I checked the MB forums, which directly responded, saying that the error code most likely is incorrect, and often is.

    True, two new Xenon-bulbs for 40 EUR and everthing worked again.

    That that was the MB garage in Sweden with the best reputation....
     
  9. cantflip

    cantflip Old Man with a Hat

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    What did it chew to get in?
    I've seen that crap more times than I can count.
    Always get a written estimate, and then use that for your research... tire stores can be some of the worst offenders, but this crap happens all over. Don't get me wrong, if I could make 3 hours pay in one hour of work due to experience and proper tools... that's how it works. I also gave overlapping labor and didn't try to kill every customer when doing customer pay repairs. Shop mark up on parts and the labor rates climbing to $150 an hour while they try to find help they can pay in the $15-20 per hour range... :realcrazy:
    Cars with the amount of electronics as that S class have a number of known codes that show up, but mean nothing. Even simpler electronics will set codes that are a fools errand to follow. Unfortunately, for the most part, experience is the only way the technician has to sort this out... the best shop out there will still have lower level techs and this can happen anywhere.

    If this person had followed warranty required diagnostics, they may have come to the right conclusion... but too many short cut diagnosis when they are doing customer paid work... warranty tends to be much more difficult to get paid for the same job as they require proof of diagnosis and will check the returned parts for common failures. Your tech may not have been trained enough to be allowed to work on warranty.
     
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  10. rags

    rags Active Member

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    the air filter. typical mouse nest in the air filter box, but this guy wanted a second story for his apartment. shooop.
     
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  11. challenger

    challenger Member

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    I'm just happy they don't check my muffler bearings. I think these are supposed to get changed every 10,000 miles? I could be wrong but that's what the guy at spiffy lube told me. He's been able to drive his car for three months now on a space saver tire so he MUST know what he's talking about :D. I can't afford new muffler bearings after having to fork over $ for new fuzzy dice.
     
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  12. Big_John

    Big_John Old Man with a Hat

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    Our delivery van was in the stealership for some sort of work, I can't remember what now... I ended up taking a call from them because nobody else was there.

    The service writer gave me a laundry list of suggested work... "upsells". First was he suggested having the front brakes adjusted... I said "How are you gonna do that?" and he proceeded to give me the description of adjusting drum brakes... Then he wanted us to change the power steering fluid... The van had just been in the same dealership for a replacement P/S pump the week before. So... I asked if they had put new fluid when they put the new pump in.... He couldn't answer that.

    I had this guy on the phone for 10 minutes... I think he wasn't used to dealing with someone that knew anything about cars. To give him some credit, he didn't give up easily....
     
  13. challenger

    challenger Member

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    I can't imagine having a job where you have to lie to people all the time. I mean this type of crap happens all the time in so many different types of business.
    I take it that the van had disk brakes up front? I am unclear about how long ago this occurred so excuse this inquiry.
     
  14. Big_John

    Big_John Old Man with a Hat

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    Yes, this was about 9 or 10 years ago. Extended wheelbase GMC.
     
  15. 65 500

    65 500 Senior Member

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    You and me both!
     
  16. cm23uoc

    cm23uoc Old Man with a Hat

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    Recently farmed out a Little bit of work on the cars to save some time for other work around the house. The shop is run by the 74 year old owner, who took it over from his dad and is working on cars for about 6 decades now and meaning he's still actually working on the cars, not just playing Boss to his employees, hope he's around a bit longer, he enjoys working on my old stuff for a bargain Price.
    Still has all the stuff and knowledge for Multi carb Setups for example.
     
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  17. cantflip

    cantflip Old Man with a Hat

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    You don't have to lie to be successful fixing cars, but it's a short cut many seem to use to make up for effort or knowledge. I often saw others claim more hours than me, but I wouldn't mimic them to try to compete. I generally tried to show the customer what was wrong, and even opened the repair manual or time guide for them to see what I was doing when they questioned me.

    It says a lot to me about how a shop is being managed when I hear advisors embellish a tiny amount of knowledge into some sort of tall tale. Sometimes, this is done by an ignorant advisor with a legitimate estimate, but it's fair to say that's a bad sign for how the business is being run. The customers who demand a 10 minute diagnostic are actually playing right into the hands of a good con artist.
     
  18. challenger

    challenger Member

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    Maybe I'm wrong but I think it's a sign of the times. Not recent times mind you but recent enough that Ican remember the "before" picture. I'll go out on a limb and say around the early 70s is when I think integrity started to become less important than money in most people's minds. This is just my opinion so don't bother flaming me if that's the response.
    I'm all for making money and I LIKE to pay people THEIR RATE for a job well done. I don't like to be bullshitted, lied to, ripped off or taken for a turnip by someone that goes home and brags about the amount of illegitimate money they made that day. Yes money is important but NEVER more important than one's integrity and reputation. IMO one.
     
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  19. rags

    rags Active Member

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    so you won't be taking an "on-air" position at cnn or writing for the new york times?
     
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  20. LocuMob

    LocuMob Senior Member

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    I worked at a shop that was sold, and the new owner would NEVER do that, take away the ability to screw the customer out of more money. If they didn't mind the first price, they'd add something else to the bill.

    I also worked in a shop that always have a written estimate, and their customer base always wanted more than necessary, but they had very well taken care of vehicles. The mechanics were also honest to a fault, but they also had and still have a loyal customer base.

    I work on my own cars cause I can't afford not too. Don't have any sponsors! Plus most things on my old rides is easy to fix. I'm learning interiors as of late and it's on to stub frame removal and replacement. I just need transmission and rear end experience and some bodywork to top off the learning. And I feel oh so good knowing my car that much better.
     
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