Incompetent mechanics?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by OutThere, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. OutThere, Jun 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012

    OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    I've been on a long term hunt to find a car repair place that is honest and capable, so far with dismal results. Instead of finding a good guy I can trust, I've had a string of incompetent, dishonest hacks. Anyone else have this problem?

    1) I had the intake manifold replaced on my car not that long ago. Considered doing it myself, but the mechanic offered a very good price and I'd dealt with him before for small stuff. Long story short, he replaced the manifold correctly, but left the PCV valve out of the engine. I went through a month of rough starting, intermittent check engine lights and strange engine codes before I opened it up and found the valve to be missing entirely. Replacing it cured everything ($7 at napa). When I confronted the mechanic he said "oh, I'm pretty sure the shop manual said it's better to leave the valve out." Right. :rolleyes:

    2) Just recently I had my belt tensioner replaced. Mechanic calls me and tells me every last fluid and the battery need replacing, too, and he can do it today for only $795. :rolleyes: I nixed that as the fluids were all pretty fresh, and just had him do the tensioner. Got my car back and popped the hood and it was missing the plastic cover. Back to the shop, "oh yea we left that off because we were cleaning off the 5 gallons of coolant we spilled over the top of your engine". Back to the car, check engine light is on. "It's probably nothing" they said and condescendingly explained what it meant before clearing it without checking it. A few days later the car is running super rough and the check engine light comes back on flashing. Somewhere along the line they screwed up the spark plug wires and I've got a misfire. Replaced the wires myself this time so I could be sure it was done right.

    3) After replacing the wires it was time to change the oil, which I figured I could trust to a shop. Well, the oil change guy left part of the oil filler cap sitting on top of the engine, it fell down into the fan a mile from the shop and almost destroyed the fan before I stopped and fished it out. I thought I could trust them to do an oil change correctly, how wrong I was!

    Anyhow, I'm pretty down on mechanics these days. Do you have a wonderful mechanic? How did you find him? Where do you take your car?
  2. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    Yelp is pretty helpful.
    I found a nice place that does window tinting on YouTube and looked him up on Yelp and sure enough, he was the best in the area.
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Word of mouth cannot be topped, IMO.

    Find someone with a primo older car, and find out where he/she gets it maintained.
  4. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    What type of car is it?

    Find the respective online forums if you can. (avoid the "racing only" sites - as you tend to have a bunch of kids there who only care about go-fast, and don't know much outside of it)
  5. InvalidUserID macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    I hope that wasn't the same shop in all three cases.

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