Last post on Mar 08, 2003 at 7:07 AM
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Coupe, Sedan, SUV
#10 of 19 hmmm, get a tough dog fixed and get badmouthed
Mar 02, 2003 (6:44 pm)
why I suppose don't more techs work to find the tough dog problems, instead of scratching "not confirmed" on the service order?
there ARE some folks who just wouldn't be happy even if you hung 'em with a NEW rope. guess your friend is one.
I work in technical fields requiring a lot of work and field help in diagnosing and fixing trouble... these days, it's on half-million dollar data switches and trunks up to OC12 speed. I can't get worked up over a diagnosis fee on a tough dog when I have had issues that take a month to resolve, or result in an international recall of control modules.
some folks need to get real, nobody fixes things for free.
Mar 02, 2003 (11:59 pm)
people have absolutely no idea what is being done to their cars when they are in for service, so it is human nature they will shop the one thing they can quantify: price.
If you are ignorant about mechanics, how can you recommend the shop you went to, even if the repairs went perfectly? You would have no way to know that the Pep Boys down the street couldn't have done the same repair just as well (...with their working-on-their-GED, slamming an old Honda Civic in my garage, teenage employees), and you might even feel ripped off if you found out after the fact that they would have done it cheaper.
People don't appreciate that it is not always like "assemble using instructions"...sometimes there are right ways and wrong(/cheap/quick) ways to do the same job, that might have repercussions down the line.
#12 of 19 I second swschrad's idea...
Mar 03, 2003 (5:39 pm)
...and wish that Edmund's would consider setting up a spot where people could discuss specific repair shops, good and bad. And Mr_Shiftwright, as host, I ask that you reconsider your opinion for one big reason: look at all the other discussions about buying cars here at Edmund's and you'll see a ton of real world stories about good and bad salespeople and dealers. I think most people find these comments very helpful, so why not add in the opportunity to discuss the one place many people will spend the most time at... repair shops?
Mar 03, 2003 (6:31 pm)
Folks, before you go off on a tangent about something like that, one thing that you may want to consider and will weigh heavily on whethere Edmunds even entertains an idea like that.
This would be the fact that they would have to verify the information. I can tell you from experience that trying to verify information is alot of work. Try verifying 800+ mechanics sometime.
And to be honest, the legalities of something like that would be a tough deal to get by.
Besides, there are plenty of times that I have seen folks here complain about a shop and I had to side with the shop.
#14 of 19 oh, I'd give that one up!
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Mar 03, 2003 (7:16 pm)
Edmunds would never allow such a thing and I am 100% behind them because of all the potential abuse. It's just an invitation for slander and legal problems, and really serves no useful purpose.
This is what the Better Business Bureau was set up for. The BBB is supported by business money so that the good businesses can root out the bad ones. The BBB keeps a file on gross offenders and you can call up and ask them (in general terms) what's in a certain business's file.
Any post that accuses a specifically named business of illegal activity would no doubt be deleted here, since, as was said, we have no way of verifying such information.
As a private entity, Edmunds certainly has the right to do that.
Sometimes even words of praise are deleted if the poster's motives are suspicious (soliciting for their own businesses while "in disguise" on Edmund's).
#15 of 19 there ARE outfits that allegedly certify mechanics
Mar 03, 2003 (8:27 pm)
the AAA, for one. if you are thinking about using Wrenches R Pus, you can check them with the BBB and see if there are any negatives. not saying that puts WRP in the clear, but if they have a habit of replacing transmissions with junkyard pulls when all you brought the car in for is an oil change, sooner or later the BBB will be informed.
A-Car or NIASE certs can tell you that A tech has passed an exam on some level of familiarity with X system. doesn't mean they are shrewd diagnosticians for tough dogs, but at worst they can recognize the names of parts. in that case, if Billy Bob Bubba is the only one with BRAKES on his cert list, make sure Billy Bob Bubba is the one doing your brake job, not cousin Jeb.
frequent contributor alcan instructs apprentices. passing a successful apprenticeship is also a way to recognize that a tech at least can find their way around the garage and generally around cars. again, ONE trained tech does not mean ALL techs know which end of a cutting torch is the handle. I would get close to the flat statement that "apprenticeship is a certain way to get trained techs that have very small chances of botching the work," but experience has shown me that you can sneak a skunk through any program once.
in the end, if somebody says, "don't use WRP, they hosed me good," ask 'em why and how. in a case where your referrer caused problems, you might smell that from the story, and maybe WRP is not altogether evil.
Having seen the several comments about the wonderful breeding grounds for lawyers in the process of doing blind referrals, I guess I won't expect any such info on Edmunds any time soon. at its base, edmunds.com is a business providing services, and part of that is refereed editorial content and advertising. they have to try and keep their noses clean or they don't eat. I can understand that issue and have no fight with it.
#16 of 19 BBB is A Useless TOOL
Mar 04, 2003 (2:12 pm)
Years ago if you called them you could get info on the complaint, what it was, resolved etc.etc.
Now, due to the fear of litigation the BBS gives you no informatiuon. Basically, complaint was filed and complaint resolved. Who cares to know that?
I want details and they no longer provide any useful info and just provide a form to complete which they send to the company that created the complaint for resolution. Perhaps you stated it correctly when you said "FUNDED BY THE COMPANIES" that are members. Think they are going to alienate a member?
Mar 04, 2003 (4:09 pm)
BBB is a "self-policing" enterprise that's true. They are really concerned with member business practices, not with automotive matters. They probably don't know much about cars so can't really referee technical disputes.
I think people don't understand what the BBB is policing. It's how the business is transacted, or advertised, etc. not the product that concerns them. They have no labs or testers or investigators, etc. They have no way of knowing if dealer A fixed your car properly.
#18 of 19 The "Problem" With Recommending a "Good" Service Center is...
Mar 08, 2003 (6:30 am)
, as some of you have already pointed out, the person you give the recommendation to may have different criteria than you do as to what constitutes "good". I don't perform any maintenance myself on any of my vehicles; I've always relied on my mechanic and car dealership. I've used the same mechanic for about 15 years now, and some of my neighbors think he rips them off. When I ask them why, I get one of two answers - "They cost too much" or "They said I needed to have work done that I didn't ask for". Since I know my neighbors fairly well, I know which ones work on their cars and which ones don't. I'll let you guess which ones complain about the mechanic.
I had my van in about a month ago, to have the oil changed and tires rotated. The van was just about 3 years old and I had put over 40,000 miles on it. Sure enough, I get a call from my mechanic that my front brakes will need replacing in the next few thousand miles. I asked if I could make it to my next oil change; he says probably, but I'd be cutting it close on the pads. I told him to go ahead and change them. From experience, I know that once I get beyond 35,000 miles and/or 2 to 2-1/2 years between brake jobs, I normally need to get new brakes.
When I went to pick up the car, I had a chat with one of the owners manning the desk. As we were talking, he said "You did ask us to give your van the once over while we were changing the oil, didn't you?" I said I always ask for that. He said that a number of customers were getting upset if his shop spotted other maintenance items that should be done while performing the requested work and he called them to ask if they wanted it done, so he now specifically asks the customer if they want the vehicle checked out. If they don't, he doesn't, UNLESS it is clearly a safety issue that violates Pennsylvania's safety inspection requirements (like bald tires). Then he tells them about it anyway. By the way, my mechanic has always performed this check for free. He's always called me about any additional work, and I make the decision to have it done then or wait.
For me, I want a qualified mechanic to look at my car. I don't have the facilities, knowledge, skill, tools, or experience to check out my own vehicle (except, of course, whenever something is wrong). I want my mechanic to check the brakes when he pulls the wheels off to rotate them. I want him to tell me that he sees an oil leak or radiator fluid some place where its not supposed to be. I want him to tell me that my shocks are bad, or that there are pinhole leaks in the muffler and I had better think about getting it replaced before my car sounds like a 747 taking off.
After all, I can always tell him "no thanks".
#19 of 19 sounds like you found a good one, jdmorton
Mar 08, 2003 (7:07 am)
there is always needed work and wanted work... and if the tech is identifying which is which, you have a good start. most services go sour slowly on a car, and you get used to the changes. it's always a good idea to have the once-over check done IMHO, assuming you are told the difference between NEEDED and WANTED.