Friday, June 29, 2012

Auto Mechanic RANT


Believe it or not, following is the short version of what I went through this morning (4+ hours' worth) at our friendly neighborhood auto repair garage:


    After having my tires rotated (along with an oil change), suddenly my steering wheel could no longer be adjusted up and down.
 
    After going back inside the shop to have them check that out, 45 minutes later I was told that I would have to bring the car back next week when I could leave it for two days.
 
    Upon finally leaving and driving about a mile down the road, with the car bouncing so badly that my head was practically hitting the rooftop at each little bump, I took it back. 
 
The mechanic told me that it had already been doing that before I brought it  in. 
    Me (incredulous):  No, it wasn't.
    Mechanic:  Yes, it was.
    Me (disbelievingly):  No, it WASN'T.
    Mechanic (staring me straight in the eyes):  Yes, it WAS.  I know because I've jumped out of a lot of airplanes, and my back can tell when something is wrong.
    Me (staring back even more incredulously):  I don't care how many airplanes you've jumped out of.  Do you want to compare back injuries?
    Mechanic:  I know because I test-drove it after having it on the rack, and it was bouncing like that.
    Me:  You drove it, after having it on the rack, it was "bouncing like that", and you DIDN'T TELL ME?
    Mechanic:  Unnhhh.
    Me:  It wasn't bouncing until you balanced the tires.
    Mechanic:  I didn't balance the tires.
    Me:  Well, somebody balanced the tires.
    Mechanic:  I didn't balance the tires.
    Me:  I don't care who balanced the tires, somebody balanced the tires!
    Mechanic (grinning snarkily): I rotated the tires.
    Me:  Are you kidding me?  I want you to tell my brother what you just told me.
 
    Mechanic on the phone to My Brother:  (after more bold-faced lying):  I know what I'm talking about because I used to work for PepBoys, etc. etc. etc.
 
    Brother (who is an experienced car mechanic himself, and fed up with the long-winded self-congratulatory A**-holedness of this character):  Why don't you stop talking about your glorious past and talk about what needs to be done to the car?
 
As it turns out, I had to leave the car there for new front struts (it's undriveable as it is), and needless to say, we are changing mechanics!  
 
I absolutely hate the attitude, apparently universal to all mechanics, that because I am female and unfamiliar with automobile mechanics, I must therefore be stupid.  You all know I'm not a violent person, but I really wanted to punch that guy's smug face!

I can't wait to find out what the Manager tries to charge me for this.  At least I have my experienced-mechanic brother to sort things out and stand up for me ... more than many women have in their mechanical lives ... and for that I'm very grateful.

17 comments:

  1. It's an ugly thing but true. After over 25 years of working with the same mechanic, He started treating me like an idiot. I shopped around, found a NAPA affiliated garage and feel much better. They do not talk down to me, they explain things, answer my questions and give my car a thorough road check every time it's in for an oil change (or when I think there's something wrong.) If they mess up, they make it right.

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  2. First...*hugs*
    Second...::passes the bottle of Captain Morgan's to Linda::

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  3. I may be shopping for a NAPA garage, thanks Laura!
    And Carol Dean, I appreciate the hugs AND the Captain Morgans!

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  4. Amen, amen. And what about when your husband sends you to the hardware store to get something. I don't find them helpful.

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  5. Judy, I was always the hardware person, not my husband, thank goodness, but you're right, the situation is the same!

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  6. Isn't it GREAT having a mechanic-brother? I still make my husband deal with the garage, but it's comforting having a backup opinion from 1000 miles away. And sometimes he can even answer my questions so that I can understand it.

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    1. I don't know what my sister and I would do without our mechanically-minded brother. He takes care of us!

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  7. I dread car troubles for just that reason... I make my hubby take mine in if needed... Otherwise, I have a son who is very mechanical and works in a truck scrap yard taking apart and rebuilding wrecked vehicles as one of his jobs. He is my go-to guy... If he or his dad can't fix it himself, he will let me know just what is needed to be done... I guess dealing with all the old electronics and junk cars that cluttered the house and yard that my guys tore apart and put back together is paying off...

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  8. I guess my rant is more about being treated as if I were stupid, than about actual specific knowledge (or lack of same). I just couldn't believe that guy was so blatantly and deliberately insulting. Not that it's news to most women who have tried to deal with The Superior Intellect That Is The Garage Mechanic!

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  9. It is a great year to change mechanics, I am doing some of that myself. I've been going to the same mechanic for years, when I bought my Mirage I took it in to get the oil changed and my mechanic suggested it I did not get records showing a timing belt change was done I should do it asap, his quote for this service... $649. I left stunned. After a couple days of pondering it I called the dealer to see how I could tell if it needed doing. You can't, they look the same after 100 miles as they do after 100k miles, but when they snap it kills the car. They said it is a 100k item, my car is at 90k, so I have time to do it... their quote for replacing it... $435. Over $200 cheaper at the dealer?!? It's made me rethink my mechanic, for sure. Andee

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    1. Andee, I'm not surprised at all. Customer satisfaction and trust are evidently no longer a requirement for doing business. (Maybe it NEVER was, in the car-repair business?)

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  10. Oh, for f*@k's sake. What a horse's patoot. Linda, I have a very nice, very reasonable, very honest mechanic for you. He isn't located in San Antonio, he is a bit west, out by Medina. He did two transmissions for us (different cars), fixed an a/c leak that the dealer (after 4 tries) could never seem to accomplish at about 1/4 the cost of the dealer. I'll be happy to share him with you!
    Nothing more exasperating then your exchange. Put an ice pack on your pretty forehead, take the proverbial "chill pill", and onward and upward to a nicer, more honest mechanic.

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  11. despite popular opinion, not all mechanics are crooks. if your having a problem with your mechanic, find a new one. ask if he is certified. do not let an uncertified mechanic touch your car, let alone try to diagnos and repair it. modern vehicles are so complex, i strongly recommend taking it to a dealer. yes its gonna cost more, but at the end of the day, can you put a price on peace of mind. dealers have factory support and a chain of command. the mechanic answers to the shop foreman. the shop foreman answers to the service manager. the service manager answers to the general manager, and the general manager answers to the owner. if you go high enough up the ladder, satisfaction can be found even with the most complicated issues. there are millions of mechanics in this country, but far fewer certified technicians. i have been a a certified technician for over 20 years and have alot of loyal cutomers. the car may be complicated, but taking care of customers is not. always be honest, dont sell them something they dont need, and fix what they want fixed. its that simple. treat them with respect and they'll never go anywhere else. the handfull of ripoff artists out there are ruining the reputation of an entire career field.

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  12. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Who are you and where is your shop???

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  13. That was certainly terrible! Was he your regular mechanic, or did you just come by him due to an emergency? Needless to say, it is time for you to find yourself a new mechanic – one who’s actually honest and not trying to squeeze money out of your pocket. You can start by searching the internet if there is one within your area.

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  14. Michelina is right. It is a good idea to conduct an online research first. Do not forget to include in your investigation the feedback of past customers, since this can help you determine if the mechanic you’re eyeing really does deliver good services. Also, it will give you an idea which auto repair shops you should avoid.

    Matha Trotter

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Talk to me, Y'all!