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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Legal help, bad mechanic!


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Lesbaru

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 08:26 PM

In February the independent mechanic who replaced my wheel bearing damaged my hub. The damage didn't show up until recently, when the new bearing was destroyed and the wheel was wobbling and creaking. Today I got the car back from the Subaru dealer, and you can see the huge gouges the mechanic dug into the hub, apparently using an "air hammer" to get the bearing out instead of a press.

I tried to contact the independent mechanic to get some $$ back. He has gone out of business. I called his brother who owns a shop in another town, and he wouldn't tell me anything about where the mechanic went or if he reopened his business somewhere else.

This really sucks. How do I get my money back from a mechanic who has gone out of business?

#2 GLCraig

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 08:35 PM

Call the local better business bureau, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction.

#3 Outback Jack

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 08:14 AM

Boy, this sounds familiar. Factory trained technicians.....Ha!

#4 Ruppster

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 02:04 PM

Originally posted by Outback Jack
Boy, this sounds familiar. Factory trained technicians.....Ha!


I thought this was about an indy, not a factory dealership mechanic. I have heard a lot of people say "go with an independent as they are so much better" but I have had wacky service from both types, so I've never seen any advantage to it. You can get a bad mechanic anywhere. And training don't mean anything. I have seen guys with a lot of training try to take a short cut to get the job done faster only to screw something up instead. Its the mechanics access to current manuals that means the difference between an okay job or a service that is done perfectly. But it is up to the mechanic to take the extra time to look stuff up in those manuals. How many indy's do you know that have all the factory manuals that a Subaru dealership does? At least with a dealership you have a higher authority to go to. It doesn't always work but a lot of times it does. You can't do that with an indy shop.

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#5 ScoobySchmitty

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 05:17 PM

Just playing Devil's Advocate over here...

I would think that the fact that he has gone out of business would be bad enough for the guy, despite the fact he was a bad mech. It might be better to just leave well enough alone, and have the hub repaired. Though, I could DEFINITELY see going back to this mechanic and have him at least pay for a new hub. After all, it is your personal property. Just my $.02

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#6 Lesbaru

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 08:09 PM

Oh, the story just gets BETTER!!!!

I called the Attourney General for Michigan, and the Consumer Licensing board. (better business beareau forwards callers there) This independent mechanic DID NOT have a business license for his shop, his mechanic license expired in March 2001 and he never even HAD a license to qualify him to do hub and bearing work!!

So, the watchdogs are tracking him down and then I will take him to small claims court. The Licensing folks told me that whether or not he damaged my car I could get 2x what I paid for the original repair because he was unlicensed. I could get 1/2 the cost of fixing what he damaged if I can prove to the court he damaged my hub. That is assuming he even has any money to take from him...

Whew! Independent mechanics are looking bad in my Subaru experience. I've had one good one and two bad ones. For now I'll pay through the nose at the dealership and I'll be much more careful about who I trust with my precious Subaru!

#7 edrach

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 12:23 AM

You have to make good on your thought of moving to the Seattle or Portland area. I can think of three excellent independents here in Seattle and I know of one in Vancouver, WA (and I don't even live in the Portland area).

#8 Setright

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 12:49 AM

I HATE leaving my car with someone, nevermind indy or official dealer.

As someone mentioned: no amount training or manuals can garuantee good quality work. The trouble is that the mechanic isn't working on his own car, so why should he care?

I am going to have to turn my Legacy in soon for some rust repair on the rear arches, and the thought of handing over my keys to someone who won't treat it as their own is giving me sleepless nights :(

How do I know they won't take it for a spin round the block? The deep thrum of my EJ22 will certainly entice...and then they'll floor it on a cold engine....:boohoo:

Okay, maybe I exagerrate, but I wish I didn't EVER have to leave my baby with a stranger.

#9 GLCraig

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 01:45 AM

If you do move to Portland, there is a good independent Subaru shop in Oregon City, (okay i'm a biased since I use to work there as a shop monkey) between the owner and mechanics there is almost 85 years of combined Subaru experience.

#10 Outback Jack

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 07:35 AM

Originally posted by Ruppster
I thought this was about an indy, not a factory dealership mechanic. I have heard a lot of people say "go with an independent as they are so much better" but I have had wacky service from both types, so I've never seen any advantage to it. You can get a bad mechanic anywhere. And training don't mean anything. I have seen guys with a lot of training try to take a short cut to get the job done faster only to screw something up instead. Its the mechanics access to current manuals that means the difference between an okay job or a service that is done perfectly. But it is up to the mechanic to take the extra time to look stuff up in those manuals. How many indy's do you know that have all the factory manuals that a Subaru dealership does? At least with a dealership you have a higher authority to go to. It doesn't always work but a lot of times it does. You can't do that with an indy shop.

Ruppster
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'98 Legacy Limited GT



Ya, I posted a situation with a dealer that cost my dad 60 simoleons for a tow because an Subaru specialist installed the wrong drive belt on my car (which was in for warranty work). All I got was the 60 bucks in shop credit.....but when it comes to crunch time, I'll be taking it to a dealer rather than an indy (unless he's familiar with the car).

I think independants get intimidated by these cars. Sure the configuration is slightly different, but its still a gas powered engine!

#11 duane b

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 01:28 PM

Originally posted by edrach
You have to make good on your thought of moving to the Seattle or Portland area. I can think of three excellent independents here in Seattle and I know of one in Vancouver, WA (and I don't even live in the Portland area).



Please name them! Walker's is close to my work but a woman in my office didn't like dealing with them. I've heard good and bad about most in the seattle area. Subiegal suggested Auburn Sub but they're a little far for me. Don't want to be stuck in Auburn for too long:brow: Thanks.

#12 cookie

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 04:59 PM

is me.

#13 remarcable

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 12:48 PM

I recently had my car serviced because I was in a hurry and had no time to do it myself.

Problems-

* they put all 6 quarts of oil I gave them in the engine (max. fill capacity is 4.8qts according to subaru)
* they used cheap rump roast autolyte plugs instead of the NGKs I brought
* they broke the mounts on my driving lights by leaning on them, paying no attention to the fact I suggested they go at the plugs from underneath the car for easier access.
* they ripped the ground wire for my horns when they removed the battery and washer resevoir to do the plugs
* they left the idle air control vacuum hose loose, and it fell off while driving.
*I also had two spark plug boots pop off during driving

Due to the overfilled oil the plugs became fouled after less than 100 miles and I ended up replacing everything myself. No way am I ever letting Waynes Automotive in south carolina work on my car again. They were worse than the subaru dealer, but at least were polite about their mistakes.

The nearest subaru dealer is over an hour's drive away and incredibly incompetent so it's not really an option to go to a dealer.




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