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  1. #1
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Angry Fix your car yourself if you can. Mechanic rip off...
    NBC video about a professional scam artist.
    Mechanics in a professional mechanic chain

    http://www.nbc4.tv/video/9152183/detail.html

  2. #2
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    Yeah, I don't trust mechanics for the most part. Since most people don't have a clue about cars, very easy to screw them over. It's good to have a friend that is a mechanic. Anytime I'm told something needs to be replaced, I tell them beforehand I want the old part. I told an ex-gf a long time ago to wear a local TV news t-shirt or sweatshirt when going to get car repair

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I told an ex-gf a long time ago to wear a local TV news t-shirt or sweatshirt when going to get car repair
    that is a good idea.. i never thought about that and the likelyhood of you getting screwed will be less likely..

  4. #4
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    Maybe add a camera phone and look very interested in what they're doing. Keep em on their toes. Went thru some incidences with that growing up. I remember a couple of times mechanics trying that with my dad. Not a good idea. My dad knows about cars and knows mechanics and he doesn't take that kind of thing. Also don't trust apartment maintenance people. Had one steal from me when I had to go overseas for a funeral but I got him back.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It helps to find a small, non-chain repair shop that you trust.

    Love the idea about the TV news T-shirt, though!
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Maybe add a camera phone and look very interested in what they're doing. Keep em on their toes. Went thru some incidences with that growing up. I remember a couple of times mechanics trying that with my dad. Not a good idea. My dad knows about cars and knows mechanics and he doesn't take that kind of thing. Also don't trust apartment maintenance people. Had one steal from me when I had to go overseas for a funeral but I got him back.

    Since my pops retired, it's one of the few things we do (along with fishing) that we enjoy. The window on my accord fell out of it's holding bar the other day. It turned out that the window moter died, so we spent the whole day taking care of it.

    It's just a great sense of satisfaction when you fix something like that. Being alongside my pops the whole time, talking cars, women, etc, well..it just made it better (and much cheaper!).
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    The trouble today is that cars are all computerized. Gone are the days when you could lift the hood and fit it yourself. Now you have to take your car in to a dealer so they can plug it in and analize it. This is where you get screwed as they can tell you anything and you are none the wiser. My engine light just went on this week so I have to take it in. I am told it could be many things. My brother in-law works for a dealer and he has told me that that this is where they make huge money, in the shop. Parts and labour have a large mark-up. Anyone here drive a 2001 Olds Alero?

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    check engine lights are annoyingggg. If I remember correctly, I learned it wasn't always something serious when it came on. So when mine lit up, I took it down to our local Autozone here, had one of the guys at the desk use one of their OBD Scanners to grab the codes that the Honda was spitting out.

    It turns out that it had something to do with the cars oxygen sensor for emissions stuff (or something else very minor - it was a while ago). In other words, nothing to really fuss over, and definitely not worth the hundreds that I'm sure the dealer would've charged me to "look over it".

    Wonder if you can get someone to do the same?
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  9. #9
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    Autozone is a good place to go with the Check engine light (CEL).

    Then take the code and google search it.
    or go to forum sites or google groups
    I drive a toyota so I visit
    http://toyotanation.com/forum/f15

    Mailman, if it is the OXY sensor, it cost like 50-60$ from Bosch (go to autozone to get it) + your time / labor. Dealer would want $300 to fix that.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    I'm lucky to have several mechanics in the family and do basic repairs myself. The electrical systems and computurized stuff has been their main complaint. Luckily my dad is an electronics genius and helps them solve problems. He even calibrated the microwave systems used in the space program.

    My son-in-law graduated from a top mechanic trade school and confirmed that auto manufacturers intentionally aid the service industry by designing cars that do-it-yourselfers can't fix. Auto manufacturers are now testing modular engines. When something goes wrong you don't fix it, just pop in a whole new engine.

    In Mexico we discovered a different type of auto mechanic. When you buy a new car, take it in and have all the electronics removed and convert it into a car that's fixable.
    ~Ernie

  11. #11
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Good mechanics are hard to find. We have some near us that are both honest and knowledgable. It is a family business with a father and sons doing the work so any shoddy work they do would hurt them directly with future lost business. They never do shoddy work.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  12. #12
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I turn the wrenches myself.

    Although I did try to screw myself over one time, but I quickly caught on.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  13. #13
    Full Member markschok's Avatar
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    I've seen it reported that to build a car from the 'parts' that a mechanic will charge you for will be at least 3 times the price of the car brand new. You know from the start they're out to fleece you.
    Mechanics are just another bunch of 'expert' rip off merchants imho. Also on the list, real estate, car sales, lawyers, accountants and more.

    Has anyone read the book 'Freakenomics'? Part of it covers how these experts will rip you off, but not by as much as they used to thanks to the internet bringing down prices and putting more of these expert's "expert" knowledge in the public domain. One other area the book mentions is the falling price of coffins where the same thing has happened.

  14. #14
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I get estimates from atleast 4
    then send my wife in to a 5th wearing some sexy cloths and act ditzy. she tells them the lowest estimate offered and what they told me what was wrong.
    I always get it for 10% less then lowest estimate that way.

    I always make sure I pick up the car though.

  15. #15
    Member SALocalcom's Avatar
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    I drove air-cooled VWs all my life and could do ANY needed repair. A few years ago I finally got a "modern", small truck because at 50 (45 when I bought the Ranger) and being in San Antonio, I just had to have good AC. A few months ago I decided to put in a new timing belt, not because it was bad, but because the maintenance schedule says it should be done at 120k miles. I took it all apart, including moving the AC pump and lots of other stuff.....and got stuck trying to pull the "darn" bolt of the end of the crankshaft. I even racheted down the harmonic ballancer so it couldn't move and used a three foot cheater bar on my 1/2 inch breaker bar and couldn't budge it. I would've had to buy a very large compressor capable of running a 3/4 inch impactor, about $2000 worth of tools.

    It cost me $400 to have it done!...after I put it all back together.

    I'm highly disturbed that I have to let a mechanic touch one of my vehicles, I've done ALL my own work all my life.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Mauro's Avatar
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    Hey all...

    For smaller dents - you know, the ones that don't do any damage but drive you absolutely nuts just looking at them - I found this to be a useful thing to have in your garage.

    http://wonderfulbuys.com/dingking.asp

    I had a fender-bender a few weeks ago (my fault, I admit). The person I hit had it esitmated at $400 cash to repair from her local body shop. I took it to my local body shop to compare, and was told that the $400 cash was a good deal and that I should take it. So, I did.

    I guess there are some mechanics that are indeed fair & just.

    Well, check out that link above. And mods, if posting links like the one above is a no-no, please remove it, and I apologize in advance. Just offering my $0.02.

    Cheers

    Mauro
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  17. #17
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    Just because it's computerized doesn't mean you can't fix it yourself. It just means you need a couple more tools.

    OBDII code reader and a simple Digital Multimeter. If you've already spent a couple grand in tools, what's another $300?

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    I agree - go w/ the little guys. They more often need the business and are less likely to compromise their rep (if they're smart) than the big guys who think they can hide behind their corporate image - not realizing they'll damage it in the long run anyhow if they're not honest. But this scenario is as old as mold. LOL

    I'm pleased w/ our mechanic... if my hubby had it his way we'd have the car in the shop every week... he just really enjoys being there and having work done on the car, I'm convinced. Some people are hypochondriacs - my hubby is a hypo-car-driac... he tried to convince our mechanic that the brakes needed to be done because they were squealing - he was bound and determined to have the work done... our mechanic (good ol' Leo) told him that the brakes were brand new and that we'd be wasting our money to have work done on them. Now that's what I call an honest mechanic!

    Too bad all y'all weren't in Toronto - I highly recommend him (yes, I'm one of THOSE)!

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I'm with SAlocalcom, I own four old vw's and do all the work myself. Save an absolute fortune!

    But then there are my other four (Ford, Mercury, Chevy and Mazda...I have teenage drivers), of which I rarely do any work as it always involves much more than I anticipate. Just too bad they can't make cars as simple as they did 35 years ago. I actually find it fun to go work on my vw's.
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  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Hey 7-days - quick question (slightly off topic).

    I am on the look out for a 2nd car (currently driving a 4 door Mazda Protege 2001 - the ES Touring model) and have always loved VW's... I love the sleek minimalistic design and I love the way they handle.

    Many people keep telling me that they have too many faults though... so I have yet to make a decision. I know the Jetta especially tends to depreciate quickly. What do you love about your VWs and what do you not like so much?

    Thanks,
    :Liz

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I'll send you a PM...
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  22. #22
    Member SALocalcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-Gazer

    Many people keep telling me that they have too many faults though... so I have yet to make a decision. I know the Jetta especially tends to depreciate quickly. What do you love about your VWs and what do you not like so much?

    Thanks,
    :Liz
    Usually the problem with old VWs is that they are old. Many of them have been driven into the ground for 30 years with little maintenance. There aren't many cars or any other type of machinery that'll stand up to that. So most that are availible need a lot of restoration to get back to real good shape. If they've already been done or have always been maintained well, typically you will pay for a good bit for one in that shape. $3000 to $5000 for a real good one.....and sometime more, depending on the year and model.
    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin-1752[url="http://www.salocal.com/goldwing/goldwing_tech.htm"][/url]

  23. #23
    Member swankette's Avatar
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    My uncle is a mechanic, but he lives 4 hours away, so we had to find someone locally to fix our cars. We took them to the guy that my father-in-law always takes his to, but I don't really care for him. He fixes the car, but it seems like we always end up with something else wrong with the car when we get it back.

  24. #24
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-Gazer
    Hey 7-days - quick question (slightly off topic).

    I am on the look out for a 2nd car (currently driving a 4 door Mazda Protege 2001 - the ES Touring model) and have always loved VW's... I love the sleek minimalistic design and I love the way they handle.

    Many people keep telling me that they have too many faults though... so I have yet to make a decision. I know the Jetta especially tends to depreciate quickly. What do you love about your VWs and what do you not like so much?

    Thanks,
    :Liz
    Don't buy THIS JETTA !
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-Gazer
    Hey 7-days - quick question (slightly off topic).

    I am on the look out for a 2nd car (currently driving a 4 door Mazda Protege 2001 - the ES Touring model) and have always loved VW's... I love the sleek minimalistic design and I love the way they handle.

    Many people keep telling me that they have too many faults though... so I have yet to make a decision. I know the Jetta especially tends to depreciate quickly. What do you love about your VWs and what do you not like so much?

    Thanks,
    :Liz
    my dad used to own a VW bug in the 70. Anyway, my friend owns a jetta, like a 2000-03 and it is the worst investment that one can make. according to her. it's just prob after problem and it was brand new
    my 2 cents

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