Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum
Ace-Garageguy

I'm always ragging on how many bad "mechanics" and shops there are...

Recommended Posts

I've worked with some really bad mechanics out there. Some real good ones too, but when there is money to be made easily, it seems like morals go out the window.

One guy would get a car in for an alignment. He'd drive it down the road. If the steering wheel was centered and it didn't pull, he called it good. Never even drove it up on the alignment rack. Spend 2 minutes on a test drive and charge the customer an hour and half.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes me glad I live in the uk, although when i was a kid there was a local garage that was notorious for passing a cars m.o.t if you left a half bottle of whisky in the glove box. My dad put his car in for 2 tyres to be fitted and nothing was done but he got a new certificate. I had a friend over working from Poland and he put his car in to get new discs fitted and the guy doing it couldn't get one of the retaining screws out so in his infinite wisdom, instead of using an impact driver he cut the driveshaft in half and gave up, thus destroying the guys car that really was in decent condition. Only tried to charge the guy a grand for it, thinking he wouldn't argue. I directed the guy to go down and lock his car up and take the keys with him so the garage couldn't do any more damage and we went to trading standards to put in a complaint. We got the guys car moved when they got involved, and another competent garage fixed it all at the first garages expense. The first garage shut very soon afterwards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Phirewriter said:

03b357e7313e6cdb868795d489d92fa0.jpg

What's he doing to that Venturi booster????.... 😵😬🙄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Deuces ll said:

What's he doing to that Venturi booster????.... 😵😬🙄

Probably dropped a #%** !!! Screw down in there.  they won’t charge extra for that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when I was Wrenching (about 1990) I worked for a Firestone one summer. Worst mechanics Job I ever had. Had to keep my toolbox locked all the time. Guys would steal things out of it, as soon as you turned your back. I had open it, get the tool out, and then re-lock it. Had to do that for each tool. And never set a tool down! Even with your name on it, they'd still take it. If caught, they'd just tell the boss, that you had "Dropped it" and they were just "Holding it for you". One guy did coke, right in the shop, between jobs.......And he was a decent wrench during the mornings, before he got too bombed to work. The rest were just major foul-Ups. Dope Smoking Losers, who had no clue. Never Take your car to Firestone.

Firestone Car Care Centers, Pepboys, and their Ilk, hire mostly either very young guys who know nothing, Or Older guys who have Drug, Alcohol, or Major Life Problems.(Major in that the, "Divorce-Job Loss-Marriage-Ect.", were so bad that his life had fallen to pieces. "Sleeping in his Car" Falling to pieces.) Sometimes you get one who is actually pretty good. If that guy succeeds in putting his life back together, he'll get a better job soon, and be gone. The rest, are either going to finish spiraling down to destruction, or gain enough experience to move to a better job. It's sad too. Most of the folks who take their car in to these places, can't really go anywhere else, so you have Poor Customers who have no other options/ or Don't know any better having their car patched back together by the dregs of the Automotive Technician Barrel. It is a recipe for Tears, believe me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, cobraman said:

Shocking ! That car should NOT be on the road.

Could get someone killed...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of hacks and half-wits around  . especially at the "chain" shops ( we all know which con jobber , commission-based "repair" shops I'm alluding to... ) . 

Plenty of independent shops that are dirt bag , bottom feeder , grifters as well . 

Some of my favourite cobb job moves that I've witnessed countless times ( as an auto parts delivery driver ) :

- Reusing torque-to-yield head bolts 

- Reusing nylock [sp]  wheel hub retainers (clearly-marqued "SINGLE-USE ONLY")

- Dex III / MERC trans fluid in every automatic trans... including newer transmissions ( I'd be remiss if I'd neglected to mention that , "Dexron can be used in place of Type-F [ in 1975 & earlier Ford transmissions ] ." 

- Cheap-o green coolant in place of HOAT (et al.) coolant 

- Thicker-viscosity oil in newer engines , especially the VVT and cylinder-cancelling engines 

- Reusing coolant bypass hoses on rebuilt engines 

- Improper torqueing of wheel retainers ( e.g. , using an air ratchet to install lug nuts ) 

Greed and dishonesty abound .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^^^^^^^^

This is why I do all my own repairs, If I can't fix it it will sit till I can....I worked as a mechanic/restorer for 35 years, NEVER cheated anyone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also do almost all of my own repairs by my self.
I only let a shop deal with the stuff i refuse to touch ever again, brakelines is one of those things + i am allergic to brakefluid as my hands swell up to almost twice the size when exposed to it.

When i worked as a truck mechanic our shop never ripped anyone of.
Since i was one of the younger guys there i wanted to learn as much as possible (which i did) and because i was young and want everything to be perfect.
It helped alot that the one who decided to teach me had worked on trucks for over 50 years when i started, he learned me alot.

Many of the drivers wanted me to service their trucks and trailers as i noticed something small that would be cheap to fix right now or very expensive when it finally breaks.
I was also the one who took them down to the pit and showed them what was broken or about to break, they all appreciated that.
Some even got scared..
The one who turned white was the driver who just 30 minutes before had come down a long hill with a full load (65-70tonnes)
The reason he turned white was because i showed him that the tierod between the steeringknuckes  was so worn out i could yank it of  by hand without much force.
If it had let go he would have had a useless steeringwheel.
We barely wanted to drive it out from the pit to one of the bays and that was just a few meters.

One thing that i still remember and thinks are really funny was when i was looking over a drivers trailer and noticed that one leaf in the leafspring had snapped of and was loose in the leafpack.
I managed to remove it and then took it with me when i went to look for the driver.
When i found him i just said "hey, i have a present for you" and handed him the busted leaf.
His response was on the joking side " i hate leaving my stuff for you to service as i always have to bust out my big wallet, you always find something wrong"
He also added: which is good, i want to know and fix it right away when i have time or wait untill we have time to fix it (usually within a week)


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A while back a women pulled out of a strip mall into the center lane, I was in the right lane (four lanes 35 mph limit)

As her Cherokee transitioned thru the turn and into traffic the passenger side front wheel started oscillating like a bad

shopping cart! She was calm and collected the entire time and chating away on a cellphone. I just slowed considerably

and waited for the expected outcome. The tire did come to a sort of normal operation, but I took the first exit as to not

end up next to her again. Amazing how some will drive death machines.😜

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have failed many a rust bucket for inspection over the years, only to see the vehicle return at some point later on with a sticker on it from some other shop and none of the offending issues repaired. I’ve also been involved in some disputes over failing a vehicle for something , the customer getting very mad , and the state people coming in along with the car in question so ‘we’ could all go over what was failed and why. Sadly, even though I was vindicated in these challenges , the cars still had new stickers on them, and I always asked the state people ‘if I’m correct, the fault is still there, AND it has a fresh sticker on it, are you going to go after the other shop for an improper inspection?’  Never did get straight answers on that question ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, STYRENE-SURFER said:

 Amazing how some will drive death machines.

My wife’s brothers! The three of them are totally clueless about cars. 

The eldest.. we were at his house and did a beer run. He’s driving and the left front wheel is screaming. I tell him he needs to park it and get it to a garage ASAP. He shrugs and says it’s been making that noise for a long time!   Many months later he’s in the fast lane on the NJ Turnpike and the wheel implodes! He’s all over the road and thankfully was able to land it in the left shoulder. He still tells the story about why he’ll never own a Dodge Caravan again since this one tried to kill him!  

Same guy.. He replaced the Caravan with a Honda minivan and continued on his zero service program. One Christmas night we are all at a relative’s house. He loads his family in the van to leave and it won’t start. I open the hood to jump start it and find the battery end is totally rotted away! The top of the battery is completely covered with white corrosion.  I have no tools so I managed to wrap the broken cable end in tin foil, wrapped it tight and jammed it onto  the   post. It starts!   I warn him to drive straight home. Do not turn it off, it may not start again. And immediately take it to the garage and get the cable replaced !  I see him on AOL messenger about a week later, so I ask him how he made out with the repair. He tells me he never needed to.. what I did worked! Yea he was still driving it with tin foil!

The youngest.. he had an old Pontiac Sunbird..  he’s driving one day and the engine stops. He gets it towed to my favorite garage. Mechanic tells me the engine seized solid.. there hadn’t been a drop of oil in it for a very long time. He’s owned it a few years and admits he never had the oil changed. He is whining he wants to sue the relative who sold him the car several years earlier!

The middle one needed to borrow my Dodge Caravan and left his Honda Civic in its place for me to drive. I immediately notice that all four tires are worn totally smooth.. I never saw tires without a hint of tread like that!  I confront him and he starts defending himself, saying that I had checked out the car for him when he bought it!  I look at the odometer and tell him that was 80,000 miles ago!  

Yea, they’re out there!

Edited by Tom Geiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I had a nickel for every time we repaired some hack job - mechanical or body/structure, I'd be a fairly wealthy man...

The funniest story that I can remember is one of the concrete contractor employees working next door to my shop, brought his '95ish Cavalier in on a Friday afternoon. Local PD ticketed him for leaking fuel. Bud says he needs it fixed, he can't afford to miss work, doesn't have much money, yadda, yadda, yadda. 

We look at it, sure enough, main fuel line is leaking. But, a new line comes as an assembly, and it's pricey. (We NEVER spliced in repair sections). All the lines were rusty...

Bud near poops himself when I give him the quote. Leaves, saying he'll have to borrow some money to get it fixed. 

We move the Cavalier outside, and lock it up. Bud calls right at 5PM and says he needs to pick it up, he found someone cheaper. No harm, no foul. 

Monday morning, guess what arrives on the hook...yup, Bud's Cavalier. Still has a fuel leak and now the brakes are BAD. REAL BAD.

Seems his Uncle had spliced in a piece of rubber hose (fuel injected car - that's a no no!) and "Only" charged him $50.

Problem is... Uncle had cut the brake line and put the rubber hose on it... and didn't see the leaking fuel line. I'm pretty sure a lot of alcohol was consumed before and while this was going on.

Oh, and Bud got ANOTHER ticket that morning for a leaking fuel line, which prompted the tow to my shop.

He whined long and hard about forking over the $$$, but I had no sympathy for him.

Up here in Beautiful Ontario, we face almost the same issues as NYS when it comes to mechanics not being able to pull plates for unsafe vehicles. But... we CAN call the MTO, who usually show up promptly to do a detailed inspection. Their word is final., and they take the phoning shop's word seriously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago in Baltimore I was outside putting primer on a kit body. My brother is full time military and has to go to the 5th Reg in the city. At the time he had one of those Isuzu VehiCross things. As he is sitting there and we are talking he says "Bobby, can you tell me what this is?" I walk over and the OIL light is blazing on the instrument panel. I say dude, that is your oil light. It means you're low on dead dinosaurs. I ask, "how long has it been on?". He says maybe a couple of weeks. I tell him to shut it off so I can check it. Nothing on the stick. I tell him he cannot drive it until we get some oil. He pouts a bit, makes a call and says OK. We jump in my car and get an oil change since when I looked at the sticker on his windshield it indicated that it had been 15K since the last one. He says synthetic lasts forever right? I explain that no, it does not. He knows perfectly well I am and have been a certified Benz mechanic [and Bosch cert as well] for 20 years. We go get an oil change and I get to work. I put a pan under it and break the drain plug expecting something. Nothing, nada, zip, zero. I pull the plug completely out and here it comes. ONE DRIP!

 

As I go into my diatribe about if nothing else, safety, he gets all pissy and goes into the house. I change it out [filter that is] and fill it with the correct oil. I take it for a spin and the light stays on. I look it up and do the dance to put it out and reset the interval. After that I just kept an eye on it for him. It was either that or a phone call one day. This is a guy who is/was a Ranger/Seal/Spec Ops and he knows everything to know about bombs and weapons, but his vehicles? They are just A to B to him.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...