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Thread: Car repair rip-offs

  1. #1

    Default Car repair rip-offs

    A few weeks back, I noticed my car battery light start to flash. From experience I knew that it could be signalling an alternator problem, which would mean I wouldn't have many miles to work with to get repair.

    There was a NTB close by and I checked with them on a price for installing an alternator. The saleman/manager pittered around on a computer for a bit and then confidently announced to me that he could do it for five hundred dollars. I just looked at him weighing the merits or a right hand to his nose or simply walking out. I walked out and made some cell phone calls and shortly later had one purchased from a parts store and installed at a nearly muffler place for about $160.

    I'm reminded of this because these NTB's are all over the place and every time I pass one now I grit my teeth in anger. But that will pass I suppose.

    I've had similar experiences at some of the larger "chain type" repair businessess. I guess when an organization is as large as NTB in terms of number of stores there is plenty of opportunity for advancement from unit managment. Lots of area/district/regional spots for the taking.

    How does one advance? Answer: SALES (at the expense of the customer).

    Is there any business where ripping off is as prevalent as the car repair business and where there is such little concern for "repeat" business?

  2. #2
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car repair rip-offs

    The entire industry is a rip off, thats why I do the work myself. There may be times, like electrical, where the problem could one of three possibilities. I don't mind replacing three parts because it's still a lot less expensive than taking it to a garage for one, and I've gotten two more potential problems out of the way.

    By the way, the garages around here are charging the same price for labor and aftermarket parts as the dealers charge and you get OEM parts from the dealer.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Car repair rip-offs

    Ugh... don't even get me started on this. 2 weeks ago my car broke down, I spent about $800 to repair it. Went to pick it up and it broke down again later that night. That 2nd time it was the alternator, and while they were checking that out, they told me it looked like the engine was going to die any time. (By the way, this all went down the week prior to the Super 32, as if I didn't have enough to be dealing with anyway).

    But all's well that end's well, and I love my new car
    Super 32 Challenge - October 26-27, 2013

    "Good things happen when you wrestle for a full seven minutes." -- Jayson Ness, post-finals press conference

  4. #4

    Default Re: Car repair rip-offs

    I've only found two decent shops in my life. Last year, my car spent a month in the shop and ran up over $600 in repairs, and still didn't work. I fixed it for $30 bucks in the shop's parking lot in less than an hour.

    Most recently, I had brake work done on that same car. The estimate came back for wheel cylinder and brake shoe replacement on both rear wheels -- a total of $300. They also told me that I needed an oil change, new spark plugs, new plug wires, and new air filter, all of which I did myself two days earlier. When they called me to tell me the job was done, they added another $100 for new brake lines they said I needed.

    After I got the car back, the transmission dipstick was left out and the brake lines in the back still had my paint pen initials and date from 2001 when I last replaced it. I was not amused.

    I like doing my own repair work because I can't stand to pay $100/hr for something that I cna do myself.

  5. #5
    NCAA Champ
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    Default Re: Car repair rip-offs

    Been using the same auto repair shop for over twenty years, the old man ran it for 20 years now the son has taken over. Haven't had one single problem with them. I can drop it off, and get a ride home, and not worry about over charges or unnecessary work being done, always a call if something comes up. When I'm out of town my daughters will call and make an appointment and explain that they can pay him on payday or I will take care of it when I get home, no problem. There are good, honest shops out there, you just have to find the right one.

  6. #6
    Olympic Champ
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    Default Re: Car repair rip-offs

    Why don't you all just lease new cars and not worry about costly repairs?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Car repair rip-offs

    Cause then we'd have the dreaded monthly payments. Besides, scraping the knuckles once in a while is good for the soul.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Car repair rip-offs

    TPay,

    Yep. Most of my work is done by one guy. On this occasion I was in the vulnerable position of being too far from home. I do get 100 miles of towing with AAA but didn't want to lose all that time if I could avoid it.

    Big,
    Leasing is only good if you don't drive many miles. Just driving to wrestling events can take up half of the milage allotment (a little exaggeration).

    Matclone,
    Back in the day I could change a radiator, but I have wrist problems now that make it tough to even change a tire. I can scrape my knuckles checking tire inflation though.

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