Author Topic: Skeptical Automotive Maintenance?  (Read 2274 times)

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Online The Latinist

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Re: Skeptical Automotive Maintenance?
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2015, 10:06:01 AM »
I have a mechanic who specializes in Volkswagens who I use for stuff I can't do myself or with the help of my father-in-law (who trained as a mechanic back in the late sixties but ended up working mainly as a parts manager).  I got good reviews from other VW-owners and used him for a couple of small jobs (wheel-bearing replacement, etc.).  He's done right by me: he sent me home without even charging me for diagnosis in a situation where I was prepared to hear I needed serious work.

Incidentally my car just threw a code: downstream O2 sensor heating circuit.  Hopefully it's just the fuse.  Fortunately, though, I think it's a job I can do myself even if it has to be replaced.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline MikeHz

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Re: Skeptical Automotive Maintenance?
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2015, 10:08:26 AM »
Taking your car to the mechanic for most is about the one time in our normal lives we apply the most skepticism. And usually we're completely at a disadvantage and maybe even wrong. My heuristic:

1) Avoid the dealership, major chains (Canadian Tire and Green and Ross in Canada). They will lie, break stuff, and not even do the job right in the first place.

2) Try different independent garages. Consult like hell CAA/AAA and BBB.

3) Take your car in for a small, simple job like an oil change, tire rotation, etc. Try and judge the owner.

My wife took her Forester into the dealership for a routine oil change last week, and was told the vehicle needs a $400 brake job. We took it to our local independent mechanic, and was told not only that the brakes were fine but that they could do the job for less than half.
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Re: Skeptical Automotive Maintenance?
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2015, 11:02:55 AM »
Taking your car to the mechanic for most is about the one time in our normal lives we apply the most skepticism. And usually we're completely at a disadvantage and maybe even wrong. My heuristic:

1) Avoid the dealership, major chains (Canadian Tire and Green and Ross in Canada). They will lie, break stuff, and not even do the job right in the first place.

2) Try different independent garages. Consult like hell CAA/AAA and BBB.

3) Take your car in for a small, simple job like an oil change, tire rotation, etc. Try and judge the owner.

My wife took her Forester into the dealership for a routine oil change last week, and was told the vehicle needs a $400 brake job. We took it to our local independent mechanic, and was told not only that the brakes were fine but that they could do the job for less than half.

Except for going to the regular mechanic I tend to go to, I have had more bad experiences than good. There have been some cases where I specifically told a mechanic what to do where that is what I got but otherwise I take almost whatever they say to need a second opinion.

For example, I have an 86 Mustang (which now has antique tags and I don't tend to drive) which the carburetor needed to be rebuilt. Went to a shop and told me about half a dozen problems. Went to my now regular mechanic (Just basically met him before then) and he sad "I think you just need to have your carburetor rebuilt." Got it rebuilt and ran fine. 

Another case was that the airbag light was not shutting off on a Dodge Caravan. They charged 400 dollars to look at it (they claimed to have looked at it but I don't think they did anything) and talking about hundreds of dollars more for the repair. The car went over a speed bump and the light went off. If I ever have an airbag issue with my current vehicle, I am not going to a dealer but go to a private shop.
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
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