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Incompetent Mechanics

  #11  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:03 PM
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Before I gave my '93 with a v6 to my GF, I was working on getting it up to par. Well it was in for a safety inspection and they noticed that the brake fluid was a little low, so he did me a "favor" and topped it off for me. Weeellll, low and behold, they had put power steering fluid in it. I had no clue. Was driving the truck for a little, while I got the work done, and once a bunch of work was done, I brought it back in for the re-safety. He lets me know that anything rubber in the brake system had to be replaced because of power steering fluid in the brake system.. I looked at him and said "you know YOUR replacing that right?" he asks me why, so I told him that he was the last one to add anything to that. He told me there was no way and that he wasn't going to cover it. So I brought the truck home after a VERRRYY heated argument that almost ended in a big fist fight. I replaced all the parts and never brought anything there again.

Just a while ago, a buddy of mine brought his car to the same mechanic for a safety on his new-to-him car. He had no insurance on it because it only had to go up the street to get to this mechanic. I warned him and warned him not to do it, to just put a permit in the window and take it somewhere else, but outta convenience and lack of money to insure it for 5 days, he took it there. Well not only did they fail it for things that weren't broken, but it came back with damage! The trunk had a small dent put into it (enough to knock the trunk lid alignment outta wack), and now the taillight has a crack in it. Can't say I didn't warn him tho right?

Worst part is, this guy is around 50. So if this is how he's dealing with me and my buddy (who he didn't know knew me), how many other people over the years has he screwed over?
 
  #12  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:35 PM
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Sounds like a nice covert ops mission is needed for that great mechanic or yours. Maybe a little snip of the valves on his tires or something of the sort...cough cough, did I say that?
 
  #13  
Old 12-19-2011, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenDak22 View Post
Sounds like a nice covert ops mission is needed for that great mechanic or yours. Maybe a little snip of the valves on his tires or something of the sort...cough cough, did I say that?
I chaulked it up to, he'll get what's comin' to him. I just hope I'm around to see it. Funny thing is, the shop this guy works out of, is on leased land, owned by the gas company I work for. They used to share the land and had a small gas station on the lot as well as the shop. Well they have since expanded, shut down the little shack, moved the new bigger store up the road, and when his lease is due to be re-signed, I won't be surprised if the cheap gas company will force him to either buy the land, or gtfo.

And either way, now that a friend of mine bought a house and has a garage, we have heat going in there, and all the space we need to work on a vehicle! And all the time in the world to get it done. We actually got 3 projects in the works right now haha. Screw that guy, I'm better off now
 
  #14  
Old 12-19-2011, 09:21 PM
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Yeah, karma will most definitely hit him when he least expects it.
But I'm glad that you have a garage. It's a wonderful thing to have your own space to work in. My buddy's dad has a barn with a lift in it, that we use once in a while and it's the best thing going. Forget all these guys that charge $100+ per hour and don't even perform the correct work.
 
  #15  
Old 12-21-2011, 09:57 AM
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That sucks about the power steering fluid in the master cylinder. I know that can cause the breaks to lock up in a random way. I learned that lesson when I was younger.

As far as a garage. As soon as I can get the money together I'm submitting a building permit request and getting to work on expanding the tiny dirt floor garage in my back yard. Pouring a slab on the floor, raise the ceiling add lights and it'll be nice to have a place for all my tools.
 
  #16  
Old 12-24-2011, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by azvampyre View Post
I could fill up the forums listing all the incompetent mechanics I've seen over the decades, but only a few names for the good ones.
That's why I don't hold any stock in being ASE certified..the few good ones aren't.
The same goes with our EPA requirements. I follow all the rules and watch as a high level dumps anti-freeze on the ground over a drinking water well...gezus.

p.s. Most tire mechanics are high school stoners hired at barely minimum wage.. I will just buy a tire buster and balancer on Craigslist since so many shops are going out of business.
I am sorry you feel that way about ASE certified technicians. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a high level of professionalism that we are to stick closely too. If a technician does something half-hearted, it's a problem with HIM, not ASE. I have been ASE Master Certified for over 5 years now, and my work ethic is night & day compared to most guys out there. It's the attention to details that sets apart true professionals, such as myself, from the idiot crack head drop outs that work at your Midas, Goodyear, Pep Boys, etc.

There is a huge difference between a mechanic & a technician. A mechanic just replaces parts without knowing what's wrong or why a part failed. A technician diagnoses a failed component finds out the root cause of the failure and fixes the root cause. It really irritates me when people refer to me as a mechanic, because I am a professional who knows his stuff and reads hours of service material a day to stay on top of the changing technology.

I agree it's getting harder to find a real good technician, but we are out there, just ask around from friends, neighbors, etc. The incompetent ones you all have dealt with really give the goods one a black eye and we're left to clean up the mess. If anyone is in the Deland, FL area and you need a good technician, come look me up, I'll treat your vehicle like it was my own.
 
  #17  
Old 12-25-2011, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bill55az View Post
got a front end alignment once, only had to go half a mile to get home, and something was really wrong.....they had over 60psi in the front tires....

same place lifted the rear of one of my cars, with the jack on the shock bolt, bent it good...

then I got a LOF there and the tech left grease on the drivers seat...

When I told management how service had been failing lately, he says, "well, some customers just can't be pleased"....

that was my last time there.
We always cover our seats and put something on the floor if we have to take our vehicles away because we have been down that road before.
 
  #18  
Old 12-26-2011, 12:10 AM
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i didn't sit and read all of the posts in this thread but it is true that there are some good guys out there. im a tech at the local dealer and i hear horror stories of other shops all the time. sad thing is that i also hear them about other techs in the stalls around me. on thing that a great tech or even a descent mech has in common is a back log.

recently i almost left the dealer to go to a chebby truck shop and the day after i turned in my notice i was persued by the owner, service manager, service dirrector and the owners partner. long story short i was given a $13,000 a year raise to stay and was told that i could come and go as i needed to take care of things at home. i did stay and since then they have made it my responsibilty to help the customers who are already mad. they have been screwed by someone else. they have had their car or truck to several other shops and had no success in getting it fixed.
before that point my low position on the totem poll left me to getting the scraps left by the old timers. that was a few months back and im now at the point that i have a constant back log of customers requesting me for atleast a week.

there are a few others there that have that. but our loyal and happy customers only want certain ppl working on their vehicles. that's really sad to me because that means that others that i share a shop with have f'd up big time and repeatedly.
it's been my personal experience and observation the places that say things on the adds like "we fix everything" or mention tires or batteries or oil changes in their names are often a safe haven for what i call parts changers. some are skilled at this and can change the parts well. but more than obvius issues and they get in over their heads. some of them can't do that much.

i had the misfortune to work in a place like that. they claimed "we fix everything". when chrysler killed so many dealers myne was one of them. me and one of the other techs went to joe blows shop under the pretense that he wanted to turn the place around. we agreed to it and after less than a year i left. my name soiled by affiliation alone. shortly after i ended up going back to a dodge dealer (best thing i've done in my career) and i've been very pleased with it. we have a quicklube. they are their own entity. they sells work for us sometimes but when it comes to me and the other good guys we check it ourselves. we don't trust anyone elses diag. sometimes the honesty costs us that job. but it gains the customers confidence in us.

if you want to find a good tech that is honest then sabotage your vehicle in a obviusly minor way and play dumb. a good tech will let you know what's happend. and a good advisor will pass that along to you when you get your qoute. i've seen ppl loosen the oil filter on their way in just enough to make it leak. some techs have qouted oil pans and other things. they lost the customer and hurt not only themselves but everyone in the building. a good tech will put it on the qoute that the filter is leaking if it's not their for a oil change. if it's there for a lof then they may not say a word and just bill you for cleaner (some of us try to avoid billing cleaner if we can) and shake your hand saying "have a nice day"!

i am personally ase certified and yes they have high standards. sadly though their are not many ways to enforce them.
the tests aren't hard to pass. basic knowledge and you pass. it's hard to test reall world skill. the simple fact is that the industry is not one that a testor can come out and watch and evaluate you. and going to school means little in this case.
some of the worst mechs i've ever seen went to a tech school or something else. i went to a tech school and passing is a matter of showing up and passing written tests. it does not give you years of knowledge and skill. it took me 3 years to get to a level where i fealt my knowledge was acceptable. i've been in it for more than 6 years now and my knowledge (according to my customers and my managers) is far beyond my age and above most around me. that's because of effort. nothing more. i chose this because i love my work. it is the only thing i've ever done that i enjoy and that presents me with a challenge. i'm motivated to be the best i can at everything i do.

that motivation is what makes a tech or a mech. a young tech knows his or her limits and admits them. but wants to learn. a good tech reaches a point where they feel ready to quit being hourly and get paid by the job.

a mech on the other hand is unhappy. they are only after a check. every one of them that i have ever met complains that they hate the work they do and wish they would have done something else.

it's hard for a customer to meet us and tell us apart. a mech can talk a big game to a cust and only a tech that knows and understands the complicated systems in use now can tell who is knowledgable and honest. i've heard conversations where the customer was blindsided and led to think that they wer talking to friggen einstein and in all honesty they got screwed. when i was hourly i couln't do anything about it. i had to make my meager check to support my family. i couldn't risk losing my job.
no days i go to the manager. i go to the advisor. i've even went to the cust a few times. yes this has pissed off workers around me in the past. but at the same time we made things right with the cust. they now ask for me only. they don't go to spiffy lube and firestone. they are happy to pay they dealer $100 an hour. they know when they pick it up that it's fixed. they know i don't upsell crap. i don't have to.

we are in some of the worst months of the year for a tech right now and i can look around and see guys sitting on their chairs playing computer games and talking on the phone. bored out of their minds. while i have several vehicles waiting for me to get to.

it's like any other buisness or any other skill. there are good honest folk. the bad ones really hurt our names though. to anyone here that has been dry humped by a robber i am sorry. please though don't judge us by our worst enemies and specimens.
try to remember that not all of us are terrible dishonest dumbies. some of the smartest most honest ppl i know turn wrenches for a living.
 

Last edited by 9652dakota; 12-26-2011 at 12:12 AM.
  #19  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:38 AM
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on these trucks there are 2 strps that hold the gas tank in; it really aint that bad to drop the tank.... though I have a tranny jack to lower the tank with I have used a regular floorjack many times.
 

Last edited by volaredon; 04-08-2012 at 10:42 AM.
  #20  
Old 07-03-2012, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by misfitdakota_95 View Post
I am sorry you feel that way about ASE certified technicians. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a high level of professionalism that we are to stick closely too. If a technician does something half-hearted, it's a problem with HIM, not ASE. I have been ASE Master Certified for over 5 years now, and my work ethic is night & day compared to most guys out there. It's the attention to details that sets apart true professionals, such as myself, from the idiot crack head drop outs that work at your Midas, Goodyear, Pep Boys, etc.

There is a huge difference between a mechanic & a technician. A mechanic just replaces parts without knowing what's wrong or why a part failed. A technician diagnoses a failed component finds out the root cause of the failure and fixes the root cause. It really irritates me when people refer to me as a mechanic, because I am a professional who knows his stuff and reads hours of service material a day to stay on top of the changing technology.

I agree it's getting harder to find a real good technician, but we are out there, just ask around from friends, neighbors, etc. The incompetent ones you all have dealt with really give the goods one a black eye and we're left to clean up the mess. If anyone is in the Deland, FL area and you need a good technician, come look me up, I'll treat your vehicle like it was my own.
Amen! Thank You for setting that straight. I was just talking to my service manager about this subject on saturday and we were both saying that there is a huge difference between a technician and a mechanic. The whole reason I started looking at this thread was to see some more of the horror stories that the back woods hillbilly shade tree mechanics that give a true technician that takes pride in his work and goes way out of his way to make his customers happy a bad name. And as a technician I will be the first person to tell you and my customers that I dont trust a mechanic. The only advice I can give the ones that are not able to work on there own vehicle is to talk to the owner of a shop and ask him to show you around and even ask for some loyal customers phone numbers so you can call them to see what kind of work and reputation that shop has. If they perform very good work and stand behind there work then they will not mind giving you numbers to call to see how there customers feel about them. Taking your vehicle to a shop to have work done is no different then hiring someone to come to your home and remodel your house, babysit your kids, or even someone to invest your life savings for your retirement. Inteview your shops to find the one that you can trust with your kids life because in the end if there work is shady and you leave after a brake job and you send your wife and kids out in the vehicle that just had brake work done they could be killed in a accident becasue the shop you took your car to just to save a couple dollars half *** there work and have no pride. Also remember you pay for what you get and if you hire mechanic and pay him minimum wage his work will not be the quality of a technician that you pay a competitive wage.
 

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