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Pep Boys Horror story

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by skeet_man, Feb 15, 2010.

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  1. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    10,527
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Took my 98 Buick Lesabre in this afternoon because it had been running rough. It would usually start fine (a little slow to start initially, but not too bad). As the day went on, the RPMs would occasionally drop VERY low when turning or stopping for a light, sometimes low enough to stall out, and both had gotten worse as time went by, especially bad today. Check engine light had been on for a couple weeks. I already replaced the battery earlier today because I took it to advance auto, and their diagnostic tool said it needed to be replaced, so I hoped this would solve the problem, but it didn't. Had them check the alternator, which came back fine. The gal ran the code, which came up as System running too lean, which lead her to believe it was the fuel filter (PB noted the code as PO171 later on if that means anything to anyone). I got to pep boys @ 4:30. Told them my whole story, service manager stated it probably wasn't the fuel filter, and recommended a engine diagnostic for $90. I was fine with that, because if I fixed the fuel filter first, and that didn't solve the problem, I would have to get the diagnostic anyways. So it gets to be 7:15, and the results on the diagnostic finally came back (almost 3 hours later, after the service manager said it'd be about an hour). They told me the vacuum line was cracked and that they repaired that, which solved most of my problem, but I needed to replace the fuel filter, air filter, and clean the throttle body to completely fix my problems. Total was $240 for diagnostic and repairs. An hour later I get word that its good to go, but that cyl 1, 3, and 5 are still dropping out under load, and that I needed to drive it to see if it resolved itself. Also noted there may be a engine control module, or coil issue may be present. So I pay my bill, and off I go. I make it about 20 yards before I notice that the engine is running WORSE than it was when I brought it in, same symptoms as before, but alot worse, and alot more frequent (before it was something that would crop up, then go away, now it was CONSTANT). About another 10 yards, and my check engine light comes back on. Another hundred yards, and my brake light comes on and starts dinging at me, right after I noticed that my brake pedal goes all the way to the floor now. I make it back to the parking lot, and go inside to explain the situation to the guy who's now in charge. It was 8:15. Since its close to closing time, he will need me to leave the car until tomorrow. So after figuring out how to jockey around cars with my mom for tomorrow, I go and do a walk around the car, and notice a HUGE puddle of brake fluid sitting under my car. So they managed to snap my brake line while replacing the fuel filter.

    I have copies of all the relevant paperwork, including the hand written work order (which I had the forethought to go back and get, good thing I did, since it shows the brake lines and brake fluid level are OK!). I am trying to maintain hope that they'll make it right, but I have a feeling this is going to end up in court by the time I'm done with it. Lots of bad rap on PB that I found on the internet, I don't do anything with cars often enough to find a real mechanic, but every time I've dealt with PB, I've had problems.
     
  2. kehrby

    kehrby Active Member

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    Location:
    Indiana
    And you're surprised? Come on, I don't mean to be a pain in the a$$ but go to a dealer. You paid as much to a bunch of morons as you would have to a dealer for a real diagnostic. These guys Know NOTHING!!!!!

    I have worked for a new car dealer for 25 years and I can't tell you how many times I have fixed cars that have been to Pep boys...joe blow mechanic...you name it. The customer got screwed royal and when I found the problem, I fixed it and had them on their way in half the time. Trust me. Go to the dealer and get it fixed!

    Steve
     
  3. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    3,910
    Skeeter, You've mentioned that you have had problems with them in the past, why'd you go back? Shoot well and good luck, Bob
     
  4. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Rochester, NY
    The other problems i've had were fairly minor (taking more time than originally quoted). I had the day off from both work and school, and was hoping to get this taken care of quickly, theres not too many days that I have the time to have something like this done, and figured they'd be able to do it quickly and inexpensively. They won't be getting any more $ from me in the future.
     
  5. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    Take a look at what pep boy, sears, walmart and other discount places pay the help. How good of a technician are you going to get for $8-10 per hour. EVen if they charge you $50/hour, you are getting a beginner or low life tech.
     
  6. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

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    p 0171 may also mean your MAF sensor needs cleaning IIRC. That sucks, I hope they get you straightened out.
     
  7. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    kehrby, quote: <i>"And you're surprised? Come on, I don't mean to be a pain in the a$$ but go to a dealer."</i>

    Well, I always go to a dealer. But on one trip, they forgot to tighten the oil cooler lines running into my transmission. As a result, on the way home from work, one worked itself loose and piddled all the fluid out, stranding me. They paid for a tow truck and fixed the problem, but no apology for the inconvenience.

    I shrugged it off, as no harm was done, and not everyone is perfect. All the other trips there for service since 1996 have been OK.

    Shouldn't make any difference, but this was a Chevy dealer.
     
  8. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Dealer's are not always the answer either. BUT if you can find a good mechanic today put his phone number right up there with those that are very important to you.

    Don
     
  9. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    Northeastern MD @ the top o the Bay
    All that places like that are good for is new tires batteries and oil changes...they get all the teenagers and reject mechanics that can't cut it at a real dealership
     
  10. Limpy100

    Limpy100 Member

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    Kehrby is correct.I ran a repair and towing garage for 35 yrs and found that a lot of veh. had a common problem that the dealer became aware of and knew what wa wrong as soon as they saw the car where as other garages had to hunt for it.I got along with all the dealers because I towed for them when they called I left now not after a cup of coffee or short break.we did repair work and if we had trouble finding problem we told customer and called dealer.Often times the dealer if they were busy they would tell me what the problem was without even seeing the car.They want your car fixed quick so you will buy another like it when you are ready to buy.
     
  11. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I'm with Kehrby as well. But Ian, you may also want to consider that this car is at the age and milage that it will nickle and dime you to death. Maybe time for another car? I mean, your brake line broke because it simply rotted out and any kind of jarring would have snapped it. What else is rotted and ready to go? Your cars whole issue may be rotted wires or connections. I used to see that all the time.

    Yes, you should have gone to the dealer, but it would have cost you a fortune because when a dealer tech gets a hold of a vehicle like that, often times he'll go into "blow it out of here" mode and price you right out the door just to protect himself and the dealer from the nightmare of that car haunting them for the rest of their existance.
     
  12. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Tron- Car has just over 100k miles, so it should have lots more life left in it.

    Will be looking for a good mechanic after this fiasco. Dunno if I can afford dealer service, but after this adventure, maybe I can't afford not to do it LOL
     
  13. primed

    primed Well-Known Member

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    Not all dealers are great either. Took my car into the local buick dealer for an oil change. Of course they can't do that without a vehicle inspection so they can try to sell you everything. They said the transmission fluid was very bad and should be replaced and I passed on that service. Next time they said the tires only had .003 of tread and should be replaced. I declined but asked how the transmission fluid was. It was fine now. Next time they tried to sell me $1000.00 worth of stuff and said the tires were now at .007. Next time....there is no next time. Sent the service manager an email outlining the above and said I was afraid to bring my car in because the tires seem to have grown and if they continue to grow, I'm afraid they will rub on the fenders and ruin them too.

    Bob
     
  14. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    I also worked in a dealership. I had an eye opener. I sat back and watched them rip people off left and right. A battery for a car for $99.00 It looked like it was a motorcycle battery and not a car battery. People had a new car and in 6 months the paint on the hood was coming off. The dealer said it was not their problem and the owner of the car should pay for it. The people sued and won. The same dealer had wrecked a car, fixed the car and sold it as new. I can go on and on with just this one dealership. There was another dealer that DMV caught turning back the milage on cars. Another dealer told a car buyer that the trans is sound and good. It went out within the 30 days of selling it. Told the buyer it was his problem. They went to court and the buyer won. I'm sorry to say that my car repairman has retired after 30 years plus. Even he dosen't know who to send people to for repairs. Dealers in my area you really don't want to go to.
     
  15. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Ian, I wish you well but I am willing to bet that your vehicle has corrosion issues that you may not be aware of. You live in a corrosive environment, your car is 12 years old and I've seen vehicles rotted out with far fewer miles and were newer than yours.

    Best O' luck to you.
     
  16. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    After each winter and the rains wash off the salt from the roads I know where there is a stream that crosses a road. I will drive my car and truck through the stream 3 to 4 times. Its better then the car wash for cleaning under the car. Besides its fun as hell. LOL
     
  17. DoubleAuto

    DoubleAuto Well-Known Member

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    Out On The Mountain
    I keep an address book of personal experience with, time tested, recommended and quality local service/repair people for all types of home and auto repair. Went through a lot of years of hit or miss (grief) to assemble this list. This includes a great local auto repair shop with an owner that stands behind his work. I don't trust dealer repair shops unless it is an out of town emergency situation.

    DoubleAuto
     
  18. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    As as retired dealership service manager, I have always had sympathy for the independent shops. They are expected to be able to diagnose and repair any problem on any make, model and year of vehicle without the benefit of any factory training or, and this can be a big issue, service bulletins.

    I was elected and served for a long time as president of the garageman's association for the county where the dealership at which I worked was located. The other dealership service managers and I spent a good bit of every monthly meeting trying to help the independents diagnose driveability problems and other "higher tech" concerns. I eventually arranged through General Motors to offer factory training courses to the technicians of those shops. The courses were free - the garage would be expected to pay the tech for that day or days he was in school as well as cover his travel and lodging expenses, if any. The training center I would use the most was no more than an 90 minutes away from any shop in the county, so overnight trips would have been very rare.

    Over the course of three years, I received training requests for exactly two techs and one of them was a painter at a body shop. I stopped promoting the training after three years.

    I still believe that independent shops are the backbone of the auto repair industry and employ some of our best mechanics - guys and gals who can fix things, not just replace parts, although that is pretty much the M.O. with today's cars. When you find a shop that is willing to pay what it costs to train their technicians and keep them trained, you'll receive good service at a fair price. If there isn't one like that in your area, a dealership is probably your best bet.

    Ed
     
  19. tarhawk

    tarhawk TS Member

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    Dealers? I've got horror stories about dealers as well. Years ago, I too, had a Buick that would run fine for about 20 miles and then quit. Let the car cool off for about 10-15 min and then it would run fine ..for about 20 miles. I took it to a GM dealer and some guy with all the "Master Mechanic" patches running up and down the sleeve of his shirt told me I needed a whole new carburator and it would cost about $900.00 to replace. I didn't have the money so I moved on. A couple of months later I took it to a different dealer and once again a guy with all the patches told me I needed a new fuel pump and it would cost $400-$500. As before, I didn't have that kind of money so I moved on. As luck would have it, my wife worked with a girl whose brother repaired cars and farm equipment out in a barn behind his house. I took it to this guy who reminded me of a cross between "Cooter" on the Dukes of Hazzard TV show and "Slingblade" from the movie. He had the car for three days and then called me about the car and that he had fixed the problem. Cost? $4.96 for parts and about 1 hour of labor. I gave him $50.00. He was happy, I was happy and the car ran like a Rolex watch. (What the "dealers" had told me was not the problem at all). Want more dealer horror stories? I've got 'em. My advice? find a good independent mechanic. Nuts to the dealers.
     
  20. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    Years ago the mom & pop shops were the best.

    Now, the investment in tools and diag. eq. has just about put them out of business.

    A friend of mine in his late 60s and his son still run a quality transmission repair shop. They do a fair amount of work for dealers also.

    You wouldnt believe some of the horror stories associated with transmissions.

    I could survive on his monthly Snap- On tab.


    Regards....Gerald
     
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