Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Not trusting mechanics

So I got a call this morning from the dealership. They wanted to know who told me I needed the water pump and timing belt done. Turns out they were wrong. Apparently what it turned out to be was a cracked thermometer, sepentine belt, and friction belt. They showed me the parts they replaced.

So apparently the guy who "diagnosed" our focus before didn't do the correct job. This is actually the second time it happened. The first time in SD we had a lot of problems after what we assumed was done correctly. Turns out when we paid an arm and a leg and took it to the dealership the guy was wrong. He'd replaced the wrong part. Um, what?

It pissed my DH off and we didn't go there again. Mind you, we're not against great mechanics, but unless the dealership is way overpriced we're heading back to the dealership. This second experienced confirmed that sometimes mechanics don't work on the make and model of your car a lot. Unlike the dealership mechanics, who probably see only Fords. So their knowledge of "common" and "typical" problems is more specialized.

It costs me $840 to replace everything, and I'm not unhappy about it. I am pretty sure I wasn't ripped off, I called a mechanic for a price and he said $750. So I know I'm inline again with prices.

So while I guess mechanics can be cheaper, I'm getting warier about trusting them to correcty diagnosis problems with the car. So I guess I'll just have to keep paying a premium to the dealership.


Hilary Baumann said...

And sometimes the dealer mechanics are just as bad or worse...
Someone I know took a vehicle in to the mechanics a few too many times in one month for legit problems and suddenly his gas milage went through the roof (as in they decided to tinker with some things so it went through gas faster.)

I also heard a story once where someone got their oil changed at the dealership and they forgot to put any oil back into the car. Disaster.

So really, it's the luck of the draw. Not all dealerships have good mechanics and not all repair shops are good either.

There are a few industries like car repairs where it's a good idea to ask around and see who your friends like and why. Anyone know of a good plumber? :)

Foxie said...

I had something like that happen to me - The dealership found out who I was taking my car to after them, and I swear they messed with my car's timing. It was very noticeable, and I was told if I had driven the car for anything more than the few miles I did I could have warped parts of my engine that would have rendered the whole thing useless. Of course, I was going to the mechanic who used to work for them, then quit and took most of their business with him, but still. If I could have proved they did anything wrong, I would've loved to go after them for it. (It's why I don't trust dealerships.)