Tell us your Repair Ripoff story!

voltronbadass

nerdsigh
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Posts
1,575
Brought the girlfriends car to a tire place today for new tires and because I can clearly hear a clunk from the passenger side like a ball joint or sway bar end link, I asked them to pry on the suspension while its in the air and let me know what the clunk is.

Car is a low mile 20 year old toyota.

A few hours later I get a call telling me I desperately need to replace all four lower suspension arms, all the ball joints upper and lower, sway bar end links, alignment. Totaling $3400.

I ask for pics or video and what do you know its already back off the lift.

Came home jacked up this junk myself and that clunk is clearly one measly lower ball joint, that lower arm with ball joint already pressed in is about $50 on rock auto…

I remember when I was a kid my sister once got charged $250 for an oil change.

Im sure some of you have some great stories of home or car scam repairs.
 
Last edited:

Late

Reichsf?rer-Finnland,
20 Year Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2001
Posts
8,149
My tape deck stopped working, most likely a belt issue, B&O Helsinki said 150-300€ for the repair, bought a spare belt for 12€ from eBay and changed it myself.
 

Syn

There can be only one.
10 Year Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Posts
8,406
I've been lucky, no stories. I've been able to do most of my repairs or had a warranty or just replaced things. Quotes have been fair, to me, or given by a friend mechanic.
 

FAT$TACKS

Not Average Joe., Not Average Homeowner., Not Aver
15 Year Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Posts
4,064
One of our vans at work is having the ABS and Traction Control warning lights come on.

The dealership said we needed new front tires.

Didn't fix the problem.

They then said we needed new real wheel speed sensors.

Didn't fix the problem.

They then said we needed new rear wheel hubs.

Didn't fix the problem.

Now they have it and are rewiring the van.

We'll see if it fixes the problem.

Somehow I bet it isn't going to fix the problem.
 

voltronbadass

nerdsigh
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Posts
1,575
Car repair is at the top of the list of things I wish I knew more about.

That and cheese.
I am very very thankful for the limited car knowledge I have, I cant imagine the sheer terror or lacking that knowledge while also going into a repair shop blind about if they are honest.

Also this is why we hold the good mechanics so dear. There is a dude in his 60’s out here with a repair shop, has one helper kid. They only touch 2 or 3 cars a day. The man makes it a point to keep you on the phone and try and educate you about the car and repairs, he will really go into detail if you let him. He is as honest as the day is long and always in a good mood. His waiting list is usually 4-8 weeks to get a car in there.
 

neo_moe

Been There., Done That., It Was Shit.,
15 Year Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Posts
8,792
I am very very thankful for the limited car knowledge I have, I cant imagine the sheer terror or lacking that knowledge while also going into a repair shop blind about if they are honest.

Also this is why we hold the good mechanics so dear. There is a dude in his 60’s out here with a repair shop, has one helper kid. They only touch 2 or 3 cars a day. The man makes it a point to keep you on the phone and try and educate you about the car and repairs, he will really go into detail if you let him. He is as honest as the day is long and always in a good mood. His waiting list is usually 4-8 weeks to get a car in there.

Yeah I am generally at the mercy of the mechanic ,which sucks. Recently had to get a muffler replaced...couldn’t be fixed. He showed me the damage and it looked bad, so I took him at his word. Also sounded terrible when driving and the car just felt like it had no juice....very weak and sluggish.

Ended up costing me $650. Not sure if that was a fair price but he came recommended by a few folks and I just didn’t have time to shop around.
 

StevenK

ng.com SFII tournament winner 2002-2021
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Posts
7,886
In my experience mechanics are far more likely to be incompetent than dishonest. When he gets you to replace 4 parts and only 1 was actually needed it's because he's a fitter more than a problem solver.

There are though, of course, mechanics who just outright steal.
 

sr20det510

Sho's Rival
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
1,436
Yeah I am generally at the mercy of the mechanic ,which sucks. Recently had to get a muffler replaced...couldn’t be fixed. He showed me the damage and it looked bad, so I took him at his word. Also sounded terrible when driving and the car just felt like it had no juice....very weak and sluggish.

Ended up costing me $650. Not sure if that was a fair price but he came recommended by a few folks and I just didn’t have time to shop around.

Was it a stainless steel or titanium muffler?

That is alot of cash for a muffler repair.
 

neo_moe

Been There., Done That., It Was Shit.,
15 Year Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Posts
8,792
Was it a stainless steel or titanium muffler?

That is alot of cash for a muffler repair.

Well it wasn’t a repair....technically it was replaced. When he gave me the estimate I remembered googling it on the spot and I remember it being in line with what I saw online.

Having said that, Steven is probably right. Maybe it could have just been repaired instead of having to be replaced....
 

terry.330

Time? Astonishing!
15 Year Member
Joined
May 4, 2004
Posts
9,136
In my experience mechanics are far more likely to be incompetent than dishonest. When he gets you to replace 4 parts and only 1 was actually needed it's because he's a fitter more than a problem solver.
This is absolutely true.

It's usually a process of elimination. They just keep replacing things until it works right instead of actually knowing exactly what's wrong. On rare occasions that is the only way to trouble shoot something but 9 times out of 10 that can be completely avoided by someone who actually knows what they're doing.
 

GohanX

Hollywood Hulk Gohan
20 Year Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Posts
11,821
Well it wasn’t a repair....technically it was replaced. When he gave me the estimate I remembered googling it on the spot and I remember it being in line with what I saw online.

Having said that, Steven is probably right. Maybe it could have just been repaired instead of having to be replaced....

Eh, the muffler on my car cost $600 and I put it on myself. Generally a shop has two options. They can use a generic muffler and weld it in, which is cheap in parts but takes labor, or buy a muffler/catback kit that is made for the car and replaces everything and is easy to install. Welding a generic muffler is usually cheaper but I prefer to get one that's made for the application.
 

fake

Orochi Spam Riot
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Posts
9,994
My gf's car kept getting a flat tire. We brought it in and they said we needed two new tires because replacing just one would throw off the 4WD. I bought them and paid for them to put them on. A week later, another flat. I brought it back in and they said that, actually, it's the rim that's the problem and I need to buy one new tire because the rim punctured the existing tire. They said it would be $400 to repair the rim. I told them to do it for free because it's their fault I had to buy yet another tire – they did. :lolz:
 

famicommander

Tak enabled this rank change
15 Year Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Posts
11,638
My cousin bought a used car from a dealer (we warned him not to) and had to take it back for service a couple months later. They fix the apparent "problem" and he goes about his life as normal.

Fast forward a year and my cousin needs to get it inspected to pass emissions and the inspector informs him that the motor mounts on his car are all broken and the engine is being held in place with about 50 zip ties.
 

voltronbadass

nerdsigh
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Posts
1,575
Other than famis story, I feel ripped off by this thread! Not one big tymer here has paid 60k for home foundation repairs and finds it sus?
 

Gremlin

Hi, I'm Gmegbln
10 Year Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Posts
626
Other than famis story, I feel ripped off by this thread! Not one big tymer here has paid 60k for home foundation repairs and finds it sus?

Not really "repair" related, but when I bought my first/current house I was super nervous of buying a place that'll fall apart or become a money pit, especially cause I'm single income and don't make a ton. So I paid for an inspector to review the property, and he found a couple little things like small foundation cracks and whatever but ultimately said the house was fine. Put in the offer and win and I own the place now.

A month later I go to replace an old ceiling light in my office space and I see that the wiring looks weird - incredibly thick and wrapped in paper instead of plastic. Yup, 100 year old knob and tube wiring. Dunno if its this way in the states but in Canada an insurance company won't even insure a house that has knob and tube wiring. Cost me over $7000 to rewire the whole house, a month into owning the place. The electricians who came in looked at the fuse box and immediately identified the knob and tube wiring and said "I don't know how anyone looking at this could have not noticed it's knob and tube, it's literally right there".

Bonus points, during the rewiring one of the electricians got shocked, seemed fine but was so shook up he took the rest of the day off - a metal enclosure for a light right above the dryer turned out to be live and he got a good jolt. His partner who stuck around called it a "widowmaker" and said that if the guy was touching the dryer with non-insulated gloves at the same time that he touched the light that he could've died. The light's still there and occasionally flickers, they told me they fixed it but I'm still scared to touch it
 

StevenK

ng.com SFII tournament winner 2002-2021
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Posts
7,886
Not really "repair" related, but when I bought my first/current house I was super nervous of buying a place that'll fall apart or become a money pit, especially cause I'm single income and don't make a ton. So I paid for an inspector to review the property, and he found a couple little things like small foundation cracks and whatever but ultimately said the house was fine. Put in the offer and win and I own the place now.

A month later I go to replace an old ceiling light in my office space and I see that the wiring looks weird - incredibly thick and wrapped in paper instead of plastic. Yup, 100 year old knob and tube wiring. Dunno if its this way in the states but in Canada an insurance company won't even insure a house that has knob and tube wiring. Cost me over $7000 to rewire the whole house, a month into owning the place. The electricians who came in looked at the fuse box and immediately identified the knob and tube wiring and said "I don't know how anyone looking at this could have not noticed it's knob and tube, it's literally right there".

Bonus points, during the rewiring one of the electricians got shocked, seemed fine but was so shook up he took the rest of the day off - a metal enclosure for a light right above the dryer turned out to be live and he got a good jolt. His partner who stuck around called it a "widowmaker" and said that if the guy was touching the dryer with non-insulated gloves at the same time that he touched the light that he could've died. The light's still there and occasionally flickers, they told me they fixed it but I'm still scared to touch it
House full of gremlins.
 

StevenK

ng.com SFII tournament winner 2002-2021
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Posts
7,886
My cousin bought a used car from a dealer (we warned him not to) and had to take it back for service a couple months later. They fix the apparent "problem" and he goes about his life as normal.

Fast forward a year and my cousin needs to get it inspected to pass emissions and the inspector informs him that the motor mounts on his car are all broken and the engine is being held in place with about 50 zip ties.
Do you have any protections in place when buying a car from a dealer? Here people are told not to buy privately as they're all sold as seen then.
 

NeoSneth

King of Spammers
20 Year Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Posts
10,485
told this in the other car thread:

2016 Mini Cooper - entertainment system rebooted on startup. Told me we needed a new system. $3k minimum. They wouldnt try reflashing it, upgrading it, resetting it. Said they knew it was going bad. It was because the car battery was at end of life....

Ford dealer told me my timing chain was busted. that's why the engine wouldn't turn over. $5k repair because they had to take the engine out.
It was because the battery was at end of life.....
 

NGT

J. M Club, ,
20 Year Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Posts
4,666
I am very very thankful for the limited car knowledge I have, I cant imagine the sheer terror or lacking that knowledge while also going into a repair shop blind about if they are honest.

Also this is why we hold the good mechanics so dear. There is a dude in his 60’s out here with a repair shop, has one helper kid. They only touch 2 or 3 cars a day. The man makes it a point to keep you on the phone and try and educate you about the car and repairs, he will really go into detail if you let him. He is as honest as the day is long and always in a good mood. His waiting list is usually 4-8 weeks to get a car in there.
We had that type of guy, but he just retired. Nervous about going to someone else.
 

madmanjock

Accept no substitute
15 Year Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2002
Posts
4,909
Getting another key cut/made for my Porsche.

“The key itself will cost £254.20 and will cost an additional £111 for coding.”

Main dealer is the only option that can do this. Balls.
 

NeoSneth

King of Spammers
20 Year Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Posts
10,485
Getting another key cut/made for my Porsche.

“The key itself will cost £254.20 and will cost an additional £111 for coding.”

Main dealer is the only option that can do this. Balls.

I feel you on this one. You used to be able to get a fob and send the key to be cut online. Porsche would just need to program it. They don't do that anymore because they say it is a security risk...
 
Top