I posted this in an 6yr old post but wanted to put it in General discussion(assuming it goes to the top of the forum) to get others thoughts on honest mechanics. It wasn’t intended to offend any good mechanics out there. But just to get others experiences. Here’s what I wrote
Being the cynical person I am when it comes to mechanics,(not sure why, but maybe it’s bc they have a reputation of ripping people off that know nothing about cars) I have a big question mark in my head about my 02 Cavalier that I just had the timing chain replaced. Fortunately for me no valve damage occurred when it broke(supposedly haha). It still cost me $900 to get it fixed though. At 132k I was rather surprised when the mechanic confirmed my suspicions. All indicators pointed to the timing chain. But does that necessarily mean it’s completely broke inside? Or could it have just came off track? Or something else inside had broken.
I’m asking bc after reading this post about “not changing the oil regularly” could have caused the chain to break. Well, I must say, I’m a person that ALWAYS changes my oil on time and with quality oil. I do have to admit though, I wasn’t the first owner of this car. I inherited it at 100K.
It’s unfortunate that ur average person don’t actually know too much about working on cars. And what’s even more unfortunate is how mechanics know this, and take advantage of people.
I truly don’t mean to offend any honest mechanics (if there is any) but I haven’t ever had any good experiences with them. Which is why I forced myself to learn everything I could about cars.
Using this timing chain as an example, how am I to truly know the chain was broken? Was I supposed to be there when he decided to start working on it and see if it was actually broken? Or did he tear it apart and take a tool, reach in there and break it? How was I to know? Ya see, these guys know there job well. They’ve played all kinds of scenarios over their years of running a shop. My guess would be is they play each customer by what they present when they walk in. Feel the customer out in other words. Then go from there.
Another quick example. I owned a 1987 lROC-Z Camaro back in the early 90s. I was having transmission problems and had it towed to a transmission shop. The guy wanted about $150 to take the pan off and inspect it. Well I had no choice but to let him do that and pay the money. What was I supposed to do? So he then comes in with the transmission pan and shows me that there are metal shavings all in the bottom of the pan. Then he ends up telling me it’s going to be about $1300 to repair it. I was like 21 years old then. I didn’t have that kind of money. He proceeded to ask me if I could borrow the money from my parents. My mom did not have that kind of money either. To make a long story short he ended up fixing it for about $800 with supposedly used parts. I was able to come up with that $800 but it was tough. The moral of the story is, I found out later that all transmission pans have metal shavings in them. He could have showed me a microwave oven at that point and I wouldn’t have known the difference. He manipulated me and every form or fashion. There are other stories but I’ll end my crying session there.
I’m curious to hear others experiences? And how do I find an honest mechanic?
For the record, I’ll be the first to admit, I may all wrong about my recent timing chain mechanic. It’s just frustrating dropping that kind of money.
Thanks for listening