I have a 2000 Chrysler Intrepid. Yes, I know it’s made by Dodge, but the car says Chrysler, so this girl says Chrysler. Anway, my alternator and battery took a dump on me last week. I was over 100 miles from MY mechanic, and already had to pay $150 in tow fees to just get halfway to him, so I asked about referrals for the town I’m currently staying in. I was referred to a backyard mechanic here in town by several friends, people I trust, so I took my car over there. I purchased the battery and the alternator and left them in the car, in his yard. When I spoke to the mechanic, he stated that he’d worked on two Intrepids “in the last year” so he was familiar with them, and how much of a pain in the neck they can be, but he could do it. It would be $125 for labor, since I’d already provided the parts, and I would have my car back that evening (Saturday) or Sunday early afternoon at the latest. I called Saturday evening for an update since I hadn’t heard from him, no answer. About 9pm Sat night, his gf called to say it’d be Sunday afternoon, that he’d run into some trouble b/c “he didn’t realize how much work would be involved in fixing this problem”. I reminded her that he said he had experience, and she said he did, but this was more intensive than what he’d previously done. I decided to wait until Sunday. 2pm Sunday, still hadn’t heard, called, left several messages. 4pm, the gf calls and says it’s going to be a few more hours, the cost is now up to $200 b/c not only has he had to put in MORE hours, but he’s had to bring someone in to help him (???). I told her my car needed to be done Sunday night, that I had to be at work Monday morning and had NO flexibility and he’d already misinformed me about his experience, that I wasn’t going to pay anything more than the $200 b/c it was not my fault that he didn’t know what he was doing. My car is completely torn up at this point, so I had NO recourse but to suck it up and pay. At 9pm, she calls (I have yet to speak to the “mechanic”) and says that it’s just too much, it won’t be done until Monday morning b/c he now has to go get power steering fluid and “other parts because when he turned your car on, power steering fluid blew out everywhere on the engine”.
I’m stunned at this point. I tell her that’s ridiculous, that he’s done something wrong b/c that has never, ever happened with any mechanic who has replaced my alternator or battery at any point in the past. She tells me that he has to go to the auto parts store in the am; I tell her unacceptable, it WILL be fixed by tonight, I’m tired of them lying to me and jacking up the price b/c of his ineptitude. She then calls back, my bf speaks to her b/c I’m too livid to form words. She tells my bf that the car will be done by midnight and that we have to pay the remainder of the $200 at that point to get my car back. We don’t have the cash on hand at this point, were planning on paying with check, which NOW they won’t accept, so I can’t get my car til the bank opens at 9am Monday morning.
At Midnight, this guy finally sends a Facebook post to my boyfriend, NOT ME, stating that he has to be up at 6am, so now the car isn’t going to be ready until later Monday night. This jerk hasn’t returned a single call, his gf is the one relaying information and she’s drunk half the time she calls (not me guessing, it’s known), she her story changes every time we talk, and she doesn’t recall half the things she’s said or told me, then tries to argue with me when I say they’ve lied to me this whole time.
I contacted the village police department, and am waiting for their response. My question is this: What recourse do I have? My friend drove by and said my car is sitting in this guy’s yard, hood up, parts shoved into the engine/under the hood, and into my front seat. I have to work from 12-9 pm tonight, so I can’t get to pick it up any earlier than 9:30pm. IF I show up with a flatbed truck and take it, am I in the wrong? I’ve given this guy $80 (over half his original price to fix my car), and he’s not done anything but cause more damage and put my job in jeopardy (not to mention that it’s going to cost me twice what he originally said JUST to get it assessed and working once I do get it back and to my mechanic). HELP ME, please.