Since my husband died in 2005, I have been taken advantage of by repairmen of all types more times than I can count. I’m a very hard-headed woman, and knew how to stand up for myself even before he died. However, I admit I am at a mechanical disadvantage, especially when it comes to cars. I do a lot of research, and depend on the assistance of relatives and friends when needed. Last year, I purchased a 2001 Audi Quattro TT A6 wagon. It had less than 100,000 miles on it, only 2 owners, and the maintenance records are very detailed. All work was performed at the same dealer where it was originally purchased in Denver. I took a trusted male friend with me when I made the purchase. I paid $7500 cash for the car.
Almost immediately, I had to replace the entire front suspension, which cost almost $1500. A few months later, it needed a serpentine belt, rear brakes, and a tie rod on the front passenger side. Despite the alignment I had done after the front suspension work, I had abnormal wear on one of my front tires, but the mechanic insists I did not get a proper alignment done.
Back to the brakes… I took the car to a VW dealer on May 3rd, 2011, who said it needed front and rear brakes and rotors. It was squeaking a little, but not shuddering or braking badly. They also suggested several other repairs totaling half the value of the car. I’d just had the oil changed at the Audi dealer two months earlier, who said it was “pristine” for its age.
So I took it back to the German Car Mechanic who had done the front suspension work for a brake inspection and second opinion. He told me the front brakes looked “brand new.” This was on May 4th. The rear brakes needed to be replaced (which resolved the squeaking immediately), and the serpentine belt and tie rod (front passenger side) needed replacing. Silly me thought that would have been done when he did the front suspension work last fall…
So that cost approximately $700. I left town for a trip to my niece’s wedding–all flat Interstate driving–and back. By the time I returned home, I noticed a distinct shuddering every time I pressed on my brakes. I also noticed some uneven wear on the front passenger tire (same side the tie rod was replaced).
So I took the car back to the same place that replaced those rear brakes on May 4th who said my front brakes looked “brand new.” He said, “Your front rotors are warped.”
Excuse me? How can they be warped when you just looked at my brakes and said they were “brand new” six weeks ago?
I heard a song and dance about riding the brake (I drive with one foot and never ride my brake) and mountain driving (my trip was all flat-land through Kansas on the Interstate), etc. Blah, blah, blah. And I needed an alignment bad. So I forked over another $243 and left with my car pulling hard to the right after they rotated the tires, replaced the brakes and did an alignment.
I now have approximately $10,000 into this car I purchased 9 months ago for $7500. It was a great buy at $7500. Not so much now…
I think my German Car Mechanic is taking advantage of the “little widow.” So does my gentleman friend. What do you think? And shouldn’t they have looked at the front rotors when I took the car in to have the brakes inspected on May 4th?!?!?!? He said they can’t “see” the rotors, and the car wasn’t “shuddering” then, so I must have overheated the brakes.
Driving on the Interstate? I don’t think so…
What do you think?
I smell a rat.