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Checking Repairs

Would a service garage check on another garages repair work? The reason I ask is that I just got my brakes replaced at the car dealers garage and wondering if they really did the replacement.

The only way to find out is to ask. Many (probably any) will, and some may charge you an inspection fee. If you feel suspicious, you need to find a shop you feel you can trust. It is also a good idea to have the mechanic (preferably not a service writer. Most of them are salesmen with little to no mechanical knowledge) take you out to your car and show you what is wrong with your car and explain what he/she is going to do to repair it. I always offered to do this (some people refused to enter the shop) to put the customer at ease. The main thing you need to do for future reference is to find a mechanic you are comfortable with and trust. Otherwise, you will always be wondering.

Sure, any repair shop should be happy to take your money…Here is what to ask: “I just paid to have my brakes replaced. Could you please pull ALL the wheels and verify for me that this work has been properly done”…This should take about 15 minutes and cost $20-$25…

How many MILES and model year of the Kia??

2006 Spectra with 29974 miles

That’s a little early to need brakes, but it’s within the “normal” range. Brake wear is mostly driver-dependent…

A brake job on either end of this car is fairly common at this mileage. Even rear drum brakes seem to wear quickly on most Kias. Could you tell us what was replaced?

Fifteen years ago, I had a new starter installed on a Ford Taurus by Western Auto. When the car had been driven and the engine hot, the starter would barely crank the engine if at all. The service manager at Western Auto claimed they couldn’t duplicate the condition. I took the car to an independent shop and while the engine was hot the mechanic measured the current draw of the starter. It was way more than it should have been. He disconnected the ignition to be certain that it wasn’t engine timing. He then wrote up his findings and sent me back to Western Auto. The independent shop wouldn’t take any money for what they did. When I went back to Western Auto and showed them what the independent garage had written up, Western Auto replaced the starter with no questions and no charge. Since that time, the independent shop does all my work.

This is from the invoice they gave me:
Job 1
Replace Rear Pads or Shoes
Turn Drums or Rotors
Replaced Rear Brake Pads, Machined Rear Rotors, Serviced Rear Brake Sytem

Job 2
Advise Service Throttle Body Assy.
Cleaned/Serviced Throttle Body

The only questionable thing I see about the invoice information is the throttle body service. This should only be done to address a driveability concern, such as poor idle or difficulty starting. It is a very quick and inexpensive procedure, too. It can be done in less than five minutes for less than five dollars. Did you have a driveability concern?

No. And I forget now why he said I needed it. But the charge was 48.22 with 45.00 of that being for labor. Boy I guess they knew I could be reeled in. I only went there for a 30,000 mile mainenance check up. What is funny about this too, and I should have known something from this. They said I needed a tire rotation too which I questioned because I just bought all new tires a couple of months ago and then that is when they came back and told me I needed this throttle thing.

The labor you were charged is probably a half hour labor. Many shops have a minimum labor charge for any service, and a common figure is a half hour, so this charge isn’t exactly out of line. It probably was unneeded, but can only help your car.