Is it me or just bad luck?

We have been in this area for 2 years and I am trying out mechanics. Even though I do some of the work myself there are a lot of time and space restrains. The 1st mechanic is history (actually the whole business went under); I just want to see if I have to give this 2nd guy another chance or just move on.

His 1st mistake was obvious after a tire rotation done during a brake job. The car was vibrating like hell-over the phone he was trying to convince me that I need new suspension parts. Turned out the kid that worked there only for one day, had put the lugs on with the air gun and the thing was stuck, had to cut it off and replace. No charge to me, other than half a day of waiting there and some aggravation. Obviously he wasn’t supervising the green kid.

Then he did a radiator for me. Five months later it was leaking, so he still charges me labor to change it out “under warranty”. I found that odd, but did not argue much. Then comes the fiasco, the transmission cooler line was hooked improperly and poured ATF all over the world. Wife got stuck and had to tow the car. Told him to put the correct type ATF (ATF4), but by the smell and the converter rumbling I could say that it wasn’t the right type fluid. Drained and refilled myself. The whole front bumper area was a mess. Washed at least a gallon of coolant and 2 qts of transmission fluid off today. The whole thing doesn’t seem right.

Am I being unreasonable in being PO’ed.


Poor customer service, sloppy workmanship (a good mechanic will leave a customer’s car at least as clean as they found it), and cheaping out in all the worst areas are bad signs. I would move on.

If I were you, I would drop this mechanic like a bad habit.

What you describe is what I have encountered at almost every single shop I have ever tried in my area. This is why I try to do almost all of my own car work. There’s nothing like paying through the nose for carelessness and stupidity that ultimately shortens the life of the vehicle.

In any case, you’ve given these characters plenty of slack - time to move on.

You need a new mechanic. Do you know anyone that is happy with theirs?

Thanks for confirming that I am not paranoid. Well for now the transmission cooler line is still leaking, I will see if he can fix this without any more hysteria.

I will have to ask around for a good mechanic-again. I get referred to these places, problem is that most people I know are not into cars. If the mechanic told them they need a new transmission, then they pay for one or junk the car.

I do most of the work myself. Even this radiator job is not something I could not do. The first time around I needed the car to be fixed immediately and then figured since I have the warranty on the repair I might as well use it.

To me seems like “luxury” brings more aggravation than anything else.

I have found the best recommendations come from specialized shops or parts dealers. A place that specializes in brakes, I ask them where do you go for an alignment. Napa parts dealers, my preference, I was on vacation, I have a problem, could be a bearing or trans axle, if it was your car who would you take it to? You have gotten the bad end of the stick for sure.