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The mechanic was caught in the act

Clearly this article was not written by somebody with very much automotive knowledge (“change the air conditioner”??? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:), but I think that it is still interesting.

The mechanic should not have used the customer vehicle for a food run. But why does everything have to be a video on the web. Talk to the dealer, get a tank of fuel or a free oil change and go on with your life.

The problem with those joy-rides is that sometimes crap happens (aka - accident).

The only time they should be driving a customers car is doing a test drive.

Back in the 70’s my dad took his Dodge Aspen back to the dealer for some recall work.

Told to pick it up 3-days later. During that time he saw his 2-month old car being driven (he worked right near the dealer). When he picked the car up the next day he confronted the service manager about it. His response (before looking at the paperwork to see what was actually done in the recall) was - “The car was being test driven”.

To which my dad responded in a loud voice “FOR A PAINT JOB? WHAT TEST DRIVE NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR A PAINT JOB.”

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Change the oil and change the air conditioner was stated by the Camaro owner. I think she was referring to the air filter.

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Yes, more than likely the car owner was referring to the cabin air filter.
Or, I guess it is possible that, instead of “changing” the A/C, it was supposed to be “charging” the A/C, but that procedure should not be necessary on a late-model car.

In any event, even if the verbiage came directly from the car owner, the “journalist” who penned that story must have been clueless regarding car maintenance issues if he/she simply parroted the words, “change the A/C”.
A journalist who actually had a clue regarding the subject matter would have asked the car owner to clarify exactly what type of work was being done on that Camaro.

I’ve noticed that in recent years there’s been a serious degradation of integrity among so-called “journalists”., and I’m referring to people paid to do journalism. I’ve seen numerous statements these past few years that made absolutely no sense or were just plain wrong, especially when the subject is technical, as it is with cars.

At times I’ve driven customer cars to lunch or even home in the evening when a test drive to verify a repair or for further diagnosis was warranted. I don’t see an issue with it but there is a caveat or two that should be respected.

NO joy rides. NO food in the car. Say a car is finished right before lunch for a performance, vibration, or alignment issue. I figure the car is going for a few miles down the expressway anyway so why not drive it a few miles to a local restaurant for lunch?

In one case a customer complaint was iffy on a no-start complaint with a car that ran fine otherwise. We could not get the car to act up so I drove it home that evening on my 150 miles a day round trip commute. I will point out that I put gas in the car on my dime.
After stopping for gas the problem reared its head and thankfully I had a few test tools with me. The car actually had 2 issues which I diagnosed in the gas station lot and repaired the car the next day at work.

As for the mechanic in the story, it sounds like he was joyriding and deserved the “reprimand” he got; which loosely translated meant he got the axe.

As for journalism today; it’s a total joke.

I had dropped off my Hyundai for a rear knocking noise. I knew the shocks on this model go bad fast and the car was under warranty, wanted them to figure it out and fix it.
The car was there for almost the whole day, They called that they “could not reproduce the sound”. I saw the car had an extra 30 miles on the ODO, a food receipt in the console.
I asked about this and the service writer about this and he said they were trying to make sure they can’t hear any noises. Then I asked to drive the car with the master tech, we hadn’t made it out of the lot and he said “That noise? That is the rear shock, they go bad on these pretty fast!”.


I live near Port Canaveral. There are a number of off-site parking lots for cruise passengers. One customer notice miles had been put on his car. Local TV station, undercover, left a late model Corvette at the lot with a tracking device. About an hour later the car was moving. The station followed and filmed the car being taken on a high speed joy ride by the owner of the lot. Now it is a vacant lot.

If I have an unverified problem, which in the current business model is nearly impossible to fix, I would be ecstatic if a mechanic borrowed it and drove it around as long as he really tried to verify it. But. not full throttle, please.

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Agree with you there. Had a slowly dying computer. But there weren’t any codes showing. I should have had one of the tech take a drive with me. They only drove it in and out of the service bay. Required street driving to show symptoms.