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The Midas Touch

What are people’s thoughts about using Midas for a brake job, or any other repair work for that matter? I have always tried to use ‘local repair shops’ (once I am off dealer warranty), but a friend tells me she gets work done by Midas all the time and has no problem. My old service station closed so I am in the market for a new one!

I worked for Midas here in Tucson problem with Midas (and not only Midas) they see many different models and don’t build up that intimate model knowledge,

Midas is very much into “Midas recommended services” as opposed to manufactures recommended services,they love selling all the “flushes”

Midas (and probably others) have a high rate of turnover

Midas works on a “every man for himself” mentality as opposed to a team concept

Midas didn’t provide any oppourtunity for increases training.

Midas didn’t require mechanics to be ASE certified

Midas does not have the ability to do intensive,deep problem diagnosis

Midas is a muffler shop that has expanded into the high return areas of auto repair

Do not have internal engine repair or internal transmission repair done at Midas

To what oldschool stated, I will add that you have to anticipate a lot of attempts for an “upsale”, as well as other situations that add a significant amount of money to the advertised specials.

No matter what you are having done at Midas, they will “find” other things that you are told must be replaced or repaired. While some of these items may be legitimate, most of this stuff will simply be schemes that the mechanic dreamed up in order to increase his commission on the repair bill.

I had no problem there either. I was really willing to have the new rotors, flush and front hardware. They also did the rear shoes and wanted to change my rear brake hardware. I didn’t have them change the rear hardware because I usually do my own brakes and never change the hardware. Not yet anyway. The owner of the shop treated me like I had just put a lot of money in his pockets. I know I did.

I have always tried to use ‘local repair shops’ (once I am off dealer warranty)

Why wait? Other than those things that are covered by warranty or are provided free by the manufacturer, why pay a dealer to work on your car? Independent mechanics are almost ways less expensive and your warranty is still valid as long as the maintenance is done and you have proper records of it being done.

“Chain” repair shops are only as good as the mechanics that work in that individual shop. You might have great luck in one store, but awful luck in the same chain across town. If you have a personal recommendation for this store from a friend, you will also probably have good luck there.

As always, be “skeptical” of any extra services they might want to offer and ask lots of questions. And after they give you an estimate, have them SHOW you what they are talking about on the car (even if you aren’t a mechanic and don’t understand what they are saying). If they know you are trying to be an “informed” consumer they are less likely to sell you extras.

One of the MAJOR problems I see with Midas (and pretty much all chains) is the mechanics work on commission. A good portion of their salary is based on the parts and services they sell. They need to sell something like $800/mo in parts and services. Anything after that they get a commission on. So if the tech needs new wheels for his car this month…he’s motivated to sell UNNEEDED parts and services. I can’t tell you how many times Midas has been sued by different state attorney generals because of this practice. I know of at least 5…probably a lot more.

You should always do better with a local independent. They are almost always 100 times better then places like Midas.

I prefer national chains like Midas and Goodyear for wearable items like tires and brakes so that if something goes wrong while I am traveling out of town, I can get it fixed under warranty. If my local independent mechanic does my brakes, replaces my muffler, sells me tires, or replaces my battery and the part fails while I am in another state, it would create a hassle that I don’t want. In addition, parts form a national chain can have a lifetime warranty. This warranty usually covers the parts but not the labor and applies to things like struts, brake pads, and mufflers.

What’s the chance of that actually happening. Personally I’d rather take that .001% chance then get ripped of by them selling me unwanted parts or doing shoddy work.

Well, if Whitey does a lot of long-distance traveling, his philosophy might make sense. However, for the majority of drivers who stay closer to home most of the time, this approach doesn’t make good economic sense, IMHO.

If MOST of his driving is out of town…then it might be worth it.

I do a good deal of traveling. And NEVER had a warranty problem out of town. First off…mufflers rarely just start making noise. Usually comes on slowly. So if it’s making noise before I take a trip I’ll have it looked at. Tires…I rarely let my tires get so worn that taking a 500 mile trip I’ll need new tires in the middle of the trip. There is the chance of road hazard…But those are rare. Brakes…Well I do that work myself…and I keep a close watch on them so I don’t have to worry abou them on a trip. If they’re CLOSE to being worn then I replace them.

The travel issue is more about convenience and peace of mind than probabilities.

Mike, when is the last time an independent mechanic gave you a lifetime warranty on parts (not labor)?

I will never use Midas because they extorted $300 worth of shocks several years ago. The said the car was unsafe, she would crash, etc…2-year old car! What BS. I know it depends on the shop/mechanic, but this lost them two customers for life.

Forgive me, but there are some details missing from this story. If it was total BS, why did you buy them? Isn’t a 2 year old car still under the factory warranty? At what point did you realize they had taken advantage of you? Why did you bring the car to them in the first place?

I am not suggesting Midas wasn’t at fault, I just don’t have enough information to agree with you that they were.

Last time I bought a muffler and shocks/struts. In fact the mufflers warranty includes PIPES AND LABOR. I’m just charged a $35 fee if they have to replace the muffler. Their price…about 2/3 the price of Midas or Monroe.

Shocks…lifetime warranty on shocks/struts which includes labor. The shocks/struts were far better quality they what Midas will use.

I think he’s saying he DIDN’T buy them. I had the same problem with NTB. Went there for an alignment because they were close by. They told me I needed new shocks and ball joints. Needless to say the shocks and ball joints were fine. The shocks were only 1 year old…the ball joints were original, but showed no play what-so-ever. The manager came out and gave me a line of bull on how UNSAFE the vehicle was. I said SHOW me…When they finally realized I knew what I was talking about they backed off their recommendations. That was the LAST time I was there and will NEVER go there again. Their mechanics work on commission just like the mechanics at Midas. I guess the mechanic needed to buy some more Christmas presents.

If he didn’t buy the shock absorbers, then they didn’t extort $300 from him. They would have been unsuccessful in their attempted extortion.

If engine needs serious diagnosis or repair I take it to the dealer. I never trust local shops. Usually they do not have experience or tools to diagnose the engine correctly. If you have problem, you need to deal with the owner that you do not know. However, I need to do brake job or oil change etc. I go to Midas. I had my exhaust system changed once, and rear brakes… I was happy at both times. They give warranty on the service and parts. If you have any problem it is easy to deal with big companies. Of course, in both cases I did my part. I called the dealer, few local shops, and Midas. I asked how much the repair would cost. I ended up taking my car to Midas. In summary, provided that cost of repair will be similar between a local shop and Midas, I would definitely take it to Midas.