Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

did mechanic rip us off?


halfwet's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 86

02-01-03, 06:25 AM   #1  
did mechanic rip us off?

My son has a 91 blazer with abs. The left front abs had recently been activating {pulsating etc} even on dry roads. Thinking that ice may be on the sensor, we thawed out the front wheels {2 hours with a space heater aimed at the front wheels}. That didnt seem to help, so he took it to a local mechanic in town, {weve never used him before, but has a reputable shop I was told}. On the work order he wrote "abs pulsating left front wheel"., but when my son picked up the car after school, the bill was for $194, he changed the rear brake shoes and replaced the real wheel seals, and cleaned the rear sensors, doing absolutely nothing to the front wheel. The car had the exact same problem as before when my son left the shop with it! {the mechanic admitted he didnt take it for a test drive after the work was done}. During the phone call to him after my son got home, I asked him if he thought all the work he done on the rear brakes was part of the problem with the left front , he said "well maybe"..he agreed to look at it again this week, but my question is ...do the front and rear brakes work together in such a mannner that if the rear was inadequate it would cause one front wheel to activate? The repairs he made to the rear WERE needed I admit, but its not what we went in there for. I was planning to replace the rear shoes and seals myself soon anyway, thats not a job Id pay someone else $140 labor for! Bottom line is, he came out $194 poorer with the same problem he went in with!

 
Sponsored Links
Joe_F's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-01-03, 06:51 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Your last sentence answers your question.

Yes, the $194 is not warranted. If I go to the doctor for foot pain and he pulls out my tooth for no reason, should I pay him? Same thing here.

Also, I do not trust anyone that doesn't test drive/test his/her work. That is a formula for disaster. What if the tire jockey forgot to tighten the wheel for instance?

Go back there and if they cannot fix it right this time, demand your green back. If that fails, call the Better Business Bureau on this guy, sounds like bad business.

My .02

 
Jason R's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 261

02-01-03, 10:22 AM   #3  
I agree with Joe. Most places are under legal obligation to provide written estimates to avoid exactly what you just had happen. (You wanted ABS fixed. He fixed everything BUT... and he fixed things without your permission that YOU planned on fixing yourself.)

This mechanic does not deserve to be in business. Report him to the BBB, even if he gives you your money back.

His practice is sub-standard, and you'll be saving others from this fate (who might not fight it).

 
halfwet's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 86

02-01-03, 12:48 PM   #4  
Thanks for your answers guys! Before I go back to that guy, I need to know whether or not the work he did on the blazer COULD HAVE been a fix to the front wheel abs problem, or was what he did totally unrelated to the original problem. Thats a major key in this whole deal...thanks again

 
Joe_F's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-01-03, 01:19 PM   #5  
Joe_F
The answer is "perhaps". But, the fact still remains that the problem the vehicle was brought in for was not fixed!

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,567
GA

02-02-03, 12:11 AM   #6  
basically, the way ABS works, is the controller monitors each wheel. If a wheel is determined by the controller to be locked down as if in a skid, it pulsates the brake to obtain maximum stopping power and control of the vehicle. It does this independently...for each wheel. So...there is not much that the rear wheels could have to do with the front locking unless the rears were so bad that the front was taking the vast majority of the braking responsibility and locking up. Obviously that was not the case, since it is still doing it.

Electronic controllers are sometimes unpredictable and do funny things....so there is always a chance that the rear has something to do with it...but in this case it doesn't appear to. Besides...if the problem isn't fixed, then what difference does it make whether it has to do with the rear or not? It still isn't fixed, and you paid for it to be. And I also agree about the test drive. The mechanic...by not test driving it...made your son the test dummy. What if a mistake was made, or a faulty part was installed. Who would've found out? Your son! Probably while driving down the road thinking everything was fixed and maybe not even hitting the brakes until he got to the red light at an intersection. Bad time to find out something wasn't done right!


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
Joe_F's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-02-03, 03:50 PM   #7  
Joe_F
Cheese put it well. Now ya know what you have to do...go back there and get it fixed right or get your money back!

 
fishpounder's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 58
IA

02-02-03, 09:40 PM   #8  
If the shoes were soaked in grease it could very well cause the abs to go haywire. I've seen some real strange things cause some real odd results.
I guess I just have a hard time beleiving a person can do something to a car and not test drive it after. And then spending other peoples money without an ok from them. Those are some kahonies that I do not posess.
Boy I really have a problem with this one- I can't side with the tech- I mean mechanic ( techs test drive) on this one.
I hope he at least pulled the front wheels and checked things out up there.

 
Joe_F's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-03-03, 05:45 AM   #9  
Joe_F
I agree but the bottom line is the problem is not fixed and the guy was charged for it .

 
jrodcat's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-03-03, 04:29 PM   #10  
jrodcat
Had the same thing happen to my wife a few years ago. When I went back to the shop I got the same "maybee" answer. I understand the maybee but in my case (as in yours) the original problem was still there. I demanded they correct the problem and they agreed to but were going to charge me another $200. As I was no longer confident in this shop I asked for my money back and they refused. I did in fact report them to the BBB and they sent in a reply to the BBB stating they would correct the problem free of charge. By then I had already fixed it. I left the complaint open because I dont need my wife driving with faulty brake system. If they hadn't been ABS(which I've never fooled with) I would have fixed them myself. Bottom line, it was your sons safety this shop compromised. Report them...

 
halfwet's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 86

02-03-03, 08:15 PM   #11  
thanks guys...I am going back into him tommorrow to hash this out. Yes he claimed the real wheel drums were covered in oil, thats why he changed the rear seals and brakes, allthough i find it somewhat hard to believe since I had the rear drums off a few weeks earlier and didnt detect an oil leak, and the rear dif was within a half inch of being full. i was planning to replace the rear pads soon myself but hadnt really seen the need for rear seals. He parks the blazer on our concrete carport and ive never seen that first trace of oil anywhere. Ill let ya know how this turns out.

 
Joe_F's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-04-03, 06:03 AM   #12  
Joe_F
You won't see the oil on the ground---it will be in the drums.

No one is disputing what he did---it was for safety, but the problem is that the problem you brought it in for was not fixed!

 
halfwet's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 86

02-04-03, 04:16 PM   #13  
Ok peeps, heres the scoop...I went back to the mechanic today with the blazer and asked what he planned to do next since he's allready charged me $194 and hasnt fixed the problem. We 'discussed' this for 1/2 hour, him telling me all kinds of reasons why he made the repairs without notification, how all 4 wheels work together, how I didnt know exactly which wheel was causing the trouble., [which ticked me off because I know what wheel it was, the left front, he insists the problem was with the left rear. I hung my head out the window while driving and stopping ona gravel road and could clearly see and hear it was the front], I said bottom line....$194 bucks..no fix, so apparently what you did wasnt the problem..blah blah blah.....he finally told me hed put the old shoes back on the rear and refund my money. I had him leave the new seals in and compensated him for that. Then I asked if hed look at the taillights for a second, and he asked why, I said "cuz thats the last thing youll EVER see of this vehicle or any of my vehicles again"! LOL... so case closed for that guy!

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,567
GA

02-04-03, 07:43 PM   #14  
Good Grief!

The guy would actually rather put the old shoes back on instead of doing the right thing!!!???

For the cost of his time involved in reversing his brake job, he would have been better off just leaving the new shoes on. It's not like he can return them now anyway.

Does this vehicle actually have 4wheel ABS, or is it just the front? If I recall correctly, the rear on a 91 blazer doesn't even have ABS. Maybe I'm wrong.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
otter_'s Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-05-03, 08:27 PM   #15  
otter_
no such

thing as front wheel abs only on a gm vehicle. 91 blazer should have a 4wheel, 3-channel system where the front operates based on input from two channels and the rear operates off one common channel.

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,567
GA

02-06-03, 01:04 AM   #16  
ok...couldn't remember, but for some reason I felt like they were only front wheel in the early '90s.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
otter_'s Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-06-03, 11:38 AM   #17  
otter_
you're

on the right track. A fair amount of the General's trucks had 2 wheel anti-skid (similar to abs) at the rear position in the early nineties.

 
Joe_F's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-06-03, 06:33 PM   #18  
Joe_F
You might ask him if he reuses his dirty socks if he forgot to check the price of the new ones at Kmart. Geez!

Sounds like a parts changer without a clue. Find someone with more tools in their toolbox and knowledge in their head. This guy seems to have nuts and bolts up there, not much else.

Try to find a shop that's ASE certified and recommended without any complaints. Ask friends and coworkers for some help.

 
Search this Thread