how to tell if work was actually done

Old 07-28-04, 03:55 PM
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how to tell if work was actually done

I recently had a lot of work done on my car. 97 Chevy Cavalier. The bill was very large.

I took the car in because the breaks were squealing and needed work. The whole carriage seemed to groan and squeak whenever it hit a bump of any kind and I wanted that looked at too. I also pointed out that there was a new, higher motor ďhumĒ while the car was in neutral (and accelerating)

While there, they found several other things wrong. They said the sound of the engine was normal acceleration sounds. I approved the work.

Now, a few weeks later, the carriage is still groaning and there are some new and frightening squeals when I turn the car.

Iím thinking that I may have been charged for work that they didnít do. Should I take the car back to the place that did the work? Should I take it to another place?

What should I do if I find out that the original shop was negligent in their work, or if they charged me for work the did not do.

All advice will be greatly appreciated.
Old 07-28-04, 04:33 PM
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First of all it is not likely that they charged for something that was not done.It may have been diagnosed incorrectly,repaired incorrectly or a lack of communication occurred about the nature of the problem between you and the person writing the repair order.I would advise taking it somewhere and have them give an evaluation of what they feel was repaired on the vehicle and what was not.Until we understand the situation we can't continue to advise how to proceed.How much were you charged and for what services(parts included)?The fact that you posted this thread shows you have no trust in the facility that performed the work because you didn't give them a chance to recheck the work and explain any of your concerns about the repairs.
Old 07-29-04, 07:07 PM
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Auto repair facilities in general have a bad reputation for ripping people off. The truth is though that almost all of them are honest. I am sure there are some bad apples that give the rest of us a bad name but the difference between a good repair shop and a bad one is the quality and experience of the technicians.

It is too late this time but next time tell the service advisor that you want to keep all the old parts. Or at least see them if they are cores.

If any of your friends have repair shops they trust then give them a try.

And remember if they did make a mistake in diagnosing or repairs then give them the chance to make it right. If it happens often...then take it somewhere else.

I think you should take the car back to the original shop and simply tell them your concern. If you immediately accuse them of cheating you or call them incompetent then you have just shut the door on resolving the problem.

Old 07-30-04, 02:09 PM
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Thank you for your responses.

Please understand that I respect you folks and what you do. I admit that I am uneducated in matters mechanical. I am not here to disrespect any one, but really do feel that I could benefit from some expert advice.

While I can appreciate the points in the first reply, I do think that something less than what they said they had done, was done. I was fairly clear about the issues with the car when I brought it in. I spoke directly with the mechanic, so a miscommunication via an order writer is not the case. You are correct when you say I don't trust this mechanic. I would not have been compelled to post had I trusted him. That's why I approached this forum for advice.

To the author of the second reply, thank you very much. I appreciate your response and consideration.

Here's more of my story.

I paid $1400 for work on the brakes - they changed the struts - replaced the serpentine belt - they also did an oil change and fluid refill.

I asked them to run a diagnostic on the whole car and let me know what needed done.

The creaking noise I brought to their attention (my uneducated guess - shocks?) has worsened. A look at the receipt does not show that I was charged for new shocks.

There is a new intermittent whirring noise.

This is the bit that really makes me feel that the work was not done -
The coolant is empty - the dash indicator light is on and solid.

The car seems worse than when I brought it in a little over a month ago.

I am thinking of taking it to another mechanic. I would appreciate any other suggestions you might have.
Old 07-30-04, 05:00 PM
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By all means, if you think something wasn't done then take it to another "trustworthy" shop and ask them to verify the repairs. You say the struts were changed but nothing was done to the shocks. I hope your aware that a strut is an exotic shock. You have regular shocks in the rear but struts in the front. I wouldn't doubt that they didn't find the noise you wanted them to but sold you struts instead. That's a little different than not performing charged work. It doesn't mean you didn't need the struts, they just couldn't find the real problem. Who knows how hard they looked. The fact that they would sell you other work without repairing what you came in for doesn't make them look real good. Another shop may be in order.
Old 07-30-04, 05:47 PM
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Wow, that's a lot of money to spend for it to be worse than when you brought it in!

The noise while turning could be low power steering fluid or it could be coming from the a bearing or belt which may also cause the whirring noise. Its very easy to check the power steering fluid....just look in the owners manual for directions or have an attendent at a full service gas station check it.

I hope you have added more coolant and water. If you drive the car with the coolant light on, you will make the problem much much worse.

If I was you, I would take it to another mechanic unless you want to take it back to the original one to get the problem corrected but can you trust them to fix it right the 2nd time, and without wanting even more money? That shop sounds like one that doesn't have the quality and experience needed. Ask some people you know if they know of a good mechanic as John and Desi mentioned. You don't want to risk going to a possible bad apple shop again. That's just my opinion. If you do take it back to the same shop, and it is one of the places that likes to rip off people who know nothing about mechanics, chances are that they will find new things that have gone wrong and need to be fixed $$$$$.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but when struts are changed, isn't a front end alignment necessary? She didn't mention anything about a front end alignment having been done. Does $1400 sound like a bit much for the work she listed?

Last edited by jeff67; 07-30-04 at 06:00 PM. Reason: typing error

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