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Toyota Camry 1989 Transmssion problem


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12-27-01, 11:18 AM   #1  
Toyota Camry 1989 Transmssion problem

I have had serious transmission problems with my Toyota Camry 1989 (6 cylinder). This past summer it was in the shop for over 2 months and we paid $1350 to have the transmission "fixed." Four months later, right after Thanksgiving, the car started smoking from the engine and I barely made it back to the above shop where I had a 6 month warranty on the repairs. They have now had the car for over a month, at the place where they farm it out for transmission repair. Each week when I call, the clerk says, "It should be ready Monday." Each Monday, it has not been ready. I finally spoke to one of the owners and he said that there is a problem finding the proper "casing." as the repair has involved a leak in the casing. I am wondering just what is going on, and if this part is so hard to find that I should wait for some indefinite period of time? This shop was rated by Triple AAA a few years ago, but I am having my doubts about what is going on at this point. I am very tempted to start filing complaints. Does anyone have any feedback or suggestions?
Thanks in advance for any light you can shed.
Desperate in Brooklyn.
P.S. Over the summer their excuse was they had to get the differential for the transmission and it was extremely hard to find the part.

 
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12-27-01, 11:55 AM   #2  
Joe_F
A couple of things:

1) V6 Camry parts (this one has a 2.5L V6) are always unique, strange and expensive. Is this an AllTrac (the all wheel drive) model? The early V6 Camrys were crap and unneedingly complicated. The 4 cylinders were more simplistic and reliable. I still don't like V6 Camrys. You have to be a contorsionist to work on them. The timing belt repair procedure is like 4 pages in Alldata. My friend is handy with cars and he thought about farming it out. Not your fault, but you picked a bit of a strange duck.

2) On the side of the shop, I'm assuming they are trying to find used parts to save money. New parts exceed the value of the vehicle without reservation. Did you discuss new or used parts? If new, they are available in 1 week even if they have to come from Torrance California where Toyota is based. In such case, it's worth it (if the car is) to get a Toyota remanufactured transmission for it.

3) I'm also assuming that they thought they could get the parts quickly and the prices are making their jaws drop. This is the "we're working on it syndrome". The most efficient way to find a used casing is to put the request on www.junkyarddog.com. Any yards that have them can reply. Work with the owner on doing that and finding this part.

4) Now, enough on their side....my recommendations:

a) Call the shop. Speak to the owner. Ask in depth what is needed, what is being tried and what is being done.

b) Do you owe them money for the last repair? If you do, in fairness, this is why you are being shelved.

c) Find out the price of new parts. Compare them to the used ones.

d) Did you pay with a credit card? Get the credit card company involved and dispute the bill. They can assist you.

e) Just because the shop is AAA approved, it means nothing. You live in NYC (as do I). NYS doesn't license mechanics. It licenses businesses through the DMV. I can set up a mobile repair shop on my own and I could own one wrench . Lol.

f) Check the Better Business Bureau's website for complaints against this shop. I wonder which it is? . Lol. I probably have heard of it.

g) Do this:

1) Ask to speak to the shop owner.

2) Before you do that, find out what is needed in exact detail. Visit a Toyota dealer and ask for an exploded printout from the parts book so you know what you are asking for. If you are in Brooklyn, New York, you can go to Bay Ridge Toyota's parts department for help. They should be able to give you an exploded view from their parts computer. In true Brooklyn style, you have to park on the sidewalk when you go there to buy parts. Lol !
3) Do your own research through Junkyarddog.com

4) If you find the part in question, now bring that to the guy's attention.

5) If he says, "Nah, that's no good", then ask him how you found the part so quickly and tell him to call up the place and verify it's "no good".

6) If you get the runaround, have the car towed out of there. Get it fixed elsewhere and sue the first shop in small claims court. You can do this for under 10 bucks and you don't need a lawyer. However, even if you win, there is no guarantee you'll get your money . But you usually will. Most shops don't like "Five on your side" at their front door.

My cousin bought a used lemon and I had something worked out with the owner of the car lot but my cousin bailed out and gave the car back and folded, counting her losses . I don't bow so easily .

Post some more details and I'll try to help and tell you how to proceed.

Good luck.

 
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12-27-01, 12:44 PM   #3  
Toyota Camry 1989 Transmission - Reply

Thanks for the detailed, prompt help re my Toyota Camry 1989 V6. I don't know what kind of V6 actually. I'll have to pull out the paperwork. But this information you provided indicates that the mechanic may be dealing with this nightmare you describe and that is at least in part what is delaying it. We are all paid up, and by credit card many many months ago. We always pay them on time as soon as the repair is done in full. You expressed an interest in the garage it was farmed out from. B & J's on Neptune Avenue (Sheepshead Bay area) farmed it out to someone.
I guess the next step is to go to Bayridge Toyota and get the exploded parts listing for the particular transmission. Once I get that I will contact the shop and ask them to point out the exact part required and find out then, is it the expense of the part or some other tie-up that is preventing the repair from being finished.
I think that it was a mistake on our part to go there in retrospect; they always did a good job with minor repairs, but I probably should have gone to Toyota or a transmission specialist. We paid $1350 already for the prior transmission repair in August, and now we cannot afford to not have them complete the job since any transmssion problems within 6 months of that time are covered under the free warranty with them.
I'll also check that site junkyard.com I think that if there is a the part once I get the exact name (they told me it's the "casing") and for some reason they just do not want to absorb the cost, I will probably have to have it towed elsewhere and sue them if they do not offer a refund. They have not offered any provision for keeping the car for so long including throughout most of the summer, and now throughout the entire holiday season, what's more, I was offered a job as a real estate agent which I can't start until I get my car back.
Again, thanks for the info. It was an extremely clearheaded and useful list of things to do to resolve this problem.
Amy
Brooklyn

 
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12-27-01, 01:33 PM   #4  
Joe_F
I know it's a 2.5 liter V6 . It's the only V6 engine used that year in this Camry. A 2VZFE in Toyota nomenclature/engine-speak if I remember right. But it's a 2.5 in any event .

Find out what they mean by "casing". Are we talking the whole transmission case? The final drive unit? I am guessing that the rebuild on this one was not effective and the case is somehow damaged (which happens).

However, the shop usually calls you and says "Hey Amy, it's B from B&J. I'm still looking for that case for you. I've tried Salvage Yard A, B, C, and I'm fresh out of ideas at this point." To not give you a status report is not acceptable in my belief. It shouldn't be that way.

Give them this last try and let them know it. Tell them that you can't be without a car this long and while you understand that the parts might be difficult to locate, you'd be glad to help if you knew what you should/could be looking for. Tell them you'll try the Internet or call the yards yourself to see what you can find and then you'll advise him accordingly of what you found.

As you said, find out what the holdup is for the repair. Usually a shop will tell you, "I made about 10 phone calls. No one locally has it used. I can get it from another yard but you're looking at X dollars plus whatever shipping the yard will charge me. And it's a gamble as to whether it is any good. My experience is that you'd be OK with a used part". Or he could say, "Sorry, that's a part I only deal in new. Here is the price. X dollars. I suggest we just install a Toyota reman. transmission". I'm sure the owner wants this thing out of there as much as you do.

What took two months to repair back in August? Most transmission shops have another unit on the shelf ready to go. If not, they will rebuild that one. In some cases, they may order a rebuild from a company that just does them. They might even go to Toyota and mark it up. All depends on what their strategy is.

I guess I need more information to understand what it was there for two months back in August. Was the transmission completely rebuilt? Resealed? Defective parts changed? What does it say?

When you brought it back this last time, what was the issue? Transmission fluid leaking out? Again, if in August the car had a rebuilt transmission and it went bad, they are eating their labor twice again. Not your fault. The shop that did the rebuild for them should have been able to point out a worn case I would think. Old parts tell a story .

That being said, this is how I would proceed.

1) Visit the shop or call if you have to. I think your presence there makes it more known. Go with another person so they are your witness. Plus you can check the status of the car. If it's still together, you know you're getting the business.

2) While there, explain that while you're patient, you have a job offer that necessitates the need for a car and you'd be happy to help find the parts and do some of the research. Work it out with him on price if there are any fees (shouldn't cost anything) later on. Make sure you keep all receipts and write things down for court if needed later on.

3) Once he explains what part you're waiting for, then say to him, "Ok, Look. I'm going to try and find this thing on my own. If I do find it, I'll let you know and you can do what you have to do to get the car together again".

4) If he is not cooperative, get the vehicle towed out of there. I hate to say it, but if you have to call the police to civilize the matter at the shop, do so. Hopefully, it will not get to that point.

5) Tell the owner, "Look if you cannot fix it or you can't get the part, I have found other places that can fix it or get the part. I have no choice but to get it fixed and bill you for what they do to fix it". See what his reaction is. Make him understand your situation.

6) I still think you might have recourse through the credit card company even though this matter is paid.

Good luck.

 
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12-27-01, 02:35 PM   #5  
Toyota Camry 1989 Transmission-Reply

Joe_F,
Thanks again for the further detailed proceedings about how I can get the shop to cooperate better. I only got information when I pressed one of the shop owners for it, and then he was not as detailed as your example. Although I can't remember word-for-word, essentially he said that the farmed out shop took out the transmission did some repairs and put it back together only to find out there was a problem with the casing and that now they are attempting to find that casing somewhere. He said it might be $150 or $200 but it's not the price it's the difficulty finding the right casing for the car. When I brought the car in in November, the car was smoking and it barely worked. I was afraid it would go on fire and I only drove it from Ocean Parkway and Beverley to Neptune and 16 Street.
Yet in August, the transmission was simply "worn out"; it was not drivable, would not go into gear and made a lot of noise struggling to work. During the over 2 months it was in their shop, I assumed that they had replaced the transmission. I know they use rebuilt parts but I should have asked them specifically what was removed and what was replaced, the whole transmission or parts. For the over 2 month delay at that time, they claimed that one part, the "differential", they couldn't find in any junk yard, that it was like "gold" to find. Finally, right before our summer vacation in late August, they found it and we got the car back at which point we paid them $1350 with a 6 month free warranty.
However, this December I have not received honest answers from the clerk,who has worked there for years and screens calls and knows the owners well, about the status of our car. Only when I called and got Bob on the phone did I get the above explanation which was about 2 weeks ago, no word since.
They continue to hold our car without a status report.
So I will proceed with the steps you suggested. It is not so easy to get them on the phone either, and let's just hope someone is around when I come with a witness. In addition, I hope that one of the owners cooperates and tells me where the car has been farmed out to. If I have to get it towed, I wouldn't know where to get it. I guess that would be a matter for the police at that point.
Again thanks for all this advice. As you can see I have been very upset about the situation and until now I didn't know what to do. Also, it is a good idea to try and get the $1350 money back from the credit card by putting it in dispute, if they are not cooperative.
It's upsetting but at least I have a much clearer idea of the options now.
Amy

 
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12-27-01, 04:03 PM   #6  
Joe_F
I just tried to look it up on the Better Business Bureau's website, but "no gots". Their site (BBB) is down or has broken links. I was just curious as to complaints filed.

1) Any shop that avoids its customers is bad news.

2) Talk to Bob and find out what is actually needed. Get his recommendation here.

3) Go to the Toyota dealer and ask for a printout or what years and Toyota models use the same part. Might be more than a Camry (doubtful) that uses what you need.

4) Then you can call/e-mail some yards and say, "I need a transmission case for an 89 Camry V6. According to my dealer, 87 to 91 are the same parts" (this is a guess, but it is likely right. Whatever the 1st generation Camry V6s were are probably the same parts).

5) I say find out what fits what because not all of the yards will know they are sitting on the part . I have encountered this numerous times, that's why I do my own research now. Better salvage yards have the Hollander system. Hollander is a company that compiles information on what vehicles use interchangeable parts. For example the front parking lights from a 1980 Oldsmobile 98 are the SAME part as my 84 Olds Delta 88. I could also take the lights from a 1990 Custom Cruiser Wagon and they would be the same parts. Hollander does this research and publishes books and electronic media to assist yards in maximizing their inventory.

6) That being said, wait and see what you and Bob can find. If you can't find anything locally, you now know Bob's dilemma. If you find ten of them within ten miles of Neptune Avenue, chances are Bob is calling the wrong folks or not being truthful as he is eating the labor twice and so is his shop.

7) If the transmission was completely rebuilt, it shouldn't fail so soon. Ok, things happen though!

8) Bottom line: Show Bob you are willing to work with him so that you can see light at the end of the tunnel as he can too. If you are polite and firm and show him you want truthful answers and you mean business, he's not going to give you a rough time if he wants to do the right thing. Give him the benefit of the doubt and see if he cooperates.

9) Tell the clerk that "I'm honestly sick of the call screening and lack of status report. I really need to speak to Bob." If no call, time to go down there and speak to him personally. Make notes and time of when he's not there if you go back for repeated attempts. That might be important in court. A judge is not going to like the fact that you are trying to resolve it and yet the owner doesn't communicate! .

Let us know what you find out.


Last edited by Joe_F; 12-27-01 at 04:18 PM.
 
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12-27-01, 04:20 PM   #7  
Reply to Transmission Toyota Camry

Joe_F,
good advice, I feel very lucky to have found you to help me with this, and I really appreciate your advice enormously. I'll try to find the part, and attempt to work w/Bob and see what we can come up with. Hopefully he will be more forthcoming.
I've got a lot to do; tomorrow I will begin the research and let you know what happens over the next week.
Amy

 
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12-27-01, 04:34 PM   #8  
Joe_F
What about Bob :).

This is beginning to sound like a movie saga .

I'll save any more words until you have more information to furnish us. We'll go from there.

 
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01-03-02, 02:12 AM   #9  
Joe_F
This was an interesting (albeit frustrating for this poster) scenario.


Have we learned anything new since I posted last on 12/27?


1) What is the status?
2) What resolution has Bob provided?
3) What is the ETA of the casing?
4) Has it been located?
5) Have you found anything through www.junkyarddog.com or any of the other sources?
6) Has the Toyota dealer been any help?
7) Has Bob been any help?

Let us know. The forum likes to see things resolved and a happy ending .

 
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01-03-02, 06:36 AM   #10  
Toyota Camry 1989 V6

Joe,
Thanks for your e-mail. My husband spoke to the clerk at the desk on New Years Eve day. None of the owners were available, however, what we did next is thanks to your advice, we faxed them a detailed letter. I'll copy and paste it in below for your info. The upshot was that the place where B & J forwarded our letter to the place they farmed it out to. We then got a call from that shop owner, Oleg, who provided us with his phone number, and gave us more details about the problem. Now it turns out he found the casing part and had already replaced it. It is not fixed yet. he said the problem occurred when the radiator was clogged, it overheated and melted the transmission pump. Since I know very little about cars that is about all I could glean. He says we need a new radiator. I asked him to get me a price on one, I assume used, and he said he would get back to me this afternoon. Meanwhile, I had contacted junkyarddog.com and had received a reply from BCAUTO.com, but that was for transmission parts. I was also heading into to the Toyota Parts Department on W. 57 St. in Manhattan because I was going to be in Manhattan, to look at exploded printouts of transmission parts when this Oleg called. This was yesterday about 1 pm or so.
So now, I need to find out if he just wants to get some money out of me purchasing the cost of a new radiator and labor involved, or if I can leave with the transmission only fixed. He says the car should be ready Monday. He sounds honest and says he wants to work with me, but we'll see if the car is ready Monday. Meanwhile, does it make sense that I might need a new radiator?
Thanks for your feedback.
Amy

 
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01-03-02, 06:41 AM   #11  
Toyota Camry 1989 V6: addition to memo

I sent you a reply 5 minutes ago, but forgot to attach the letter we faxed to B&J which I said I would paste in. Here it is.


December 31, 2001
B&J Reliable Auto Center, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Re: Status Report on our Toyota Camry 1989 (License Plate 9XS826)

Dear Robert:

It has been five weeks since we brought our car to your garage and we need a status update on the situation. We called twice today, December 31, 2001 and we were unable to speak to you and Teresa told us the place where the car has been sent for repairs is closed. Teresa said that you would provide us with this information if we faxed it to you.

1) From the 1989 Camry Service Manual (exploded printout) what is the exact part and part number needed to repair our car? Is it the whole transmission case or the final drive unit?

2) Are you looking for a used part or can you replace it with a new part?

3) Do other Toyota year/models use the same part that youíre trying to replace in our car (1987-1991 years)?

4) Have you tried www.junkyarddog.com on the internet or other sites to find the needed replacement part? How many salvage yards have been called to try to find the replacement part? Have these yards been local or non-local? Do these yards use the Hollander system which has information on what vehicles use interchangeable parts?

5) In August our transmission was rebuilt and we paid $1350. Why has there been this new transmission problem only four months later? Where is our car being repaired and are the people repairing the car transmission specialists? What is the name of this place?

Please note that during the past summer when the transmission was being repaired, the process took many weeks before we got our car back. This situation has now repeated itself with the new transmission problem. We donít have access to our car. We donít have information about the current status of the car repair. We have been told at last twice that the car would be ready, and it wasnít. Given job and family considerations, as well as the cold weather, not having our car for all these weeks has caused us major problems. We wish to work with you so that our car is repaired as quickly as possible, and we would appreciate your cooperation in this matter. With the above information that you give us, on our own we will even try to locate the part ourselves and report back to you if successful.

We will call you on Saturday morning, January 5th,,2001 and hopefully you can give us this information on the phone, or we will go to the garage and pick up the information that day.

 
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01-03-02, 07:36 AM   #12  
Joe_F
What about Bob and Judging Amy :)

Good for you. EXCELLENT letter . Well-written and very well put. I think it got you some action.

Yes, it does make sense that a bad radiator would overheat the transmission...

Because...

The transmission cooler is in the radiator. There are two lines that go to the radiator from the tranmission that cool the fluid. If they get gummed up, then the fluid will not be effectively cooled and the transmission fluid can cook and overheat and the transmision doesn't like that too much.

So, a new radiator is not a bad investment, considering the original is probably still in the car, and there was probably a lack of cooling system maintenance. Ask to see the old one. If it has a lot of scale and white crust in it, it's surely shot and Mr. Oleg is right and that is good practice to replace it. I do believe B&J is also a radiator shop, but put them on their toes and ask them to explain it to you.

A new radiator installed should run under 250 bucks. I don't think the V6 Camry radiator is anything hard to get or wild in price. The radiator shop should be able to one quickly and might even stock it.

Avoid a used radiator unless you have to get one. Sometimes the old one can be power flushed by the radiator shop and they can be saved. Oftentimes it's actually more cost effective for a new one.

Yes, the Toyota dealer on 57th street is Potamkin Toyota as I recall. Just as good as any regarding the printouts. They will all be the same information. Go with whichever is trying to help you out the best.

That being said, it sounds like the car will be fixed another rebuilt transmission and new radiator.

Tell them you want it again in writing with another 6 month warranty due to your headache with them.

How long has the casing been in and fixed? Why so long to tell you what was needed (the radiator) to fix it? Why so long to get a new radiator and install it? He should know the price and how much is needed to install it. Who is installing the radiator?

In such case, B&J sounds like a middleman and you should talk to Bob about the breakdown of communication between he and Oleg. But that's their business. You are the customer and you want your car back.


My questions now are therefore:

1) What are you going to be charged in addition at this point?

2) Why didn't Bob or Oleg say the radiator was in need of repair back in August? An analysis should have been made at that point aobut the condition of the cooling system and how it pertains to the tranny cooler.

3) In my mind, he should charge you for his cost of the radiator and no labor to install it and get you rolling. Let he and Bob work out the labor. One of them (I assume Bob, as Oleg only rebuilds the units) should have said, "I won't warranty this unless the customer replaces the radiator. It is the cause of the failure".

4) What will be the new warranty on both the transmission and the radiator if it's a new radiator?

5) If you get a price on the radiator, OK it with whomever is going to install it, why so long to fix it? If you ok it today, it should be done by tomorrow afternoon or Saturday in my mind. Tomorrow to do the repair, and Saturday morning to test drive it. You should get it back Saturday. Ok for early Monday morning.

Let's see the outcome. Let us know what the resolution is. This is a juicy one

The class is waiting .

 
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01-04-02, 05:18 AM   #13  
Toyota Camry 1989 (V6)

Thanks immensely for your recent advice.

After Oleg told me about the radiator problem, I asked him to get me a price. This was 2 days ago, and I have spoken to him 3 times since then, all my calls, and he still doesn't have a price as of noon today. Yesterday, I called bcauto.com a referral from junkyarddog.com, and they said they had a radiator for $100 and they could ship it for $10 next day delivery. I told Oleg yesterday about this, and he became defensive and said he would take care of the radiator business himself and refused the bcauto info.

I also asked him when the car would be ready. He said it should be ready Monday. His shop is not open at all on the weekend. I am wondering how it can be ready if the radiator needs to be replaced and after 2 days he says he is still waiting for his contact to call him back with a price.

When my husband is home tomorrow, he is going to talk to Bob if he can get him in. Meanwhile I am going to call B&J also after I finish typing this to you and update them (they should be sending me updates).

If I don't get a resolution from Oleg or B&J today about the radiator price (I will call him when I get off the internet) I can't move forward about the radiator. He claims the car is basically fixed otherwise, but yet he said it isn't ready to be picked up yet radiator or not. I am getting confused. What do I do?
Should we just get the car out of there and drive it to another shop for radiator replacement?
Either way once this fiasco is over we do not wish to use B&J ever again. I am thoroughly displeased that they basically have held our car for 25% of the last 12 months, not updated us, and now I have to deal with Oleg who is not getting back to me about a simple price.
Oleg doesn't seem to operate at a pace that is reasonable. B&J is responsible. Can you recommend another garage?
We were never told anything about a radiator problem until 2 days ago. Then it was all about casing as mentioned in previous postings.

So in summary what do we do as Oleg continues to hedge on the radiator?
What do I do if he gets a radiator price; should I say fix it and just get a new warranty with radiator and transmission?
Of course I would have to get a fair price for the cost of radiator replacement and they should not charge for labor.
Oleg says the car should be ready Monday. This man seems to make promises but I am not sure he is going to have the car ready if we are also talking radiators, unless we go somewhere else for the radiator.
And finally, could you give me a referral for another garage once this is all over?
Thanks. I have to go offline now to call Oleg for the fourth time since Wednesday.
Amy

 
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01-04-02, 05:42 PM   #14  
Joe_F
You've waited this long, give Oleg the benefit of the doubt and give him until Monday. Monday is it though. If not, tow it out of there and get it fixed elsewhere. This is a comedy of errors here.

It sounds like the fan clutch I ordered from Delco. My jobber says, "My warehouse says they can't get it". Yet, I called my contact at Delco in Michigan and he says, "Jeez, can't see that. 33 of them sitting in our Columbus, Ohio plant wanting to be installed on cars like yours. Plenty around". I do not want to prod the jobber, but I told him that I might have to cancel the order as I really need the part and he should follow through. He is normally very good in this regard.

Call him first thing on Monday morning and say by 11:00 you want a price on it. Remind him that he promised you a prompt price and you're waiting for that. Also tell him that once you OK the repair, you expect him to make good on his promise by close of business Monday to have the car ready for you, or else you will tow it out of there and get it fixed elsewhere. Tell him you expect he and Bob to work out the labor for this problem. This should have been caught the first time, but ok. You should just pay for the part at this point and whatever antifreeze is needed to get the car going.

Get it going, get everything in writing as far as warranties on both the radiator and the transmission and get the thing out of there. If Oleg comes back with some insane price, tell him,

"I let you handle it as requested as this is your business, not mine. I don't see how your supplier is charging you X when I can get a radiator (was that a new or a used one from BCauto?) for 110 bucks. Now I realized you got roped into this with Bob, but I'm the customer. I'm on the bad end of the stick here. You guys are the experts. I rely on your as an expert to tell me what is needed to operate and maintain my car safely. This is your business. Back in August if you, as a transmission rebuilder, or Bob as your agent, had told me I needed (or suggested) a radiator as a result of the tranny failure, I would have had you do that too to avoid future trouble. At this point, I feel as though you or Bob as experts should have caught this, but ok, it went by you. At this point, I'd ask for the radiator to be installed at your cost plus antifreeze, and you and Bob work out the labor/charges excessive to that as business associates. That's not my balliwick, nor should it be".

If Oleg's price installed is near BCAuto, go ahead and have him do it. The radiator is a necessary and good investment, I will agree there.

Make sure to tell Bob that you are displeased with him shuffling you off to deal with yet another shop and play middlewoman/man. He's the guy relying on the third party, not you.

Tell him you'll likely file a complaint against him with the Better Business Bureau (that's up to you) as you feel that the service was not good and if you didn't keep up on him, the car could have been there a year! Tell him squarely why.

"Bob, I feel as though I got the runaround with you. I didn't get status updates. I had to prod where my car was and what was going on. I cannot honestly recommend friends to you as you have not proven to me to be reliable. In fact, I feel that you are taking advantage. Hence, I have no alternative but to let the BBB know about my experience. I shouldn't have had to deal with Oleg. I bring the car to you and pay YOU to fix it. If you farm it out, fine. But you have to be my agent here. I feel that you failed me in that regard."

Finding good repair shops are like finding good physicians. Word of mouth, lack of complaints and trial and error and fair dealings. Check with friends and family.

Look for shops that are ASE certified, however, there is no licensing/testing or uniform standards for mechanics in NY state. Like any good or service, the quality varies.

Good luck and let us know the resolution.

 
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01-05-02, 06:41 AM   #15  
Toyota Camry 1989 (V6)

Thanks for your recent feedback. Since I last emailed you, a new development: I got ahold of Oleg for the fourth time and he gave me a price on a radiator (he did not call me) of $110, but then proceeded to say he doesn't do radiators, that it would be brought back to B&J and Monday for that. This is something I wish he'd told me immediately or I wouldn't have asked him in the first place, but called B&J directly for the price. So then I asked Oleg when on Monday he would bring the car to B&J and he said about 8 PM, which is after B&J closes. I said fine, and told then called B&J. I had to insist that the clerk let me speak to Bob, and when he finally got on the phone I told him the whole sequence with Oleg and the radiator, and then asked him for an extended warranty for our headache, and that I wasn't sure about the transmssion work at at thsi point.
He said he could not extend the warranty beyond subtracting the time it has been in the shop since the week after Thanksgiving. He said extended warranties are just not done in all the 30 years we've been in business. I said this has been some headache, and I am very displeased with what has gone on. He said he no longer uses Oleg, he just brought our car back there because it was warrantied in August and Oleg had done the work then.

The said he didn't believe the radiator was at fault but he'd throw it in for free. Maybe he thought that it was just the original crack in the casing. I was confused, I said "Thanks" and that was that. I did repeat a number of times to him how displeased I was but stopped short of saying I would file complaints which I believe are "warrant[i]ed." (pun intended) I told him he'd had our car for a little over 25% of the past 12 months.

The next step is to inform him we intend to file complaints over this. He sent our car back to Oleg, who may or may not has fixed our transmission properly, to fulfill the warranty. If we have further problems with the transmission past about April we will not be covered.

He refused point blank to extend the warranty. He said it just wasn't done.

Amy

 
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01-05-02, 03:35 PM   #16  
Joe_F
Get it all fixed and get his refusal in writing.

If there's trouble later on within a reasonable period of time, you can sue him for a defective repair.

His issue with Oleg and not using him/using him etc: His balliwick, not yours. You just want reassurance that you're not going to be doing this again.

Get your car fixed, get all of what is said/not said/promised/not promised in writing and then document it. I would still file a complaint as it seems ludicrous as to what they have done in this case. Too many comedies of errors.

Newsflash: Bob is dead wrong about extending warranties. The car companies do it. Ask Saturn. They ate my compressor repair 3 months out of warranty due to my telephone call to headquarters: It's called customer goodwill. Obviously, he doesn't value you as a customer or he'd say, "Look Amy. I want to work with you on this. I have some issues with Oleg and his work. I don't use him anymore. Look, for all your trouble, I'll give you a 6 month warranty again on the transmission, since you did have trouble again. I value you as my customer and want you to come back to me for work on your car in the future. How's that?"

If not, in my mind, Bob's a guy I don't do business with. He's making his problem your problem: Oleg. When you delegate jobs to other shops (it's done frequently, not every shop can do every operation), you have to monitor their work. In this case Bob is Oleg's customer. Therefore if Oleg doesn't care, then Bob should say, "Hey look Oleg. I have a duty to give a good repair to my customers. If you won't do that and give me good service, I'll have to go elsewhere for my tranny repairs, sorry".

Again, his balliwick, not yours.

So, when are we going to see this Camry back to you all repaired? What day are we looking at now? What is the added cost with this visit?

Get the car back, use it and monitor it. Then file a complaint against Bob. I would surely do that.

 
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01-05-02, 04:22 PM   #17  
Toyota Camry 1989 (V6)

Ok, I'll get everything in writing, I'll try anyway. I think the bottom line with Bob is he doesn't want to spend any extra money which could very well occur if he extends the warranty. As far as me as a customer, over the past four years I've smilingly paid various chunks of my salary for the various starters, alternators, lubes, tires, wires and lights, etc. that used cars need. Not only with this car but before 1999 with an older car that we eventually donated to a charity.

We expect it will be sometime mid-week that we will get the car back if we're lucky. It depends if Oleg is going to keep his word and return the car to B&J Monday night.

When he does return it, the radiator will be replaced by B&J so I am hoping the car will be ready Wednesday or Thursday.

Also just today I received a late notice on a parking ticket that Oleg managed to incur on my car during the time it has been there. I did not know about it until today when I received the bill in the mail. I brought the car into B&J on November 26th. This notice shows the car was ticketed on November 29th 135 21st Street. Oleg did not inform us he parked our car in an illegal spot and incurred a ticket on our car; so instead of it being a $35 parking ticket it is now a $45 ticket which he should pay for. Since I can no longer tolerate this continuing fiasco, I paid for it over the Internet today, and knowing that this will just be one more hassle with B&J, Oleg and if I didn't pay immediately, the Parking Violations Bureau. (That was my only ticket, the one Oleg incurred).
I will inform B&J what happened with this Parking Ticket, and try to get reimbursed. Thanks for your help. I'll send you an update mid-week and hopefully we'll have the car back and a trail of evidence in case we need it.

Amy

 
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01-06-02, 03:19 AM   #18  
Joe_F
Man, what a comedy of errors.....

Already I'm not comfortable again.

1) First you were going to get a price quickly on this radiator. That took three days. In that same time, it could have been ordered new from Toyota and shipped from California. Geez!

2) It was promised that the car would be done Monday. Now we're talking Wednesday or Thursday. Your next phone call to Bob should be, "Bob. This is Amy. This is the final straw. I expect a phone call from you on this on Thursday the latest to tell me to pick up the car and it's done. I want you to know that this has been a very bad ordeal for me. You have not done the right thing by me.

3) After the car is finished, see what he will put in writing. If nothing, make note of that.

Then, file a complaint with him and/or Oleg as you see fit. You can do it online. Make sure to include your full story and the ticket scenario. Ask the BBB what else you can do to expose these bad practices and what they will do on your behalf.

Good luck and let us know.

 
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01-07-02, 01:14 PM   #19  
WOW!! I cant believe I read the whole thing!! LOL An entertaining, infuriating, and ludicrous story here. I can't imagine your frustration AmyCar. And my hat is off to you Joe for taking this kind of time and effort to help this woman. One thought I had while reading...take a witness with you when you speak to these people in person, and when you speak over the phone, record it. Contrary to popular belief, you can legally record conversations between two parties as long as one party is aware the call is being recorded...that party being you. I went through this recently with a lawyer. I use a speaker phone to record my conversation, while using an extension phone in another room. The recording is admissable as evidence if you have to go to that extent. You may want to check first, as I dont know if this is a federal or state law. State laws vary. Good luck, and God bless!

 
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01-07-02, 01:40 PM   #20  
I second cheese's motion on the story; amycar is a candidate for car-care-customer sainthood in my book. I would have been ripping somebody's lips off within the first month or so.

 
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01-07-02, 01:54 PM   #21  
Toyota Camry 1989 (V6)

I don't like to dwell on it because this is the closest I've ever come in my life to really wanting to sue a company. I will begin filing complaints when I get the car back, with Triple AAA and the BBB. I don't even know if the car is going to work properly. I can only hope after what has went on.
I will find out tomorrow to see if the car was delivered back to B&J by Oleg, Master of Ceremonies.

Joe_F has been extremely helpful. Until I posted the problems I have been having with B&J, I did not know where to turn. Now, even though B&J and company (Oleg) are still not acting professionally, by extended the warranty or lifting their little finger to call me and update me, I at least know what steps to take.

Joe_F a million thanks for your valuable feedback in a very difficult situation. Will let you all know when/if I get the car back this week and if so, how it's running, etc.

Amy

 
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01-07-02, 02:21 PM   #22  
Amy, if I were you I would also inquire as to any post-operative care required and get it in writing. I have a vision of the tranny going belly-up about a month from now and you getting some line like, "WELL, you were supposed to have the fluid and filter changed after the first 1000 miles after repair, not our problem and , of course, the warranty is voided ........".

 
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01-07-02, 03:18 PM   #23  
Joe_F
TowGuy and Cheese are two of the many valuable folks that give their time and expertise here. So MY hat goes off to them as well.

They also give you sound advice, particularly because getting things in writing is tough from these guys. Sorry to say, some mechanics take advantage of women and think they can roll one over on them. Not very nice, but sorry folks, it can be the truth. .

You just have to be better and smarter than that. The folks here have helped you do just that.

Let us know the outcome of the vehicle and how it works and what the resolutions were. Also let us know of how much it cost you to repair the problems this second time. In my mind, your only outlay should be the cost of the radiator and antifreeze if anything at this point. If Oleg and Bob want your business again, one of them should foot the bill for the radiator. In my mind that would save them a complaint to the BBB.

Barring that, as I said the BBB and AAA would surely like to hear feedback from consumers and customers. Use it to your advantage.

Let us know what you find. The class is curious

 
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01-09-02, 09:44 AM   #24  
1989 Toyota Camry V6

I am writing to let you all know that I finally got my car back today, Wed. January 9, 2002 (it was delivered to B&J Nov. 26, 2001).
They gave me a new radiator, freeze, new wipers and fixed a tire that must have gone flat in its long stay at House of Oleg.
B&J also extended the warranty till July 2, 2002, so B&J must have changed their minds upon thinking about all the hassles I went through, because as was noted in an earlier posting, they initially refused to extend my warranty beyond subtracting the time it was with them.
Because of this warranty extension and free extras, I am not going to file complaints; I feel what I have said online is for anyone to read. I don't think they are a bad company in themselves, but they should never have sent our car back to Oleg if they already knew he was screwing up.
But as a footnote, I was driving back home along Coney Island Avenue today after picking up my car, when I noticed that the gas tank was just "this much" from empty. I did not deliver it to them empty back in November, but it was probably just an oversight what with all the other things going on.
So I started to drive toward the nearest gas station. It was raining so given that the Brooklyn traffic is never so good, it was worse in the rain; when I finally got to a gas station, I went to fill the tank, and the gas cap was missing! I was afraid to drive it so I called B&J and told them there was no cap. They said we never did anything with the gas tank. Well I said it was there when I brought it in last November. Even being a woman and all, I've had cars for my entire adult life and never lost a gas cap.
There's a happy ending. They offered to get me a gas cap and it was safe to drive back to their garage, the car was not going to ignite from gas sloshing around on the way. But I didn't want to go back because I thought at this point it would be bad luck to go back.
So I drove to an auto store along Coney Island Avenue and bought one. I then called B&J and said "Thanks anyway," re the gas cap.
Well that's the end of the story. I hope this serves as a lesson for people to be wary of who they bring their car to for repairs and if it is farmed out somewhere is that person both competent and reliable.
It wasn't until we started turning up the heat on the advice of Joe_F that we got any action.
Thanks to everyone! A truly fantastic forum!
If we have any further trouble with our transmission I'll let you know.
AmyCar

 
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01-09-02, 04:05 PM   #25  
Joe_F
Judging Amy and What about Bob. Oleg meets Casini :)

Whew. Finally!

Good job and I think you came out "OK" after all of this. You have had a learning experience here and you're much more the wiser now.

Keep us in the loop and come back anytime. Hope it is to say hello and that you have trouble free motoring.

You have the many folks in this forum besides me to thank for getting you on track. They are what makes this forum great.

My hat's off to them

 
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01-09-02, 04:29 PM   #26  
1989 Toyota Camry V6 - HomeCar!

Thanks a million to everyone here for all the help! This has been an internet success story for me and you're an extremely knowledgeable and helpful group. I highly recommend this forum to anyone.
AmyCar

 
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01-10-02, 02:08 AM   #27  
Joe_F
In the words of good old Smokey my friend and comoderator on this site:

You're welcome and come back to visit us anytime.

Good to hear you got it all resolved

 
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