When a car repair requires more time, skill or equipment then you have available a mechanic is necessary. But it doesn't always work out. What's the worst thing a mechanic has done to your car?

Obviously, we normally do our own wrenching, when it comes to things like changing our oil, tires, bulbs, sparkplugs, et cetera. But for some, it gets beyond what we can do in our own garage or at a friend's shop. In these cases, we turn to professionals — outside mechanics.

Unfortunately, sometimes our friends just return to the place where they bought their car. While dealer shops sometimes provide excellent service, our friends and their Ford Explorer weren't so lucky.

Like all older Explorers, the transmission in the V8-powered SUV started to give out after years of abuse from a younger sister who used it as a college car. As it was under warranty, the vehicle returned to the dealer's shop for work. A week later and the car was back on the road. It lasted about a week before transmission fluid started filling their driveway and the transmission itself started slipping. The truck went back to the shop and sat there for two weeks with each mechanic claiming there was nothing wrong with it. Then, finally, someone drove it. In the end, it turns out they replaced the broken transmission with a rebuilt-transmission that wasn't property rebuilt. Quality was, it seems, not "Job #1" at this particular dealership.

Wert's lady-friend was recently taken advantage of by a shady mechanic in New York. She took her car into a local shop to get certified for safety and emissions. She left with a completely unnecessary new set of brake pads. Lesson learned. Call Wert next time before she signs anything at the shop.

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Photo Credit: Liz Cohen