When Did A Mechanic Try And Screw You Over?

Illustration for article titled When Did A Mechanic Try And Screw You Over?
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Staff (Getty Images)

Mechanics are there for you when you try your best to fix your own car but fail. Unfortunately, sometimes a mechanic may not be that lifeline and instead become just another headache. When did a mechanic try and screw you?

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About a decade ago, a far less mechanically competent me took my first car — a 2001 Kia Rio sedan — to a mechanic to see why each gear shift was hard and sloppy. My family used the mechanic for years, and while he charged rather exorbitant rates, he always got the job done. But things changed when I got the quote for the Kia’s transmission.

He said that the transmission was trashed and the cheapest solution was a transmission from a junkyard. The quote I got was several times more than the $1,000 I paid for the car. I couldn’t afford it and declined the work.

Later, with the help of a Google search, I discovered that the Kia was low on transmission fluid. It drove perfectly fine after topping it off. Google was a better mechanic than an actual mechanic.

He later tried to screw my parents by recommending an engine replacement over a noise that another mechanic diagnosed as a bad pulley. Thankfully, we dodged expensive bullets and stopped going to that mechanic.

Our own Erin Marquis had a dealer mechanic do a brake job on her Saturn Ion only to hear a “thunk” one day and the car make a terrible noise. The GM mechanic told her she needed new suspensions...when actually they had put the brakes on backward and one had finally fallen off.

Have your mechanics recommended ridiculous repairs without checking the easy stuff? Did you pay a mechanic to fix something and they only made it worse? Did you pay far too much for a cheap repair?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Loves all vehicles! Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...

DISCUSSION

whatthehellisgracielawdoinghere
whatthehellisgracielawdoinghere

Well I had been going to this mechanic for years and thought he was pretty solid. A lot of other people went there too, but after awhile his work went downhill. It was gradual so it took awhile to realize the reason I was going was to talk to the other customers in the waiting room. In the end we realized he was just talking our conversations and turning them into slideshows.