• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Damn mechanics...(rant)

Tin

Active member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,992
Points
36
Location
ZooMass Slamherst
I've been able to fix most things on my own but I purchased a newer Volvo and don't have much experience with them so I brought it to a very reputable shop to change the timing belt. It has an interference engine so I'm not taking any chances. I called around and had several quotes in the $700-$1100 range. This shop quoted me around $700. I dropped the car off and got a phone call this morning stating the timing belt replacement would now cost $980, plus other crap, plus tax. I stated what I was quoted at $700 and if they could not do this I would bring it else where. I received a phone call not even 5 minutes later stating they could do the job, plus change my water pump for $724 and would give me a $50 discount....crooks

Any good Volvo shops in RI or CT I should know about?
 

skiNEwhere

New member
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
4,139
Points
0
I had to deal with the same crap from Audi a couple of years ago. My transmission went out with only 12,000 miles on the car and the dealership didn't want to cover it under warranty by inferring that I didn't know how to drive stick, and would have to pay 5 grand for a new tranny. I told them I had been driving stick for almost 10 years and never had a transmission just give out on me, and after arguing a little more they agreed to replace it.

Anyways, I digress. From my experience it seems like most dealerships try to pull a fast one on customers to see what they can get away with. If you call them out just one I've noticed they don't try to do it again. With that said, if you do find a good shop make sure to share on here
 

Cannonball

New member
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
3,669
Points
0
Location
This user has been deleted
Yeah I am going through it with Subaru right now. My car began have occasional problems with extended cranking. Like 5 secs of cranking before it would turn over. This started when the car had about 28K miles. Brought it to the dealer and they said "yup, it's a known problem we just need to reflash the computer and you'll be all set". Got it back from them....same problem. Brought it in again and they said "Yup, it's known that sometimes the reflash doesn't solve the problem, we just need to adjust the cam shims and you'll be all set." Got it back from them...same problem. Brought it in last Friday they said "Yup, known problem sometimes the shims don't fix it. We'll check it out." When I went to pick it up they said "All set, it's not a problem." Me "huh????" So now they are telling me that extended cranking isn't a problem, the car is designed that way. Up to 10 seconds of cranking is perfectly normal. I can maybe believe that. But I don't understand how it went from "know problem" to "not a problem". The service manager actually said to me (direct quote) "It is not a problem. But if the problem gets worse let us know."
 

dlague

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
8,789
Points
36
Location
CS, Colorado
I do not live down that way but ....

I never go to dealerships - their hourly rates are ridiculous to begin with. About 10 years ago I went to a dealer to look at a starting problem I was experiencing ands they told me that I need to get the starter replaced on my Accord. I think it was going to cost around $300-400 to do. At the time money was tight, so I took it to a back alley garage and they looked at it and said that I needed to have the solenoid replaced and that total to repair was about $75.

Well needless to say I have gone to the same shop since then and they will show me the federal guidelines on work being done and then charge me a couple of hours less. Sometimes the do work and do not even bother charging me - replacing lights for example. My son's car need a bunch of work done on it (he went off the road) and the bill was $1127. I asked if he would let me pay it over two weeks and he said i will do you one better - knocked it down to $950 and told me to pay it when I am ready. Try that at a dealership!

Moral of the story build a relationship with a trust worthy garage and it pays dividends! Dealerships are rip-offs!
 

Geoff

New member
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
4,986
Points
0
Location
South Dartmouth, Ma & Killington, VT
My VW GTI is under extended warranty until Oct 31 so I've been having it serviced at the dealer. Over the last 6 1/2 years, I've been to 7 different VW dealerships. A few were excellent. A few were a bunch of price-gouging thieves. I don't think you can condemn all dealerships just because there are some really crap ones out there.

My rust-bucket Mountaineer is serviced by a local indy mechanic. This year was front springs/struts and an emergency brake cable to get an inspection sticker followed by replacing a leaking brake line and an A/C recharge. I also replaced very age cracked tires at the tire dealer 2 doors down from my mechanic. I trust the guy and he does good work. He also makes fair markup on parts and does fine on labor charges. I'm not looking for the cheapest possible price. I'm looking for a fair price and quality work.
 

marcski

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
4,576
Points
0
Location
Westchester County, NY and a Mountain near you!
Dealerships=Stealerships when it comes to repairs and service.

I have been going to my private mechanic for over 20 years now. I've moved over the years and he is now 40 mins from me (20 to work) but I still bring my cars to him for brakes and larger jobs. I will go online and find genuine, OEM or upgraded parts. I get the entire job done for what the stealership would charge just for the parts. Plus, I usually watch and help him do the job so I can learn how to do it the next time.
 

Savemeasammy

New member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
2,538
Points
0
Location
S. NH
New tailpipe for my truck through O'Reilly auto parts - $52

New tailpipe for my truck through Dodge dealer - $280

Damn!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Nick

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
13,135
Points
48
Location
Bradenton, FL
Website
www.alpinezone.com
I just had my 2003 Saab (w/ 190k miles) in the shop for some choppy acceleration. They wanted $600 for two ignitian coils and four spark plugs. Found them myself online for about $85 each plus the plugs and I did the work in 20 minutes for $240 total.

It really is unbelievable. It makes me not want to go back to that shop again. So if anyone has good mechanics in the 146 corridor, let me know ;)
 

frapcap

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
362
Points
16
We have an extremely reputable and specialized Volvo mechanic near my home in Westport. I realize it isnt all that close to you, but its worth the approx 40 min drive down 195.
He's always busy, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS has great reviews around town. Prices are fair, too. I was going to buy a car from him, but realized that skis do not fit well in C30's!

http://www.villagegaragewestport.com/contact.htm
 

Tin

Active member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,992
Points
36
Location
ZooMass Slamherst
Car was supposed to be done yesterday, then by this morning, then by mid afternoon, and now might not be done until 6. whiskey tango foxtrot...should have just bought the special tool to do it.
 

bigbog

Active member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
4,876
Points
36
Location
Bangor and the state's woodlands
New tailpipe for my truck through O'Reilly auto parts - $52
New tailpipe for my truck through Dodge dealer - $280.....

..Not only that, stock components are the cheap ones on the component market = how a manufacturer tries to profit as much as possible, right off the bat... Third party are most always better in quality.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
2,709
Points
48
Location
Lehigh County Pa.
Website
www.youtube.com
Car was supposed to be done yesterday, then by this morning, then by mid afternoon, and now might not be done until 6. whiskey tango foxtrot...should have just bought the special tool to do it.

VOLVO! .......2007 XC90 The worst car I ever owned. Drove well when it as on the road...1st it was struts $$$$ 2nd board in the dash $$1K
3rd it was Transmission$$$$....independent shop had it 5 weeks , got it home and trans went.... back for rebuild.....Next Engine...Last straw.
spent 5K fixing an 11K car .
My Mechanic is a great guy and was very fair with his prices
Somtimes you just can't shine S&8T
 

Edd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
5,509
Points
48
Location
Newmarket, NH
There's a theme running through this thread and it is this: If you buy a European car, you'll get raped financially on maintenance costs. I've long accepted this as fact.
 

marcski

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
4,576
Points
0
Location
Westchester County, NY and a Mountain near you!
There's a theme running through this thread and it is this: If you buy a European car, you'll get raped financially on maintenance costs. I've long accepted this as fact.

I disagree. If you go to a dealer for service with a European car, you get raped financially. If you do your homework, you get the pluses of diving a European car without the high costs of a dealer.
 

Edd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
5,509
Points
48
Location
Newmarket, NH
I disagree. If you go to a dealer for service with a European car, you get raped financially. If you do your homework, you get the pluses of diving a European car without the high costs of a dealer.

Respectfully, you're the guy laying beneath his own car next to his mechanic after you've done the legwork shopping for parts.

There is nothing wrong with that at all but that's not how most of us operate. Some don't have the time. I don't because I'm lazy.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,809
Points
63
Location
Southeast NH
When I moved to Stowe in 1995 as a 20 year old ski bum, I got absolutely raped on some repair work in town by a local garage. Stowe Auto Service next to the Shell Station on the Mountain Road. The repairs were needed in my first month living in town and I didn't know any better. After bitching to several co-workers about my experience, the response was pretty unanimous, "Oh Ya Ya (owners nick name) got you. Don't ever go there. His business model is to screw over tourists and transients. He knows he's got prime location and he has no interest in building long term clientele." They all said take your car to Willie's for a fair deal and Willie always delivered good service at a fair price wanting to maintain my business for the next five years I lived in town. Valuable lesson.

I've moved to a lot of different states since then and I've always made it a priority to find and develop a relationship with an honest local mechanic in town.

That said, I don't think all dealerships are bad when it comes to car service. I'm treated very fairly at the local Mazda dealership and it's probably because I've purchased two new cars off of them over the years and they want to keep that business of mine. If I need any repair done over say $300, I'll price compare between my local guy and the dealership. It's 50/50 which one I choose to do business with. Cost of service is fairly similar. They also both have their perks. The dealership will give me a loaner if I have to leave a car off overnight. Local guy doesn't have that option. The local guy has fixed a flat tire or changed a headlight out for free over the years when I've shown up for those problems just because I've given him other business. Dealer would never do that.

Obviously, the most economical way of dealing with car care is to learn how to do the work yourself. I couldn't be bothered. I've changed oil, break pads, spark plugs etc. before with my brother and uncle who both are mechanically inclined and do their own work whenever possible. It's just not my thing or worth my time. Likewise, there are other things I enjoy doing that they could never be bothered with; mainly with cooking. I hardly ever buy ground beef or chicken parts. If I need ground beef, I buy a whole primal and grind it myself. If I need chicken breast, I buy a whole bird, butcher out the breast, save the other parts for another time and use the carcass to make a stock. I save money, but mainly do it because those activities are enjoyable to me. Working on cars? No desire to ever do it.
 

marcski

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
4,576
Points
0
Location
Westchester County, NY and a Mountain near you!
Respectfully, you're the guy laying beneath his own car next to his mechanic after you've done the legwork shopping for parts.

There is nothing wrong with that at all but that's not how most of us operate. Some don't have the time. I don't because I'm lazy.

True. I do enjoy learning about and helping to make my own repairs. But, to be honest, I don't get under the car unless he's got it on the lift.
 

xwhaler

Active member
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
2,938
Points
38
Location
Seacoast NH
I used to do some of my own basic maintenance myself. Oil changes, brake pads, rotate tires, spark plugs.
My Dad is very good with vehicles so he taught me and I could go to him for anything beyond that (we did transmission fluid/filter changes, ball joints, u joints, etc)
It eventually became a bit of a pain to drive an hour each way to my dad on a vehicle that needed repair and his availability to help didn't always sync up with my needs. I used some dealerships, independent shops in the area with varying degrees of success but always was a bit of a racket due to either high cost or lousy service.

Then about 6 yrs ago I met one of my neighbors who at the time was the lead tech at a shop in the area. He has a couple lifts in his personal garage which he uses for his race cars (dragsters) so he helped me get my then Ford Explorer back on the road.
We struck up a friendship, a few yrs later he realized his dream of opening his own shop, our wives are close friends and Jeff and I are even closer now.
Beyond oil changes which I still enjoy doing myself, I take our 3 vehicles to him and his shop for service. I do some MS Excel work for his business in exchange for work which utilizes both of our skills and means he doesn't need to pay anyone for that work.
If my schedule dictates that I cant get the car to his shop he just takes my car to work that day and brings it back at night...I pay the gas ;)
I bring my boat to his shop every spring for any tune up/repair work that needs to be done on the motor if we cant do it in my driveway.

We've become best friends and I'm friendly with the guys he has working for him...I always am conscious though of not abusing the relationship. Unless he offers to give me free labor or asks me for some computer based work in exchange I always just pay what he asks. It's his livelihood and I really enjoy seeing him grow his business into what it is today. I've sent a lot of people his way too which he always appreciates.
His customers love his work, fair prices, and honest attitude. He came up through the ranks of working at dealerships that were always do slimy things so he realizes that's the opposite way to run a good sustainable business.

Anyone in the Manchester NH/Southern NH area that needs a truly incredible mechanic and shop, drop me a PM. Didn't want to spam or use this post as advertising so will refrain from posting his link here.
 

Nick

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
13,135
Points
48
Location
Bradenton, FL
Website
www.alpinezone.com
^I'm cool with you sharing the link if you want to send him some business. It's obviously not spam coming from you and a reccomendation is always useful for those in your area.
 

AdironRider

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,214
Points
36
One thing of note is there is often a vast difference in quality of replacement parts when shopping online as opposed to a dealer. With the dealer, you are getting the original, true part, often the cheaper replacements are way lower quality.

I've learned that lesson the hard way. But at the same time, it kinda depends on the part. Fuel injectors I'm more apt to spend the dough on a true OEM part, as opposed to say a generic fuel line.

Exhausts I've always found its worth paying for OEM. Otherwise I find they rust out and I'm back where I started in two years.
 
Top