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Reputable Mechanics -- Separating Fact from Fiction



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Call your local AAA and find out where their diagnostic center is. They'll check it out for you.


  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    Hi carconfused,
    Posting your message in multiple places makes it harder to give you advice. Please also check over in the Honda Civic Problems discussion, where members have responded to your original post.

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  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    I didn't know where to place this post, but since it is about consumers and protecting your rights as a consumer, I thought that this topic was the most appropriate for this post.

    Since I have seen and recently heard of folks (actually, my sister-in-law) having difficulties with dealers and warranties, I thought I would post some information that will help folks to understand what their rights are as far as warranties.
    The links will provide the information for you to determine if a dealer can void your warranty or not.
    The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects the consumer from unlawful voiding of warranties.

    If you feel your warranty is denied unlawfully, there is help. SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) has some good information, along with some contacts to help you to have a warranty problem resolved.

    The Center for Auto Safety also has an overview of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is more in plain english. It outlines the who what and why of the actual document.

    And finally, The Filter Manufacturers Council outlines the important part of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Act, which states.......
    A manufacturer may not require the use of any brand of filter (or any other article) unless the manufacturer provides the item free of charge under the terms of the warranty.

    So if the consumer is told that only the original equipment filter will not void the warranty, he should request that the OE filter be supplied free of charge. If he is charged for the filter, the manufacturer will be violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or other applicable law.

    So, quite simply, as far as filters, oil and basic maintanence items, a dealer or manufacturer may not void a warranty because you are not using OEM parts or more importantly, their services for things like oil changes or maintenance intervals.
    Remember, we're talking about maintenance parts, not performance parts. : )
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I never knew that Interstate 90 terminates at Norfolk Island...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    Then you get on a ferry and you're there!
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    ...that makes sense!
  • I was looking for information on the 1988 Ford Country Squire wagon. I inherited it from my mother and love the car but am having some problems with it. I took it to a repair shop here in San Antonio and they gave me a laundry list of repairs they said it needed. The list included things like repairing the horn (which works just fine) and replacing the muffler (which was replaced 6 months before that date). They were obviously trying to take advantage of the fact that I didn't know much about cars (which I don't, but I can tell if the horn works). Anyway they gave me an enormous estimate and proved by lying about the horn and the muffler episode that they were not trustworthy. I was hoping to find other people to talk to about the problems so I would at least have some idea what to watch for when I finally found someone honest to repair the car for me. I have looked through your entire site but haven't been able to find any information about the car. I realize that it is older but it is a wonderful car to drive and gets fairly decent gas mileage for something as big as it is. The main problem I have right now is that it will sometimes, not always, stall when it has been driven very far (more than ten miles or so). The last time it didn't stall completely but had very decreased power and the steering felt shaky. I managed to make it home but just barely. The next morning the car started right up. The fuel pump is in the gas tank? according to my dad, and was replaced within the last year but it is very loud while the car is on. That shop said I might have a "vapor lock" but when I mentioned that to someone else I was asking about it, he started laughing and called me gullible and told me the car was fuel injected and didn't have a carburetor so it couldn't get a vapor lock. See what I mean about confusing? If you can give me the name of a trustworthy mechanic here in San Antonio who could help me figure out what is wrong and get it fixed at a reasonable cost I would be very grateful. Right now I don't know what to do, even whether to keep the car. All I know is that I can't depend on it and I really need to be able to trust the car. Any referral I can get would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for your time,
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    Ask your friends and neighbors for a referral.

    And, avoid the chains!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    I'd suggest you join your local AAA and then take the car to their diagnostic clinic. AAA will also give you a list of certified shops that they feel are competent.

    You really need to have an honest mechanical appraisal done on this car because it isn't worth very much and you might end up in a much better situation by investing your money in something more modern and reliable.

    Also keep in mind that ANY used car can be gone over with a fine tooth comb and problems found. The question is whether these are just small deficiences you can live with or if they are important. I could take just about any used car off the street and find something wrong with it.


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,048
    I would go heavy on the referral, especially from someone who says the mechanic will tell you what can be done and what needs to be done.

    In our area some shops which have listed with the AAA are only as reputable as the person currently running the store. And those managers seem to change monthly. The chains tend to have pressure to sell more $$$ of service work. An independent mechanic won't last too long if he oversells.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    right now I can tell you that I suspect a fuel filter clog more than a pump issue. the performance issue you describe is classic for a nasty fuel filter. locations vary per car, but likely it's along the chassis under the drivers' seat, or just up into the engine compartment. that should be about a $60-90 service at a reputable garage.
  • Thank you all for the advice. I have asked about a mechanic from some of the neighbors (and even the people in the waiting room at the dentist's office) but so far I have mostly had referrals to the dealership. Most of the neighbors have newer model cars or trucks. I will check with AAA and I will definitely take it and have the fuel filter checked and/or replaced. Thanks again for the advice.
  • Just got a 2000 discovery with 74K, would like to take it to a shop/mechanic (other than the dealerships) that specializes in or atleast deals with a lot of rovers.

    I'm in Philadelphia but could drive an hours distance any direction.
    Any suggestions/referrals?

    Please advise, just got car and the TC/Hill descent/ABS lights are on!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    No LR dealer or good independant in Philly?

    If you own a Land Rover, you will need to make good friends with a good shop because you will be there a lot!

    I would ask other LR owners for a referral.
  • Things are not always as they appear to be, and there is always two sides to a situation. Sometimes it is said, that one should walk in the others shoes, and unfortunately many do not care to do that;therefore we have all kinds of issues and misunderstandings. Automobiles are complex pieces of machinery, many parts to make a whole car. The understanding of how an individual unit works or interacts with another unit and so on can make auto repair not such a frightful concept. I may be wrong but media hype plays a big part of confusing the consumer and it probably stems from the fact that dealerships do not want to loose revenue which is a large integral part of their business. Thus many insults against the indepent repair facility. It can be said that the dealership would have an advantage in repairing the make and model it sells because of direct factory sponsorship and better equipment, but this is not a guarantee that the customer's car will in fact be repaired correctly or with minimal expense to him or her. Also one to remember the franchise has a high overhead and someone has to pay for the fancy surroundings, usually the customer. The other problems that exist is that the consumer fails to educate themselves about their own vehicle,whether or not they themselves want to actually work on it, and a most do not wish to for one reason or another. Any way let me try to get to the point and not ramble on.
    Very few question a doctors fee, or a lawyers fee but have no problem in questioning the mechanic about his or her fee. It takes considerable amount of time to become a good technition it doe not happen overnight a lt of scraped knuckles, banged head, burns, and so on, not to mention the constant and revamped technology to vehicles. It is wrong to expect someone to work on your car cheaply so you can save money, or deny someone to earn a living in other that you can live better. It is also wrong for a mechanic to take advantage of the consumer because of their lack of should educate understanding in the works of an automobile. Many people on this site had very good recommendations,obtaining 2 or more estimates, how a shop backs up their work,their reputation, low price should not be the only or prime consideration when choosing a repair facility, just as you would not choose a doctor or another professional on that merit only. Getting an auto repaired can be frustrating, but if the consumer educates his or herself more they will less likely to be taken advantage of. It is very easy to be accusotory,but the accusation has to be justified. Thank you. PO
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    It takes considerable amount of time to become a good technition it doe not happen overnight a lt of scraped knuckles, banged head, burns, and so on, not to mention the constant and revamped technology to vehicles. It is wrong to expect someone to work on your car cheaply so you can save money, or deny someone to earn a living in other that you can live better.

    If you are directing that statement to me, then I can assure you that I know all too well the amount of time it takes to become a "good" mechanic (I don't favor the term technician, as I am old school).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    Me too.

    Yesterday's "mechanics" knew how to fix things. Today's technicians only know how to diagnose and replace parts.

    Not all their fault since labor rates have soared and rebild parts are often unavailable.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I've been reading postings by Opatience for several years, and I am convinced he is one forum member worthy of full respect. He knows this stuff! (No, I'm not his customer! Nor his brother!) :P
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    I totally agree with you.

    I know a "mechanic" from a "parts changer" and he knows what he is doing. I would take my cars to him without question.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Wow, thanks guys!
    I appreciate that.
    Let's not forget guys like Alcan and kiawah.
    Most likely others I am forgetting, but those are the 2 who I notice.
This discussion has been closed.