Incompetent Mechanics

In the year 2000 my 1993 Nissan 240sx was overheating. I brought it to an auto mechanic shop where my friend worked at the time. His boss diagnosed my car as having a bad radiator and since he was going to be in there he suggested the water pump that had signs of water leakage should also be replaced as well as the thermostat.

$700 later and, “your car is not overheating now.” I remember not feeling quite right when he said that to me but I was a timid, naive 20-year-old who didn’t like speaking up for himself in certain situations.

He gave me a politician’s answer. The car was not overheating but it wasn’t fixed. It wasn’t heating at all. The incompetent piece of crap couldn’t get the coolant to circulate properly so he decided that drilling multiple holes through the thermostat was the next best solution. Being immature and one to hold onto resentment I left a scathing review in 2010. He somehow managed to get it deleted. I left another one. God bless the internet.

For the past few weeks I have been dealing with a brake hydraulic issue. The brake fluid is not moving properly which causes a stiff brake pedal and the brakes to be slightly engaged when they are not supposed to be. My regular mechanic at the shop was on vacation so I was at the mercy of his colleagues. They charged me $35 to put my car on the hoist to tell me they didn’t know what the problem was. A few days later I paid them $80 for a brake fluid flush that did nothing. Their next recommendation was to replace the ABS pump unit which I agreed to because they’re supposed to be the experts. Since the part cost $2000 brand new the plan was to find a used one. “I’ll call you when I find one.”

Luckily for me this guy was either lazy, an asshole or avoiding this job because it took him 5 days to even start looking for the part. 5 more days after that he probably only called a handful of places. When he said he finally found one and that it would be delivered in 1 or 2 days, it ended up being that he never ordered it and claims that I told him I was going to order it from eBay.

“Are you sure it can’t be anything else?” I asked.

“Ummm…it’s hard to say because it’s hard to diagnose.”

I said I was lucky because my regular mechanic was back from vacation at this time and after hearing about my car problem he wanted me to bring it in so that he could check it out. I dropped off the car to him today and he ended up having 2 different parts on hand that he thought could be the problem…a used ABS pump unit and a new brake master cylinder.

After some hands-on diagnosis he discovered my master cylinder was toast. It was leaking into the brake booster which also may need to be replaced down the road because brake fluid corrodes the material in the brake booster..yay. When it comes to automobiles, one broken part often breaks another.

The circumstances could have easily went the other way. If it were up to the other guy I would have forked out $400 for a used ABS pump unit and labour that would have done me nothing except piss me off. A lot of mechanics don’t want to spend time properly diagnosing because it’s easier and more financially beneficial to just replace parts until they get it right. “Well, you needed a new so and so anyway.”

TGIF…Thank God it’s Fixed!





4 comments on “Incompetent Mechanics

  1. Wanda says:

    When you find a good mechanic, it’s like finding a magic relic. You never let them go and cherish them like Golum does his Precious. We hates the bad mechanics! 😉


    • MrJohnson says:

      Every time I change mechanics, in my head I’m praying that they will be the one. I’ve had a couple decent ones in the past but their location just ended up being to inconvenient. I like the current one because we went to grade school together since grade 1 and I have faith he won’t intentionally rip me off. I think everyone has at least one or two bad mechanic stories.

      Liked by 1 person

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