Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

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2pedals
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Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by 2pedals » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:33 pm

My daughter went to get her car fixed. 2000 Hyundai Accent almost worthless. She was told she needed new engine mounts in a previous visit and they estimated the cost at $250, but did not repair them. A few days ago in the morning she could not get the car to start. Got a ride to work. She later able to start the car that afternoon. She then took her car to the repair shop, told them to find the problem with starting the car and said she would also like to have the engine mounts fix but wants an estimate.

Several hours later they called back and said the they changed the engine mounts for $250 and added labor of $200 and said the diagnostic charge to find the problem with starting was $188 and $200 for labor. They say the problem is with the engine position sensor and needs to be replaced. So after dropping the car off they are now saying she needs to pony up over $800 and pay $300 dollars to replace the sensor for more than $1100.

I am very unhappy with this, I believe they are scamming her. They should have found the problem for maybe 50-100 and total up the total repair bill before they started the job.

What are her options?
1) pay the $300 and never go back (she needs to find a newer car, her car is not worth any profession work)
2) scrap the car
3) take the shop to small claims court
4) tow it to a different garage
5) pay existing bill, call the scrap yard to and buy a newer car

Dottie57
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:44 pm

Your daughter has a 2000 car. It is getting old. The problem is the shop didn't give the costs before doing the work.

I think a new car is in the future. Option 5. Don't go back there again.

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Watty
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Watty » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:57 pm

A lot depends on your state law and what she signed when she dropped off the car.

In some states you are required to sign a written estimate before they do the work. That paperwork may also authorize a verbal OK for additional work.

2pedals
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by 2pedals » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:59 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:44 pm
Your daughter has a 2000 car. It is getting old. The problem is the shop didn't give the costs before doing the work.

I think a new car is in the future. Option 5. Don't go back there again.
She is 25 and started her first job last year after college and trying save as much money as possible. I did not want to buy her a newer car while paying her college bills.

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ram
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by ram » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:59 pm

Also consider option 6) Offer the car to the shop as full payment for the work that they have done. ( Added: Get it in writing)

Assuming that they accept and assuming that " almost worthless" < $800 you should come out ahead.
Ram

livesoft
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by livesoft » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:15 pm

My daughter of same age had car problems. Not my problem. She traded her car in and got a loan on a new RAV4.

If you want to help her, just give her money. Otherwise, you are preventing a great learning experience from being experienced to the fullest.
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2pedals
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by 2pedals » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:19 pm

ram wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:59 pm
Also consider option 6) Offer the car to the shop as full payment for the work that they have done. ( Added: Get it in writing)

Assuming that they accept and assuming that " almost worthless" < $800 you should come out ahead.
Worth a try but I don't think they will bite. My daughter asked them if they would scrap they car for her and they said they would not do that for her (wow what service). They told her she should pay the $300 and she should be able to sell it for $1200. They want money. KBB trade in value is $388. :oops:
Last edited by 2pedals on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:21 pm

livesoft wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:15 pm
My daughter of same age had car problems. Not my problem. She traded her car in and got a loan on a new RAV4.

If you want to help her, just give her money. Otherwise, you are preventing a great learning experience from being experienced to the fullest.
++++1

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Alexa9
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:30 pm

I'd help her with a newer car if you can/want. Reliable transportation is a must for school or work.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:37 pm

You can help her find a new car but you should let her decide what to do and how to deal with the bill and the car at the shop on her own. You can talk to her about her possible options but go no further. She got herself into this mess at the shop allow her to find her own way out however painful. It will be a harsh but ultimately very effective learning experience and she will be better and wiser for it in the end.

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Watty
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Watty » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:20 pm

You are in a bad position since you are only hearing her side of the story and you don't know what what actually said.

I think that it is possible that the shop actually did what she told them to do and then called her with the estimate on the rest of the work which is the $300 they have not done yet.

If she gets the rest of the work done and can safely drive the car for six months then the $1,100 will be less than the cost of six months of car payments.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Katietsu » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:34 pm

I reread the original post 4 times. It seems that you are saying that the garage was told that the engine mounts work was a go and that they were requested to diagnosis the starting problem. I can not figure out from the post whether the charge for the current work is $300, $800 or something in between. My point is that there seems to be some communication issues. On the other hand, if you don't trust the garage, you certainly should not return. I wonder if you will find a fully equipped garage that will charge a diagnostic fee of only $50 these days.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by onourway » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:03 am

A lot can go wrong between what she thinks she said and what the garage thinks they heard.

Has she worked with this garage before with good result? Were they the shop that diagnosed the bad engine mounts originally?

I firmly believe owning older cars and repairing them regularly is the best option especially when you are young, but you must find a shop you can trust. This is doubly-so for women, unfortunately.

From what you've said it's impossible to determine who, if anyone, is at fault here. I'd want to know more about the reputation of this shop and her previous experience there.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Fletch » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:12 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:21 pm
livesoft wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:15 pm
My daughter of same age had car problems. Not my problem. She traded her car in and got a loan on a new RAV4.

If you want to help her, just give her money. Otherwise, you are preventing a great learning experience from being experienced to the fullest.
++++1
Ditto.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 am

I'm sure there's some translation errors here. I got a chuckle out of "engine position sensor". The engine is under the hood. I expect it's probably a crank position sensor. Keep in mind that Hyundai has come a very long way since 2000. Back in 2000, they were total crap even brand new.

My advice......dump this car now. Craigslist it and then buy a Civic/Corolla. Otherwise, get together another $5k because it's going to take that just to keep it running.
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Joe_R95
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Joe_R95 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:09 am

I'm a tech at a dealership. If she came in requesting her engine mounts be replaced, and diagnose a starting issue, her engine mounts would be replaced, and she'd get an estimate for the starting issue. That being said our diagnostic rate is a set charge of $95, $200 plus parts to replace what I assume is a crankshaft position sensor is about what we'd charge. Without knowing what was said going in its hard to know who is at fault for anything being done. For speed of service we often perform requested repairs/services while waiting for parts/approval to fix other issues so we can get vehicles out the same day.

Beyond that running cars are much easier to sell, and paid off cars are nice to keep. If the shop seems shady, or your sure they are in the wrong don't go back.

2pedals
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by 2pedals » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:23 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 am
I'm sure there's some translation errors here. I got a chuckle out of "engine position sensor". The engine is under the hood. I expect it's probably a crank position sensor. Keep in mind that Hyundai has come a very long way since 2000. Back in 2000, they were total crap even brand new.

My advice......dump this car now. Craigslist it and then buy a Civic/Corolla. Otherwise, get together another $5k because it's going to take that just to keep it running.
Thank you all for the advise

I would not say total crap, better than a Food Pinto :twisted: , actually it has been a very good car and I got a good deal on it when I bought it in 2002 with low millage, with excellent warranty with some very typical problems batteries, alternator, brakes and belts but definitely not Toyota or Honda quality. But back when I got it Hyundai was much less expensive than Toyota and Honda, now the price gap is closing. Seeing some significant problems now.

I am just not very please with how the call went with the daughter. She was thinking she was getting scammed by the shop. It seems to me a reputable shop with provide an estimate verbal or written of the cost prior to doing ALL of the work on such an old car. Sounds like a they were leading her into doing a little of this and that and then tacking on more costs than she was told they need to do to get the car running correctly. She is living in a different area so I am unfamiliar with the who has a good reputation in the area. The shops I have worked with would be more courteous and upfront before too much is invested. Maybe I am just being naive and should get a written estimate before anything is done.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by dbr » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:19 am

The bottom line is that old worn out cars are expensive to repair. The costs described are typical for such situations. This is a lesson that at some point a person has to decide before going to a shop with a car that has issues whether or not one is going to repair the car or scrap it, not rely on the shop to figure that out.

It makes all kinds of sense to not just ship a young person out with a new car, but there is a point where a car is old enough that saddling a young person with such a thing is not doing them a favor.

Our family has been there and done that with lots and lots of old cars but the understanding you have when you do that is that there is going to be money involved keeping things in repair.

onourway
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by onourway » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:25 pm

As the tech said above the reality is that most people want their cars to be finished the same day they drop them off. If the tech diagnoses the issue, calls the customer, waits for a call back or a decision, they have to move a (potentially taken apart) car off the lift and start working on something else. The first car may or may not get finished that day, which may or may not end up with an upset customer. For a few hundred dollars in repairs for something that was known to be wrong, I'd lean in the shop's favor. If you are absolutely 100% not willing to have any work done without a written estimate beforehand you need to be extremely clear about that beforehand, and frankly, in that case, owning a used car is probably not for you.

Personally I would consider bowing out of this discussion at this point and let your daughter handle it as a life lesson.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by TropikThunder » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:03 pm

2pedals wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:33 pm
Several hours later they called back and said the they changed the engine mounts for $250 and added labor of $200 and said the diagnostic charge to find the problem with starting was $188 and $200 for labor. They say the problem is with the engine position sensor and needs to be replaced. So after dropping the car off they are now saying she needs to pony up over $800 and pay $300 dollars to replace the sensor for more than $1100.
I don't get this part: hard-start diagnostic labor was $200, what was the $188 for? $388 to tell you that part X needs to be replaced seems definitely high.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Teague » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:51 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 am
I'm sure there's some translation errors here. I got a chuckle out of "engine position sensor". The engine is under the hood.
Depends on how bad those motor mounts are when she floors it. :)

I agree, clearly some communication issues. Probably both directions. Maybe crank position sensor, throttle position sensor, other?
Semper Augustus

2pedals
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by 2pedals » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:04 pm

After talking to my Daughter today, it was clearly an auto repair bait and switch act. She clearly told the shop NOT to repair anything because she had and old car and was not willing to do too much. She wanted to know the total cost of repair before she put any money into it. She gave them the authority to do a diagnostic to find out why the car would not start. She also asked for an estimate for replacing the engine mounts. They told her the engine mount replacement would run about $250. They did not quote her the labor costs and did not give them the verbal authority to replace the engine mounts for $250 plus labor.
onourway wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:25 pm
As the tech said above the reality is that most people want their cars to be finished the same day they drop them off. If the tech diagnoses the issue, calls the customer, waits for a call back or a decision, they have to move a (potentially taken apart) car off the lift and start working on something else. The first car may or may not get finished that day, which may or may not end up with an upset customer. For a few hundred dollars in repairs for something that was known to be wrong, I'd lean in the shop's favor. If you are absolutely 100% not willing to have any work done without a written estimate beforehand you need to be extremely clear about that beforehand, and frankly, in that case, owning a used car is probably not for you.

Personally I would consider bowing out of this discussion at this point and let your daughter handle it as a life lesson.
I disagree with your statement in bold-red. Consumer laws are written to help people avoid these issues and unfortunately this is one consumer law that she did not use. Many people can not afford the luxury always driving a new car.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by 2pedals » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:21 pm

Most Bogleheads recommend

1) leave it alone, it's between your Daughter and the shop, no suggestions on my part are not helpful, i.e. she should learn to handle this on her own

2) most likely a communication issue with the shop and Daughter and the shop is not at fault

3) don't ever go back to that shop

4) written estimates may or may not be helpful

5) don't own a used car or you expect to swindled when you need car repairs

I definitely can relate to #1 and this one is definitely on her. I believe #2 is incorrect, the shop did not clearly do as she asked. #3 sound advise but we knew that. I would like to hear more about #4 (do people have experiences with this?). I think #5 is a valid point for some consumers but I have done quite well using highly recommended shops (by the way I am 58 and have had years and years of experience with maintaining my own cars and have owned used cars my whole life, never new) without using #4 written estimates. So when moving to a new area (small towns with limited repair facilities) how does one avoid getting swindled by a auto repair shop as a used car owner? What do you do after you get swindled?

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by student » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:31 pm

2pedals wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:21 pm
So when moving to a new area (small towns with limited repair facilities) how does one avoid getting swindled by a auto repair shop as a used car owner?
How small is the town? I feel that if one does not know any reliable independent shop, go to the dealer, which usually have higher standard. It is usually more expensive but if you get swindled, you can complain to the car company.

2pedals
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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by 2pedals » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:44 pm

It is about 20k people, but nearby is a larger town about 100k people. She went to a "recommended" independent repair shop in the larger town, not exactly convenient.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by btenny » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:05 pm

Please let your daughter deal with this. She needs to learn about getting cars fixed and getting written estimates before letting anyone work on her car. It took my daughter 1.5 cars and 5 years or so to learn about car fixes and going to good garages after college. Yours is at the first learning experience. If you bail her out or fix this for her she will not learn. So I suggest you not say too much beyond I will loan you a small amount for now but you need to pay me back. She needs to decide what to pay the shop and how to deal with this guy.

Good luck

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:21 pm

I don't think you should get involved in the dispute, but helping with a newer car would be fine if you're in a position to do that. I think Bogleheads are a little too enthusiastic about driving old cars into the ground, because there are usually a lot of complications on the way to the ground that very few of us are able/willing to deal with.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by dbr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:25 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:21 pm
I don't think you should get involved in the dispute, but helping with a newer car would be fine if you're in a position to do that. I think Bogleheads are a little too enthusiastic about driving old cars into the ground, because there are usually a lot of complications on the way to the ground that very few of us are able/willing to deal with.
Yes, it was also my point that sticking a young person with an excessively old car is not doing them a favor.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by Helo80 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:34 pm

When I had the timing belt changed on an Acura of mine at 100K miles... the dealership said that the motor mount needed to be replaced. Since the engine has to be propped up for a timing belt, they installed the part for free and merely charged me the MSRP (like $90) for the motor mount. The motor mounts breaking are a well-known issue on the Acura I had. My bill was already at about $1000 for the regular service anyways.

Every vehicle is different and Acura and Hyundai are two separate cars and companies completely. But, that was my experience with a dealership and motor mounts.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by onourway » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:41 am

dbr wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:25 pm
Yes, it was also my point that sticking a young person with an excessively old car is not doing them a favor.
Obviously opinions vary on this because I think just the opposite - learning how to manage an old car teaches all sorts of important lessons. Mechanical, interpersonal, financial, planning, etc. etc.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by djpeteski » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:18 am

A Hyundai Accent from that time period is nothing but a repair bill. I do many auto repairs myself, and was constantly working on one that my gf at the time owned. In the end, the head gasket blew at less than 100K.

Do yourself and her a favor and replace it. Take the few hundred a junk yard will give you, and get something else.

Supposedly the new Hyundai's are better, but I will never experience it myself. My scars run pretty deep from that car, and I will never purchase a Hyundai again.

Stick to Toyota or Honda.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by mouses » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:31 am

I would pay the $800 and never go back. If she can't get the car started now, I would call AAA and have it towed to her home while she decides what to do, a scrap place, or a trustworthy garage.

I can tell you from experience that auto repair shops rip off young women. She needs to find a reputable repair place, probably by asking her friends.

Right now she is in a complicated mess. She does not need this mess to "learn life lessons." She has already learned from this, and you can help her out.

She can get a dealer guaranteed, used, few years old, Prius for $10k-$12K or so, at least in my part of the country. That assumes she has a place to plug it in.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by tibbitts » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:49 pm

mouses wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:31 am
I can tell you from experience that auto repair shops rip off young women. She needs to find a reputable repair place, probably by asking her friends.
Asking for references for a repair shop is like asking for references for a financial adviser - better to just pick randomly than rely on friends' opinions.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by N10sive » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 pm

What is the extra 200 for labor with the diagnostic fee? It should be just the diagnostic fee. Traditionally you should get an estimate and then a callback to say what the actual price is and if you approve or not unless the estimate was within reason of the work. The extra 200 on top of the engine mounts I am not sure, you would have to get the actual quote from your daughter or the shop. That is how every single transaction I have had with a auto shop has happened. Unless its say an oil change which is pretty much a fixed price.

You will be able to sell it on craigslist for some money maybe 1k. Plenty of people will buy cars that aren't running as "mechanics specials". However check your state laws. Some may not allow that.

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Re: Daughter's auto repair shop problems, what should we do now?

Post by bottlecap » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:18 pm

Do you live in this town? If so, I’d go down there personally and address the issue.

I disagree that you need to let your 25 year old deal with it. She's already learned whatever lesson there is to learn. She is an honest person swimming in a (possible) shark tank.

Offer to pay the original $250 and $100 diagnostic. You received the benefit of the mounts and the diagnostic.

If they give you a hard time, you can counter with the above plus half the labor on the mounts. Then never go back.

When she gets the car back, do her a favor and either fix it together or talk to her about how to deal with repair shops. It’s a learned skill and it’s your job to teach her.

Good luck!

JT

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