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smart142

Repair shop ripoffs

9 posts in this topic

I received a call from a long time smart owner. They wanted to know if I wanted to buy their smart for parts.

I checked it out and found that it started and ran fine. They had been told that the car needed over $3000 in front end repairs.The car was delivered to me and I discovered that it only needed front springs to pass safety. A far cry from a $3000 repair.

It was a high mileage smart (275,000 kms) and ultimately I sold it to a fellow that wants to convert it to a golf cart.

 

The second one was also from a long time smart owner. They had lost the brakes and a shop told them they needed an ABS pump and that was going to be a $2000 repair. 

The smart was brought to me and up on the hoist I removed the belly pans. I filled up the brake fluid reservoir and then had a buddy pump the brakes while I looked for a leak under the car. One of the front brake lines had corroded on a holder and was spurting out fluid. (usually I find that it is the rear lines that corrode and cause problems) The offending piece was cut out and a new piece was installed. There was nothing wrong with the ABS pump. Again a far cry from $2000.

 

Moral of the story - a second opinion can be helpful.

 

Anyone else experience something like this?

 

 

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All too common.  Finding a trusted mechanic is a real art IMHO. Thanks for posting. :)

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This is what I preach about almost daily to people......never trust a mechanic you don't know or is working for a big shiny dealership.....he's there to either make himself as much money as he can or doesn't give a rat's arse and allows the stealership to quote a price far into the atmosphere so you scrap a perfectly good car over a few hundred dollars worth of work.  It happens all the time.  I know a few good folks here who charge good rates and do a great job for their customers, and I know far more around me that rip off everyone for as much as humanly possible. They do not either ....one....want the work....or two....care about you coming back for more work....both very poor ways to operate a business or shop.  imho.

Always ask around for advice on using a mechanic if you can.....word of mouth travels far faster and further than a paid advertisement....every day of the week!

 

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Closest I got to this was a number of years ago when I was told the rear driveshaft boots were leaking on the green smart I used to have. I had sprayed the reluctor rings with Würth cavity wax to protect them and I guess it looked oily. I said no thanks and left it at that.  This was the Victoria dealer which was in all other respects perfectly fine. And I think it was an honest mistake. Dishonest mistakes at car repair places are more common.

Edited by MikeT
typo

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I should add, that a few years later, that same dealer replaced the intercooler at no charge even though the car had 200,000 km. It made it to 247,274 before being rear ended to oblivion.

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i seen many lists from local shops full of things i couldnt find anything wrong

 

some places are just like that ...dishonest 

 

and im not just just hobbyist who is guessing at things im licenced with a red seal 310s

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On 21/12/2021 at 0:50 PM, smart142 said:

I received a call from a long time smart owner. They wanted to know if I wanted to buy their smart for parts.

I checked it out and found that it started and ran fine. They had been told that the car needed over $3000 in front end repairs.The car was delivered to me and I discovered that it only needed front springs to pass safety. A far cry from a $3000 repair.

It was a high mileage smart (275,000 kms) and ultimately I sold it to a fellow that wants to convert it to a golf cart.

 

The second one was also from a long time smart owner. They had lost the brakes and a shop told them they needed an ABS pump and that was going to be a $2000 repair. 

The smart was brought to me and up on the hoist I removed the belly pans. I filled up the brake fluid reservoir and then had a buddy pump the brakes while I looked for a leak under the car. One of the front brake lines had corroded on a holder and was spurting out fluid. (usually I find that it is the rear lines that corrode and cause problems) The offending piece was cut out and a new piece was installed. There was nothing wrong with the ABS pump. Again a far cry from $2000.

 

Moral of the story - a second opinion can be helpful.

 

Anyone else experience something like this?

 

 

Yes guys are to eager just to replace parts and not even troubleshoot the actual problem

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Can anyone tell me where the oil pressure port comes from that delivers oil to the turbo on my 06 smart turbo 'runs great 'no noise no oil light but nothing from the port out of the block where oil line bolts on 'thanks

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5 hours ago, Moe said:

Yes guys are to eager just to replace parts and not even troubleshoot the actual problem

Most if not all shops now simply want to get the car in, then get it out as fast as they can without taking too much of their shop time and space....I assume they are charging book shop rates and can replace anything far quicker than what the repair time is calculated out at.   OR, they simply do not want to work on the car and sooner give you a massive estimate hoping you say keep it so one of their mechanics can buy it from them and fix it after hours and make the profit you should be getting so to speak!
It's a very slimely industry imho....that is why I very rarely take anything to a mechanic.....far easier to join a specific forum and start asking questions.....sooner or later you will have a go if the repair is a straight forward one......then you will get more into doing the repairs yourself and bingo, another lost forever customer for the rip off artists....!  Job well done.

 

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