March 2005


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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More brakes

Here’s an update on todays’ brake job –

I left the car at the shop at 12:30 today. I had a 1:30 appointment, but had nothing better to do, so I dropped it off early and went down to Backspace – you know that part already.

Well, it took them until 2:30 to call me and let me know the results of the inspection – you know those already too. They told me it would be $60 to do the front brakes, which is reasonable. It would cost me $35 for the parts, so an extra $25 for labor ain’t bad.

Around 5:30, I got tired of dead-heading around the coffeeshop and went back to the garage. The Beastie was up on the racks still, all four wheels off, and nobody working on it. The manager showed me the leaks in the rear units, which were slight at most – yeah, they probably do need to be rebuilt. Then he showed me the rear drums, which (according to my Chilton manual) are actually .010 of an inch beyond recommended wear limit. So, he was correct about the rears, I’ll give him that.

What they did not tell me was that there would be $15 additional charge for disposal fees and misc charges. That was annoying. What was even more annoying was when they asked me to come look at the car after they took a test drive.

They showed me how fluid had sprayed out of the cylinder and onto the hood and the firewall and other parts close by, and the master cylinder was almost dry. I have seen that splatter pattern before – it happens when you push the front pistons back into the calipers while forgetting to leave the cap on the master cylinder. Fluid sprays out all over the place. So, their mechanic had done this same thing, then forgot to top off the master cylinder fluid level before driving my car around the block.

That right there is a first-year probie’s mistake, and I expect more out of a shop sporting a BBB plaque on the wall. When I told the manager I was not pleased with the service or the surprise fees, he tried to give me a free oil change. Now, if I don’t like their work, why in the world would I bring my car back to them?

My initial reaction to all this was to write a burning letter to the BBB complaining about this place. After writing it all down, though, I am simply unhappy with the work and will not be giving them any more of my business, and will not reccomend them to my friends, or anyone else that reads this blog. Oh, the name of the shop? Brake Team, on Broadway and Burnside downtown. If you let them do the work on your car, watch them. They might do better with supervision.

One reply to “More brakes”

  1. Kylanath Says:

    Bah… that reminds me of the time that we took one of the beasties to the shop down the hill from our place and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it, even after fixing what they thought it could be. (Turned out to be the map sensor that was bad, and this was figured out not by them.)

    So my trust of auto repair shops is few and far between. Oh, and the kicker? This place is gone now, they mustn’t have been that good after all.

    Free oil change for compensation for screwing up? What the hell are they smoking. I would have been more adamant to the manager about not paying for anything if they screwed up, or at least not charge for labor. But that’s me, and I tend to be really bitchy if service is crappy.

    I hope you sent off that letter to the BBB, and copy the manager/owner. Not that it’s going to solve anything, but it’s worth getting the satisfaction of at least sending it out.