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Car mechanics

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I know only slightly more than your average soccer mom about what makes an automobile get me from one place to another.

    Last night, en route to a gig, I pulled away from a light only to hear the very distasteful sound of a muffler gone completely kaploowi. I'm used to that kind of thing happening gradually, but this was out of nowhere. Didn't even hit a NYC pothole or anything. Just happened all at once. My guess (hope) is that a pipe simply came detached. (note: the gig was a benefit in a boathouse in central park for super rich people, it was great pulling up to the door with my beat up honda and no muffler :) )

    The mechanic question now. I moved last year and left my mechanic behind. I don't trust mechanics. I've been robbed. I've been told a job will cost me $600 and when I said "no way" the mechanic said "OK. $300". More than once that's happened. I've had things fixed that didn't need to be fixed. I've overpaid. I've also driven cars around for days trying to find the right deal and wound up spending more in estimates and gas than if I just got the damn thing fixed at the first place I went to.

    How do ya'll deal with finding mechanics that don't suck, cheat, lie and steal. By the time I get back to this thread I'll have visited meineke and midas. Hopefully I'll have a wonderful tale of some great guy that says, "Oh, your pipe just came loose, I'll hook it up for ya - no charge." But I'm dreading the possibility of, "yep, the whole things shot. Can't do anything but replace it all, catalytic converter, the whole 9 yards. Gonna run ya about $850." That's a freeeeeeking Bongo bass practically!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really don't want to throw out that kind of money, which I don't even have, on an exhaust system. :bawl:

    I'm sayin my prayers and headin out. Again, how do all of you choose your mechanics??? Any suggestions if the car aint fixed yet whence I return? Thanks.
  2. Markdezy


    Jan 24, 2004
    I do it myself. When it comes to something that is extremely important, I do it myself. I wouldn't trust a mechanic on my precious car.
  3. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Hi Joe,

    Go to Car Talk, click on Actual Car Information, and scroll down to find a link to The Mechan-X Files. You'll find listings of mechanics and garages that other people have recommended.
  4. kegbarnacle


    Nov 18, 2003
    Maybe check out the Better Business Bureau. If you find a mechanic that you might want to use you can call them up or check online to see if that particular shop has any complaints against them.
  5. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Drive down to Maryland. I will fix the ole girl up for you Joe. It helps to have a couple of good friends that know how to fix stuff. I usually do brakes and oil changes for the guys in my band. Sometimes I tell them to go and get it done if I know I won't have time.
  6. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    Joe Nerve: Do it yourself. If its making a noise like you describe, then you have a hole in something or it just came loose. Those parts are just a remove and replace item. An average muffler is about $50. PM me if you need help. BTW, Im not a mechanic. Another BTW, most mechanics (middas, dealership, etc) work off commision or hours for a job that they get from a book. If the book says the job will take 4 hrs and they can get it done in two, they will still get paid for four (from you). But hey, thay have to make a living too.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Well... thanks for the suggestions guys. It's done though. It cost me quarter of a Bongo. $300 - at Meineke. The front pipe had snapped off. Said it would cost $200 plus tax, told me the muffler was shot also and that would cost me another $100 if I wanted it replaced. I could see the muffler was messed up so he wasn't lying about that. Also said I didn't have to replace it right now. I said screw it, do the whole thing for $300 tax and everything. He agreed. Put in a whole new system and my car sounds like a sewing machine again. I didn't want to deal with the stress of shopping, bargaining, and all that crap. I'm glad it's done. I probably could have gotten it done cheaper. I was expecting worse. I'm happy. No I'm not. I just shelled out 300 unexpected bucks. I'm not terribly upset would be more accurate and I'm satisfied with job and price.

    I'm going to check out that recommended mechanics website.
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    The only way to REALLY avoid getting screwed is to increase your own level of knowledge.
  9. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Replace parts? Exhaust parts? All you need is a soup can, some hose clamps, some bailing wire and some duct tape and you can fix any exhaust problem...
    (sure, there is no way you're going to fix any exhaust problem right with the supplies I mentioned, but you might "pretty much" or "kinda" fix it, for a while...)
  10. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    You should find out exactly what you did. Then you can perform the same service on Fast and/or Furious Hondas- they'll pay you for it. :D
  11. yeah and then you'll have a whole new set of problems when you exhust starts leaking into the passenger compartment. $300 doesn't sound unreasonible but its something any trainee machcanic can do with in a hour or two. also was it the pipe coming from the exhust manifold or the pipe before the muffler
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    it was the whole pipe from front to back. busted right at the engine.

    i did the quick fix things with old cars and it was a gnawing pain in my butt till i finally got it fixed. i know i could have talked some mechanic into simply welding the pipe back together for $30 but actually feel good the more i think about it for doing the responsible thing. i want this peice of crap to last me a while - it's only got 80,000 miles on it. looks like it's got 800,000, but mechanically mechanics keep telling me it'll run into the 200 thousands. if the body and rest of it last that long i'm set. :)

    oh yeah - i'm nort too sure about any novice doing it. he was welding stuff for a while, and it took him a considerable amount of time to do the job.
  13. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Seriously Joe, have you really really started measuring the cost of everything in Bongo fractions? :D

    I agree with Blisshead. The best way to deal with mechanics is to waltz in there and YOU tell THEM what's wrong with the car. All it does is show them that you know what you're talking about and make them think twice about pulling a swiftie on you.
  15. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses

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