[s-cars] Head gasket: 2850$ (longuish)

Gabriel Caldwell gabriel at ts.bc.ca
Wed Jan 19 02:55:40 EST 2005

Some of you may know I never let mechanics touch my car unless it's for
an alignment or a factory recall (which they screwed up anyway).  I've
had too many bad experiences.  I was in a similar situation as you with
one particular mechanic where the bill skyrocketed.  At first there was
quite an argument but in the end we agreed on a reasonable price,
because to the mechanic some money is better than no money.  Stick to
you guns.  I can't tell you a fair price because the last time I did a
head gasket it took me six months.  Just remember you could have bought
half a UrS4 for the price your mechanic wants.

Gabriel Caldwell

-----Original Message-----
From: Djdawson2 at aol.com [mailto:Djdawson2 at aol.com] 
Sent: January 18, 2005 10:57 PM
To: brucem105 at comcast.net; vfregeac at sympatico.ca;
s-car-list at audifans.com
Subject: Re: [s-cars] Head gasket: 2850$ (longuish)

In a message dated 1/18/2005 8:57:50 PM Mountain Standard Time, 
brucem105 at comcast.net writes:

> I don't agree, and I've worked on lots of stuff in different
> Shoestring budgets and not being rich have nothing to do with being
fair and 
> honest. There are laws against this sort of thing for a reason!

I have also worked in a bunch of industries, including working as an
mechanic in a shop for 4 years putting myself through college.  I agree
with your 
points, and I agree for the need for laws restricting such actions.
I think that jumping to the conclusion that something unfair and/or
occurred is premature.  I've seen numerous posts from guys on this list
the 200 20v list that have spent $3k having their top ends serviced.  I 
wouldn't call this figure abnormal.

> The guy made a major mistake (maybe honest, maybe not) in more than
> the cost of the quoted repair without first informing his customer. So
> the benefit of the doubt beyond the original quote has to go to the
> as the mechanic lost his benefit of the doubt by his actions.

Agreed... 100%.

> I did not advocate screwing him, but rather getting the car at either 
> originally quoted rate or under protection laws if it becomes a
hassle, and once 
> verifying the work was done well, working out something fair. 

I simply suggested working out something fair... try and skip the legal
 Come up with independent figures that are valid, and present that to
mechanic, and work something out.  This is exactly what I suggested he
do.  The 
only thing I objected to was, as you said:

> If it were me, I'd get my car out of there for free, or as close to it
> possible based on the Canadian consumer protection agency, with the
> work done. THEN I'd call him and try to work out something you feel is

> reasonable and fair if the work was done properly.

Do this, and I think he'll never have a good working relationship with
shop again.

> Paying that kind of overcharge up front is silly to me. And I totally 
> disagree that any professional working on a customer's car should put
120 miles on 
> it without first informing the customer that those type of miles are
> to shake it down. But then, if he didn't tell his customer about the
> upcharge, why would he say anything about the long joyride?

I never suggested he pay that amount up front, but to come up with what
believes to be a reasonable figure, and approach him with that.  Good
shops are 
hard to find... so I'll reiterate ... if he wants to maintain a
with the shop for the future, legal actions should be used as a last
Negotiate a win-win without legal action, and everyone is happy in the

I won't bother addressing the "joyride," that's the least of his
again a statement that implies "guilty until proven innocent."

That's all I've got on this topic... flame away.
Dave in CO
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