Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17.06.2011, 17:06
Confloozed's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 4,801
Groaned at 104 Times in 91 Posts
Thanked 4,965 Times in 2,360 Posts
Confloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond repute
Ugly Car Repair Experience

So I have an older car, about 15 years old. Each time I have had the car repaired a different mechanic will be very specific about saying when you rattle the parts in the car, say to inspect the tye rods, even if they are still in working order, because of rust and age, this could actually damage the part or the parts around it so one has to be careful.

I have a usual garage I go to, but was advised to see the dealer for this specific problem, gasket around the engine heads was leaking and needed to be replaced. So I went to the dealer, and he told me, that the gasket, about a 10 CHF part had to be replaced in two areas, and to make sure it was the only area where oil was leaking, he had to clean the engine off from previous oil leakage to determine if it was the only place leaking. But first he told me that this would cost in the 3 to 500 CHF range.

I wanted the car repaired by a day ago, mind you I took the car in a week back, as I was out of the area, so I could be elsewhere this weekend using the car.
When I was away he texted me a figure that couldn't be right, but sure enough when I arrived at the garage, the new bill was 780 CHF. He was supposed to do what I just wrote and inspect the brakes; but not to repair them. Plus they wanted it all in cash, and all right away, not the usual sending the pink form in the mail. What was done? Gaskets/seals were replaced, engine 90% cleaned off, brakes inspected, and they also took the liberty to Armorall the tires, vacuum inside the car, detail the wheels, throw away what they felt was garbage in my car, and so on.

Also, and this is the part that angers me the most, and is still on going, some knucklehead took the liberty to wash the engine with a power washer. Maybe that's OK on a low PSI setting, but it actually blew to bits that cardboard like covering of the hood, the insulation a bit on the firewall, and from my trip to another garage today cracked the coolant reservoir, thereby not allowing me to go anywhere, with time taken off this weekend, as I have to either install a used or a new part (new is 299 CHF from the dealer). When I brought it back the day after to talk about the damage to the insulation to the hood, the guy laughed and told me it was an old car. I mean that part came in, in mint condition. Just because the car is old you don't see me kicking the door panels for fun as it's old. He took some widened like screws to re attach it, and took it like I was trying to negotiate some of the price down. Laughed and told me what I was expecting out of it?
They really didn't take much care when they cleaned it, it looks like they did it in less then an hour, but are charging me 5 hours for the total job, and I am afraid they may have rattled anything fragile under the hood to the point of breakage.

When I arrived at the garage they wanted 780, but even, what looks like the owner or manger didn't understand the difference of 3 to 500 sprouting into almost 800, for no extra parts, or work done, told me to pay 500 on the spot, and wait til his mechanic returns, from his holidays no less, to explain the rest.
While an extra 280 is one thing, I had to cancel my plans, and am shelling out atleast 2 to 300 more for this coolant tank, and who know what else.

I don't know how I can take any re course on this if I disagree.

I just don't understand how people do business this way. As opposed to working the right way, and getting paid for it, they see some people as suckers (me), and just try to juice them for everything they have on a job so obviously not worth it. I won't go back there, but am worried about what that trips' consequences are on my car I was hoping to keep another year or so.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17.06.2011, 18:05
17clarence's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Geneva
Posts: 767
Groaned at 15 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 965 Times in 440 Posts
17clarence has a reputation beyond repute17clarence has a reputation beyond repute17clarence has a reputation beyond repute17clarence has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

Well and truly Switzerlanded then?
This is why I don't go to the main stealers anymore. None of this surprises me in fact.

Sounds like it was only the rocker box gaskets, but you could have a V6 or a straight 4 engine or it could have been something else....... but in any case it usually only involves a little work to get at them.
The valet of the car is usual in the main dealer, you may have noticed the complimentary coffee and water chiller and settees? Someone has to pay for that.
I'd try and argue the price, 60% over the quote is a bit much, plus the CHF300 for the water bottle.
As for recourse, apart from not doing business with them again I not sure you have many possibilities.

Pressure washing shouldn't cause any issues. If the electrics are ok for a couple of days then they should be ok for good.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17.06.2011, 18:18
Confloozed's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 4,801
Groaned at 104 Times in 91 Posts
Thanked 4,965 Times in 2,360 Posts
Confloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

I wasn't expecting it to be cheaper, but I never told anyone to polish my dashboard, and loosen every piece under my hood. If I had the time, replacing the gasket would've been no problem, as everything is on top. But I don't see why I am spending close to 500 CHF for a half assed attempt at cleaning, when I like that cozy Lazy Boy, half bag of chips, 3 week old bottle of Schwepps feel to my ride.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17.06.2011, 18:38
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

I drive an older BMW (1995), I drive 40,000 a year & don't go near garages. I just change oil, brake pads & filters.
I only twice took a car to a Garage in CH, both times the work was overcharged & done incorrectly. NEVER AGAIN!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17.06.2011, 18:41
evilshell's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK, formerly Basel
Posts: 3,347
Groaned at 97 Times in 81 Posts
Thanked 3,093 Times in 1,341 Posts
evilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

If you need a good, honest mechanic (who won't destroy an old car - they treated my 1982 Audi I bought when I first moved to Switzerland like any other car), the garage across the street from where I used to live was fantastic - and reasonably priced. I know it is in Basel, but for an honest mechanic, it may be worth the journey for you.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17.06.2011, 19:38
Slaphead's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Zürich
Posts: 3,223
Groaned at 34 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 9,408 Times in 2,870 Posts
Slaphead has a reputation beyond reputeSlaphead has a reputation beyond reputeSlaphead has a reputation beyond reputeSlaphead has a reputation beyond reputeSlaphead has a reputation beyond reputeSlaphead has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

I'm sorry to hear about your predicament, and I know this advice is a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, but always always ask for a written quote (einen geschriebene Kostenvoranschlag) and always ask to be notified if the final price is going to be higher.

I've noticed that here in Switzerland that when somebody says to you "it'll only be 2 to 300", and you say "yes, go ahead" that go ahead seems to mean do it regardless of final cost.

I've been stung a couple of times like this.
__________________
...allegedly.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 17.06.2011, 20:13
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

Quote:
View Post
I'm sorry to hear about your predicament, and I know this advice is a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, but always always ask for a written quote (einen geschriebene Kostenvoranschlag) and always ask to be notified if the final price is going to be higher.

I've noticed that here in Switzerland that when somebody says to you "it'll only be 2 to 300", and you say "yes, go ahead" that go ahead seems to mean do it regardless of final cost.

I've been stung a couple of times like this.
The problem is they will never know the final cost till they open things up, if you put a max of 500 that would not help as the care would be left in pieces. When an engine is in pieces it makes sense to change the water pump & cam belt whilst it's easy to do.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 17.06.2011, 20:36
Confloozed's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 4,801
Groaned at 104 Times in 91 Posts
Thanked 4,965 Times in 2,360 Posts
Confloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond reputeConfloozed has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

Quote:
View Post
The problem is they will never know the final cost till they open things up, if you put a max of 500 that would not help as the care would be left in pieces. When an engine is in pieces it makes sense to change the water pump & cam belt whilst it's easy to do.
Yes and No. While I agree fixing a car isn't a cut and dry operation, that when you start fixing something, it could lead to other things, so far, in my case, it wasn't the situation. He did hand write it would be between 4 to 500, although he told me me 3 to 500, and the hand writing is on the bill. With some scribble of why it was more money.

Scribble no one can translate thus far. He told me his labor costs were 120 an hour. And pieces used on this project were just the 2 gaskets. So, parts that should cost around 10 or so each, say it's the CH so we can double it to 20 each, still, labor to clean an engine and visually look at the thickness of brake pads, which on my car can be seen without removing the tire, shouldn't cost 740. If that's the case sign me up to be the Numero Uno Garage Putzer. I'll clean anything for 120 an hour. I got paid 4.75 minimum wage to clean toilets when I just started working in restaurants, engines and tires I can do.

No mechanic certification required.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 17.06.2011, 20:44
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Ugly Car Repair Experience

If I were you I would buy a workshop manuel, your obviousely not frightened of getting your hands dirty!

Quote:
View Post
Yes and No. While I agree fixing a car isn't a cut and dry operation, that when you start fixing something, it could lead to other things, so far, in my case, it wasn't the situation. He did hand write it would be between 4 to 500, although he told me me 3 to 500, and the hand writing is on the bill. With some scribble of why it was more money.

Scribble no one can translate thus far. He told me his labor costs were 120 an hour. And pieces used on this project were just the 2 gaskets. So, parts that should cost around 10 or so each, say it's the CH so we can double it to 20 each, still, labor to clean an engine and visually look at the thickness of brake pads, which on my car can be seen without removing the tire, shouldn't cost 740. If that's the case sign me up to be the Numero Uno Garage Putzer. I'll clean anything for 120 an hour. I got paid 4.75 minimum wage to clean toilets when I just started working in restaurants, engines and tires I can do.

No mechanic certification required.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Car Maintenance and Repair MoabMan Daily life 45 18.04.2020 16:46
Garages, Car repairs the good,the bad and the ugly RTN Transportation/driving 104 24.04.2018 17:24
Ugly Bug Ball: Dating site for the ugly in UK MrVertigo General off-topic 62 26.12.2012 03:37
Car Damage Repair Shop in Zurich? sheelap7 Transportation/driving 1 27.06.2010 19:38
Car repair or mechanics course wolfken Other/general 4 31.05.2010 22:01


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:05.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0