26 out of 51 car repair outlets fail honesty and competency undercover tests by the APA.

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,577
432
126
Loose cable reveals scams

A loose battery cable, nothing more.

That's what the Automobile Protection Association (APA) rigged on its 1999 Dodge Caravan minivan to probe the honesty and competency of repair garages in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Vancouver this winter.

Fully half of the 51 repair outlets didn't pass the undercover test, either by failing to find the source of the intermittent starting problem, or charging to replace a wide variety of parts that did not require attention.

At one Sears Auto Centre in Calgary, the repair bill came to a whopping $1,240.28 ? the highest charge for unnecessary work ever recorded by the APA. The money was refunded this week.

Twenty-six of the 51 shops tested did not pass, he adds, either by failing to find the problem or charging for work that was completely unnecessary. Parts installed included three batteries, four sets of spark plug wires, three starters and a rebuilt alternator.

On the positive side, the other 25 shops tightened the battery terminal without charging for unnecessary repairs, earning a pass rating. Among them were three shops that corrected the problem at no cost. Most billed between $22 and $99 for their time.


Man, remind me never to go to a Canadian Tire and Sears Canada repair outlet. Teh funny in there was Midas Muffler: "Prices here ranged from $23 at a Midas Muffler outlet that didn't fix the cable but rotated the tires..." LOL! :D
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
0
My last run in with Canadian tire cost me a transmission. They were always honest with me, but incompetent. Of course that's what you get when you pay bottom dollar for auto-work.
 

Judgement

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
3,816
0
0
Car repair places have been scamming people since the beginning of cars. It really is ashame.

Your best bet is to make friends with someone who owns or works at a car repair place. Don't expect... or even ask them to give you a discout but then at least you can know you are getting charged honestly for the work that needs to be done.
 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
30,990
5
81
but that battery cable nut is expensive to turn. it takes a $35 tool called a ratchet, and a $5 specialty socket to adapt the ratchet to the nut.
 

Bignate603

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
13,897
1
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We have a friend that runs a salvage yard/repair shop. He tries to charge us only for parts and we have to force money on him for his time. It's a good arrangement I think. He'll never replace ANYTHING that doesn't need it. Our only agreement is he gets the cars when they die. However, for some reason he never wants to let one die until it's REALLY dead.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
0
Originally posted by: Bignate603
We have a friend that runs a salvage yard/repair shop. He tries to charge us only for parts and we have to force money on him for his time. It's a good arrangement I think. He'll never replace ANYTHING that doesn't need it. Our only agreement is he gets the cars when they die. However, for some reason he never wants to let one die until it's REALLY dead.
So in the case of any Fords you drive basically a 98 and older? :)