Question:

My car smells like gas and the mechanic can’t find the problem and told me not to worry about it. Does that sound correct?

Kelly

gas leak

Dear Kelly,

NO, IT IS NOT CORRECT! There is no reason for there to be a gas smell (unless you have a classic car then all bets are off….and even then it shouldn’t be fresh gas).  The leak could just be hiding somewhere and they can’t find it. It might be a vapor leak and not a fluid leak which could make it harder to find. Is there a check engine light on (this also depends on the age of the vehicle)? If one mechanic can’t find the leak then take it to another until someone finds it. I’ve had this issue here with my mechanics who can’t smell it so they put me on it with my supersonic nose. I usually track it down…yes kind of like a gas sniffing dog.  The best thing to do, if you can, is try to locate the general area if possible and show them where it’s coming from. Don’t give up!

Questions: dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seeing is Not Believing

I’ve been seeing a large number of people buying cars online without looking at them first. I don’t think it’s a great idea because there are so many tiny things that seem innocuous but can add up to a very large headache. I have one in particular that is very disturbing. This guy bought an old Mustang that looked beautiful in the photos. He paid a lot of money for it, more than it was worth. In the listing online it did say that there were a few things that weren’t working like the wipers, the emergency brake and the speedometer to name a few. This didn’t seem insurmountable to be him so he purchased it anyway. When the car was delivered and came off the tow, he jumped in ready to go but his foot went to the floor because the brakes had issues as well. He brought the car to us and that ended up being the easiest issue to fix. It turns out that the reason some of the other things didn’t work was that when they rebuilt the vehicle they left off key components. A couple of thousand dollars later, some of the issues are still not fixed because they require welding and body work.

stock-photo-wrecked-car-outside-of-bodyshop-missing-front-end-parts-2014055

I’m not suggesting that you never buy a car you haven’t seen but not only should you ask a million questions about each and every item, have them send a video as well. I always say that if someone hasn’t fixed something “simple” before selling a vehicle then it clearly requires more than a simple fix. The biggest red flag is when the AC isn’t working and “only needs some freon or a valve”, if that’s all it needed then they should fix it before they sell it to you.

Buyer beware! Do your homework.

Questions: Dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I have nothing to say.

Thought you just might like to see what just showed up for repair.30's car

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Question:

I’ve had to go back to my mechanic 3x now to fix my ac. What gives? He keeps telling me a different story, is he just robbing me?

Thanks, Joanna

no ac

Answer:

Well of course he might just be robbing you, no question about that BUT…AC failure can be very difficult to diagnose. The freon (not really called that anymore but I still do) is a gas and can leak out of countless places. You can fix one spot only to have it leak out of another, and possibly from a spot that can’t be seen.  You can spend over $1,000 dollars on new compressors, driers and accumulators only to find that a hose is now leaking or you need a new condenser too. It’s endless with AC.  Just ask a lot of questions and make any mechanic show you exactly what he’s doing….and make sure he’s not charging you over and over for the freon. I have a policy when I’m doing a job for someone, they get charged once for freon in any given summer, your mechanic should be saving it and recycling it.  If it leaks out and a customer has already paid me for one fill-up then the following fill-ups are on me. Good luck, stay cool!

Questions: Dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Put A Bow On It

I just got a call from a potential new customer telling me we came highly recommended. He wanted to bring his “new” car in to be checked out before a long drive up to Canada. We chatted for a minute or two and then he said “new” again so I asked what he meant by that, thinking he must mean new to him. He told me it was a 2014 with 4,000 miles on it. I asked why he wanted to bring a brand new car in and he told me that, although his wife thought he was nuts, he worried about things like that and wanted to be safe. I told him to find something important to worry about and to enjoy his trip. This is my first call of this type in 25 years but just in case there are any other of you worrying types are out there let me be clear…..THIS IS THE REASON TO BUY A NEW CAR, TO NOT WORRY.

 

car bow

 

Questions: dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Again!

I’m going to keep this short and simple. DO NOT LEND YOUR CAR OUT! I know I’m a broken record on this subject but it’s a weekly event here (and sometimes twice in a week) that someone brings their car in because they lent it out to someone who crashed it. Drama almost always’s ensues & friendships are broken. Just keep it simple and don’t do it. I get that sometimes it’s really unavoidable and I’ve been know to do it for short distances and quickies but it’s just not a good policy. Keep it in mind.

crash

 

Questions: Dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Caller ID

I just went off on someone who called, which I try not to do but seriously, use your brains.

Caller: “My car just broke down nearby, its a 1996 Buick Century. I think it needs a fuel                     pump, approximately how much would that be?

 

Me (in an irritated voice): “Don’t call around asking for prices on a repair that you have no                                                   idea is a correct diagnosis. Someone will tell you $500 on the                                                       phone and you may only need a relay but they’ll charge you                                                      $500 anyway because they already gave you a price. Call                                                             around and find a mechanic you trust instead.”

Caller:   “Oh, ok.” click.

 

phone

It was harsh on my part but I get this type of call all the time and it is the exact wrong thing to do. They are trying to find the cheapest job instead of the correct job by a reputable technician. Don’t do it!

 

Questions: Dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment