Yup, every mechanic is out to rip you off. That is especially true when you know very little about cars, as evidenced by your incorrect terminology. Isn't it odd that mechanics are held to much higher standards than doctors? A doctor only has to learn two models that never change, in varying sizes. When you don't get cured the first time no one gets frustrated and you don't complain about being ripped off. In fact, you'll run from doctor to doctor, and each one has to start over from the beginning, and you accept that.
But let your car problem not get fixed right the first time and the mechanic is a crook. Mechanics have to relearn multiple new systems on dozens of new models that change drastically every year. He may see only one of a certain model in a year but he's expected to be an expert on it as soon as it comes into the shop.
All you listed was two new tires. You said you spent a fortune on this problem but didn't bother to share that history and which parts or services were done in an attempt to fix it. As professionals, we're rather proud of our skills and knowledge and we like you to see the results of putting them to use. There's nothing to be gained by not fixing your car. Most of us are busy and we don't need to manufacture work we know is going to leave you dissatisfied. I can think of a lot of things that can cause your symptoms but first you gotta list what was already done so I don't cover stuff needlessly.
Everyone else seems to be searching hard for a reason to be offended so now it's my turn. You don't know much about cars, but you don't get to fall back on that sorry excuse "I'm a woman". MOST people don't know much about cars but it has to do with the fact we have so many corner repair shops compared to in other countries, and cars have gotten so unnecessarily complicated that very few people can keep up with them. Three of my top students were girls and the guys had a lot of respect for them. There are just as many men out there who are clueless about the cars they trust to get them back home and who could not diagnose the simplest problem. They don't automatically assume they get ripped off.
To start with, you need to stick with one shop if possible. I don't like mechanics who say "lets try this cure first and see what happens", but sometimes they have no choice. When that solution doesn't help, they have to move on to the next most likely fix. Take the mechanic on a preliminary test drive to be sure he observes the problem you're complaining about. If he says he has it fixed, take him along on the verification test drive. If it is not solved, don't pay the bill, but you can expect to have to leave the car to give them the chance to remove unneeded parts, (when it's practical and ethical to do so), and to continue searching for the cause.
For this type of problem you may get referred to a specialty shop, in this case a tire and alignment shop. They will be more likely to have seen this same problem before on the same model and year car. The last resort is the dealership. They are not as well equipped to handle this problem as an alignment shop but they may know of a related service bulletin from the manufacturer. Those cover things that are so obscure no one would be able to figure them out in a normal manner, but someone has previously, and that bulletin helps the next person find the solution faster.
I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm putting you down. That is not my intent. I will never protect a dishonest mechanic or shop but there aren't as many bad ones as people think. It just seems that way because we don't understand what they're doing and we don't understand how all the complicated systems on today's car interrelate. You're just as likely to find a dishonest sales clerk, accountant, or gardener, but we don't let them give an entire industry a bad name. In my city we have a big pile of reputable repair shops including dozens of new car dealerships, but I know that because I'm in the business and know what to look for. One fellow owns three new car dealerships and is well-known for counties around to be a huge crook, but people love him because he gives the illusion of being caring and honest. When we point out how logic proves people got ripped off, they don't want to hear it. It's the reputable shops people get angry with. Sometimes I wonder why they even bother trying anymore to keep their customers happy. Then again, at the very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership I used to work at, every week we had customers bringing us cookies and donuts, so we must have been doing something right.
Thursday, October 18th, 2012 AT 7:16 PM