Monday, July 18, 2011

Bad Mechanics!

So... we brought Lenny to the mechanics who helped us out when we blew the points trying to leave Aiken in November. He sat for a week and a day while they told us every day they were about to take him on a test drive before they work on him. And he sat... in reverse, just like we parked him.
Then we took him to Imports Plus, because we saw an 80s Vanagon and a 90s Eurovan in the yard/bay. They fixed his calipers in just a day and told us about the steering arm needing replacement, so we left him in the shop until Friday to get that taken care of, as well as the leaking oil plug.
Normally when driving our Bus you push down and slide the shifter into reverse, the push down is no more. Now you have to push down when you shift into 3rd and 4th. That is not right, and not good. You can easily miss 2nd and grind into reverse (because reverse is over to the left of 2nd gear.) Also his oil plug is still leaking just as much as before.
Here's how my convo went with the mechanic this morning: "So, you're mechanic told my boyfriend he tightened something on the gear box."
Mechanic: "We only did the breaks and worked on the front end."
"But now we are having troubles shifting, when we drove it in there were no such problems."(explained what is happening now)
"But we only worked on the front end, not the transmission."
"Ok I am bring my Bus over this evening and you are going to fix it."
"We will try."
"No, you are."

Well.... Maybe the man was having a hard time understanding what I described was happening? I am not sure; but what I am sure of is this is really hindering my excitement for High Country next week, if this isn't an quick and easy repair we may not get to go.
This is the LAST time I am ever bringing a car to a mechanic. I am so done with them! When I had my Oldsmobile 88 some mechanics tried to rip me off royally, but I learned if you do the work myself, and I was rest assured it was done right and I saved a lot of money. It may be harder and take longer to learn how to do a repair, but afterwards you know how to do it forever.
Mechanics at shops may be pressed for time, just throwing parts on and not taking care. When you first do a repair you are very careful because you are new at the task at hand and there's more attention being paid. This may not be true for every task, skill, repair, etc. Something may be best left to the pros, but normal repairs like this should be done on my own.
My reason for not doing it myself this time is that I live in 100degree heat, in apartments. There are no garages or shaded, grassy areas. Just hot blacktop to cook myself on.
So everyone, maybe you have a trusted mechanic~ or a family member who works on cars. I have no such luck, I have to "trust" strangers to work on my vehicles and rip me off at the same time.
So, Thank you're trusted mechanic next time, you may not know what a great thing you really have.


  1. So if I understand, you brought your bus in for brakes and they fixed that plus a steering arm (?). When you left, the bus did not shift well. If that is the case, sounds like they did not know how to shift the bus and made adjustments to the shifter (either at the shifter itself or where the shift rod couples with the nose cone of the transmission) to get it out of reverse. Definitely not a good mechanic for a bus.

  2. It's alway better to fix your own car. There is not much complication on this VW van and you can easily do all of the work yourself. Get a good repair manual, sign up for a yahoo group that specializes in your vehicle and you will have all of the expert help you need to keep your VW running fine.

  3. the volkster~ this is true, they may have tried to shift it into the wrong position, trying to find reverse, messing up the shifter coupler. They are still in the process of fixing it~ Trey is right, next time I will consult the manual and brave the pavement. :)