gen-x chronicles

modern car repair problems


I recently had struts and shocks replaced on my car because for now I've decided to keep what I have instead of buying another car. What I deal with because of this is garage idiocy.

What happened after the service was done was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen break on a car due to a mistake by the garage.

The struts and shocks are installed. They work. No problems there.

What broke? The driver's side windshield washer nozzle. After I got the car back, I went to a local supermarket, went to spray the windshield and that's when I saw only the passenger side nozzle worked and not the driver's side.

Yeah, I was mad. I knew instantly that this was a garage mistake. When they went to install the driver's side strut, the idiot mechanic somehow either pinched or disconnected the tube that brings washer fluid to the driver's side nozzle.

Next day, I go right back to the garage, the service advisor comes out, I show him the problem since it was easy to reproduce. He didn't even put up a fight about it because he knew they messed it up. The car was taken in, windshield washer assembly fixed for free since they knew they broke it, got the car back and that was that.

Even though all was set right, this never should have happened, because wow what a dumb problem that was.

As time goes on, I find it now to be a normal thing to bring the car back after any repair to have fixed what they broke. I bring it in the first time, repair is performed. Then I find something else the garage broke, and I have to bring it back. Car is fixed, then I can get on with my life.

It doesn't matter what garage it is nor does it matter what make/model of car I have. And bear in mind I have a very simple, very uncomplicated car. Garages these days just seem to find ways to break things whenever they fix things.

Is this happening only because I'm older now?

No. This is not one of those "middle aged guy yapping about how kids don't care" things, and I can explain exactly why.

The mechanic who worked on my car looked to be about my age. Maybe he had some younger guys on his team working on my car, but even so, he was the lead mechanic that was supposed to check things to make certain everything worked and nothing was broken after the repair. Obviously, he didn't do that.

Any shop that is part of a national chain (dealership or other nationwide repair shop) is under the thumb to fix things fast-fast-fast, and that's where corners get cut. These guys just don't care.

Local mechanics always cost more and do the work more slowly. The better ones do care about their customers, do care about their work and will fix things right the first time.

I need to start going to local mechanics. As in non-national, non-regional. Local only.

gen-x chronicles