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Date: 21 Feb 2000 09:48:55 -0500
From: (Ron Dozier)
Subject: Re: PepBoys' and their shoddy service

Everyone's entitled to mistakes - even the "recommended repair facilities". I do most of the car repairs myself. These were the bad ones: Muffler on backwards two times in a row. Took it in for a muffer. It didn't sound right, so I looked underneath. Muffler on backwards. Took it back to shop. Drove it home. Still didn't sound right. Yep, still on backwards. This time I had a talk with the service manager who then made sure the problem was corrected. The explaination give was: the guy installing the muffler felt it fit better backwards, but the real problem was a misbent pipe that was defective from the mfr that they installed. This same shop offered a LIFETIME guarantee on Walker muffler systems. It turns out that the warehouse was warrantying the pipes. Suddenly the LIFETIME warranty expired for the pipe. A Toyota dealer left about three bolts out of my intake manifold. On the same job they scraped a wiring harness that caused the car to die on an interstate. I've done a few stupid things too: Using worn locknuts on the fan and it spun off. Not tighening an AC belt and having the bolt fall out. I've done a few smart, combined with dumb, things too: Ask for a vacuum line diagram before removing the intake manifold only to discover that a small hose that was located UNDER the intake manifold had sprung a leak. The hose wasn't shown on any of the diagrams I had. I then took the time to examine and/or replace all of the sensors and vacuum lines. Two sensors needed replacing and a few vacuum hoses. It was worth the time. The dealer did it the first time, long ago, because of another reason. They did it because I did not have the time available to spend. I generally won't do clutches, springs, struts, alignment, tires or exhaust systems. I have done a clutch once because of my Uncle's facilities were available. Anything else is fair game, including: steering rack replacement, AC system install, rear wheel bearing install, carb rebuild etc. Experience does count. Reputation of a particular service center/organization counts too. Not everyone is experienced and the same people don't work at the same facility forever. Advice: Check their work as best as you can, if your able. I use the specialists when I can (e.g. tire specialists, muffler specialists etc.). I chose them based on reputation, warranty and convienience. After tires are mounted -> I use a torque wrench on the lug nuts and tighten them to specifications, so I am not surprised when I have to change a flat in the rain or snow etc. Ron

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