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A reason why I don't take my Fiero to repair shops. by mattwa
Started on: 07-12-2011 03:57 PM
Replies: 20
Last post by: Australian on 07-17-2011 02:11 AM
mattwa
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Report this Post07-12-2011 03:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaDirect Link to This Post
It seems my Fiero doesn't like auto repair shops, and I don't blame it. I just had a bad experience with one, and my Fiero threw a fit. Here is what happened. I knew my Fiero needed it's front tires balanced and an alignment done, so I took it to a Goodyear tire and repair shop, since I had a bad experience with Conrad's more then once. I went in and asked for an alignment and front tires balanced, and got a price quote, which was better then Conrads. Everything turned sour when I said I had an 86 Frame and front suspension but a 88 rear suspension. Long story short I decided not to do an alignment since they really didn't want to mess with it, and it's not worth my money in hopes that the alignment will be correct when I can do it damn self and save $60. I then just asked to have my front tires balanced. $20, I said ok, that's fine. The guy asked for my keys, then went outside to get my VIN and mileage (didn't know this until I was outside with him, that's next, so keep reading). Now, keep in mind, I have been talking about a FIERO this WHOLE TIME with them, and I watch him go outside, and write down the VIN and attempt to open the locked door, with my keys, of the 80's MONTE CARLO SS next to my Fiero. I ran outside and said THAT'S NOT MY FIERO, it's NEXT to you. He said "Oh, these are GM keys, I thought it was for this car." DOH!!. Then, he writes down my VIN, and proceeds to get inside and get the mileage. I just stood there, smiling, waiting for him to try and find it. (Keep in mind, I have speedhut gauges, I removed the OEM odometer). After 30 seconds he said, "Uh, where is your odometer?" I said, "Under the Speedometer". "...wait, only 2XXX miles?" "Yup, I removed the OEM odometer" "Oh." So he writes something down and we go inside. Next he gives the keys to a employee, and while he walking to my Fiero, I ask if he knows about the coolant lines under the rockers, he said yes. He gets into the car and was in there for another 30 seconds, and then called me over (I walked away). My fiero wouldn't start! It did the same thing as before when the cable to the starter fell off. At this point I'm pissed, and said "OK, NEVERMIND, GET OUT OF MY CAR". He said "Ok", left the keys in the car, got out, and walked away.

Now I'm thinking what the hell is wrong now? It really wouldn't start. I got under, wiggled the cable, and it started?! It wasn't THAT loose. HOWEVER, I noticed it ran very poorly. It did not sound right. and the SES light was on. I backed up, and then put it in drive and tried to move forward. It was slipping horribly! It revved like under load, but I barely moved. Went back to the same parking spot, checked a few things, and tried again, for a longer distance, nope, something is VERY wrong. Pulled into different spot and shut it off. I'm like ok, now what?! What is wrong baby Fiero, please tell me! I spent 5 minutes wiggling and checking many electrical connections, inside and out. Then I turned the ignition on, all normal, EXCEPT, my fuel pump is no longing making any noise ( I can hear it, it just sounds normal again) WTF!?! I thought my FP took a crap, so I turned the key and it started right up, perfectly normal as can be! Sounds great, no SES light, all good! WTF!?!?!?! Drove out of the parking lot no issues. Then I noticed my radio had no power to it at all?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, FIERO!? Drove it home, parked it, done with it for today. It's been a bad girl (boy?) so that's it's punishment!

I am never talking my Fiero to a shop again. EVER.

My Fiero was telling me something for sure, it did NOT like those people or that place, and I'm pretty sure it would have been an even worse experience if they started the work.

[This message has been edited by mattwa (edited 07-12-2011).]

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BlackEmrald
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Report this Post07-12-2011 04:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlackEmraldClick Here to Email BlackEmraldSend a Private Message to BlackEmraldDirect Link to This Post
So basically, you wont take it back to a shop because they wouldn't alight a car with two different year suspensions, and because the guy had to ask where your odometer is, and he grabbed the wrong keys.

Your starting problems had nothing to do with the shop. They didn't even move the car.

From what you describe, the shop did nothing wrong!

[This message has been edited by BlackEmrald (edited 07-12-2011).]

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mattwa
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Report this Post07-12-2011 04:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaDirect Link to This Post
No, he had my keys and was trying to open a Monte Carlo with them, when they clearly said FIERO, and for 10 minutes before that I talking to him about my FIERO.

In this case it's more or less my Fiero that doesn't like to be taken to repair shops then anything else, and that I'm extremely paranoid about others touching/working on my Fiero. This thread was more for an entertaining read then a rant against the shop, ever since I had my fiero, I had a bad experience with every single shop I took it to, no matter where or when. Note I never said I won't take my Fiero back to the specific shop that I went too, I meant in general.

[This message has been edited by mattwa (edited 07-12-2011).]

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mattwa
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Report this Post07-12-2011 05:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaDirect Link to This Post
At least I fixed the radio issue, It was just a blown fuse.
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Darksyde
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Report this Post07-12-2011 05:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DarksydeClick Here to Email DarksydeSend a Private Message to DarksydeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by BlackEmrald:

So basically, you wont take it back to a shop because they wouldn't alight a car with two different year suspensions, and because the guy had to ask where your odometer is, and he grabbed the wrong keys.

Your starting problems had nothing to do with the shop. They didn't even move the car.

From what you describe, the shop did nothing wrong!



Wow man his post went so far over your head its not funny lol

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Hulki U. My-BFF
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Report this Post07-12-2011 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Hulki U. My-BFFClick Here to Email Hulki U. My-BFFSend a Private Message to Hulki U. My-BFFDirect Link to This Post
Sounds like an awesome fun day. . However, your Fiero does like me, because it allowed me to put that caliper bolt in when all it wanted to do was crossthread. Maybe it likes me more than you?!
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Report this Post07-12-2011 05:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Hulki U. My-BFF:

Sounds like an awesome fun day. . However, your Fiero does like me, because it allowed me to put that caliper bolt in when all it wanted to do was crossthread. Maybe it likes me more than you?!


It likes most friends and family, but I think you just got lucky there with the sledge-hammer that you used before trying to thread it in. Lol. And you know how to work on Fiero's, these other "mechanics" haven't seen a Fiero in many years, or at all, so that's why I'm paranoid, most so about the coolant tubes.

[This message has been edited by mattwa (edited 07-12-2011).]

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88RedFormula
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Report this Post07-13-2011 10:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 88RedFormulaClick Here to Email 88RedFormulaSend a Private Message to 88RedFormulaDirect Link to This Post
Reminds me when I went on a Heartland Fiero's cruise and Fred Bartemeyer happened to be there.

I had had a semi-major oil leak that I couldn't locate the source of for about three months beforehand and I figured while we were waiting for the other I'd have him look at it.

He found the leak in about fifteen seconds flat (distrubutor o-ring) and afterwards I shut the decklid, and waited for the others to show up.

Finally comes time to leave, I start the car, but it wont turn over, so at this point I'm like, "wtf..."

Had to really whomp on the accelerator as I was turning the key to get the old girl running, along with the sight of thick black smoke and smell of unburnt fuel.
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Report this Post07-14-2011 10:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IFLYR22Click Here to Email IFLYR22Send a Private Message to IFLYR22Direct Link to This Post
The first time I took it to a shop after putting the Held / Ryan Motorsports suspension on it, they did not know what to do. The front adjusts the same as the factory suspension, but the rear is different.
I have never let them have the key. I drive it onto their alignment lift, and if they don't let me, I go to another shop.

I went to one place and walked in and asked if they had time to do an alignment. They guy behind the counter asked what the car was, and I said it's a fiero. His response was, "Oh, one of Those..." I said yup.
He said it would be a while, and asked for my keys. I said I would drive it into the alignment bay. He said that I was not allowed. I said I have done it before at other shops. He said I was a lier and that no shop would allow me to drive my car onto a shop's lift. I said have a nice day and left. I drove to the next shop down the road, and they said it would be no problem for me to drive it onto their lift. I guess the first shop didn't want my business.

I have found a reliable shop now for the alignment, a shop who knows my car. I still haven't let them drive it onto their lift. They understand. I put a lot of money and time into the car. Other than the alignment, the car has not been in a shop.

-Dave
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mattwa
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Report this Post07-14-2011 01:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by IFLYR22:

The first time I took it to a shop after putting the Held / Ryan Motorsports suspension on it, they did not know what to do. The front adjusts the same as the factory suspension, but the rear is different.
I have never let them have the key. I drive it onto their alignment lift, and if they don't let me, I go to another shop.

I went to one place and walked in and asked if they had time to do an alignment. They guy behind the counter asked what the car was, and I said it's a fiero. His response was, "Oh, one of Those..." I said yup.
He said it would be a while, and asked for my keys. I said I would drive it into the alignment bay. He said that I was not allowed. I said I have done it before at other shops. He said I was a lier and that no shop would allow me to drive my car onto a shop's lift. I said have a nice day and left. I drove to the next shop down the road, and they said it would be no problem for me to drive it onto their lift. I guess the first shop didn't want my business.

I have found a reliable shop now for the alignment, a shop who knows my car. I still haven't let them drive it onto their lift. They understand. I put a lot of money and time into the car. Other than the alignment, the car has not been in a shop.

-Dave

Thanks for sharing, that's exactly what I need to do.

Can I ask which shop you go to? My guess is it's not a chain like Conrad's, because they wouldn't let me into the shop to watch, let alone drive it on the alignment lift. There is no shop that I know of around here that would let you do that, which is why I didn't even think of that.
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Report this Post07-14-2011 01:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IFLYR22Click Here to Email IFLYR22Send a Private Message to IFLYR22Direct Link to This Post
I don't want to name the shop that called me a lier, as they may be good to others. I don't necessarily blame the company, but that employee as made me look elsewhere.

I would recommend that you call / show up and explain the situation to them. If they say no, or show apprehension, say thanks and move on.
I usually tell them it is a fiero that I built. I have a lot of my time and money invested in it. It is not that I don't trust them, I am just particular about my car.
I built it and know it better than they do. I want to be involved in case there are any questions that may arise from the person doing the alignment so they do not have to make assumptions of what I want.
I make every effort to not come off as a jerk while doing this as well.

Also, the Corbeau seats and 4pt harnesses are a deterrent to some mechanics wanting to get in it anyway.

The first shop to allow me to drive the car onto their lift was Sears Automotive. I do not go there anymore, however. I found another local shop that impressed me when the owner came out to my house to fix the differential they rebuilt for my 66 Vette. The front seal was leaking. That form of customer service is rare out here.

-Dave
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Report this Post07-14-2011 01:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariDirect Link to This Post
OK, I'm confused. You took an old, pretty unusual (these days) and highly customized car to a shop and then are amazed that they a) won't touch it for an alignment and b) don't know much about it. Then it won't start and so far as I can see from reading your post all they did was put the ignition key in it and you admit to having loose cables on the car before.
Would I go there? Probably not but I can't see it's fair to blame them for the 'problems' unless I am missing something.

When taking a car to a shop, the rules are pretty simple:

Don't expect them to know too much about the car.
Explain stuff to them.
Install a camber kit to help the tech do the alignment (many shops won't touch without).
Be patient but watchful.

When it comes to Fieros the ONLY thing I let anyone else do is the alignment (found a good place locally that I use for all my cars) and the inspection (Even the guys at the local lube shop can manage to drive it on and off a ramp).

Even if these care are stock, most 'shops' don't have the the books or knowledge anymore to work on them unless you go to one of the few people on here the specialize in them.

------------------
Dave

www.ltlfrari.com

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Report this Post07-14-2011 02:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ltlfrari:

When taking a car to a shop, the rules are pretty simple:

Don't expect them to know too much about the car.
Explain stuff to them.
Install a camber kit to help the tech do the alignment (many shops won't touch without).
Be patient but watchful.

When it comes to Fieros the ONLY thing I let anyone else do is the alignment (found a good place locally that I use for all my cars) and the inspection (Even the guys at the local lube shop can manage to drive it on and off a ramp).

Even if these care are stock, most 'shops' don't have the the books or knowledge anymore to work on them unless you go to one of the few people on here the specialize in them.





In the big scheme of things this shop did about what you would expect. Nothing unusual here, nothing to see, move along.
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mattwa
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Report this Post07-14-2011 02:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:




In the big scheme of things this shop did about what you would expect. Nothing unusual here, nothing to see, move along.


Going to unlock a monte carlo ss with fiero keys is something I hope I wouldn't expect at every shop I go to.
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Jim_Martin29
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Report this Post07-14-2011 04:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Martin29Send a Private Message to Jim_Martin29Direct Link to This Post
I think the original posters point was not that he didn't like the technician, it was that his Fiero didn't like the technician.

Maybe his Fiero got bad "vibes" from the technician or maybe the Fiero didn't like the way the technician touched him, perhaps the technician even had cold hands and the car didn't like it.

I got the point and thought it was funny. My car gets picky about who touches it too.

I guess people who don't believe that "non-living entities" can have feelings and personalities won't get it.

Some of us do.

------------------
Jim Martin
White '86 GT
Monterey, California

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Report this Post07-14-2011 04:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
Nearly every shop I take my cars to have something fixed I cant figure out, they mess something else up so I end up spending the time anyway. Worse one was with the Ferrari kit getting the exhaust recall done. Car was perfect except for the minor exhaust leak. I got it back and they thru away my 160 stat, burned out the clutch, pinched off coolant hoses, cut off spark plug wires. My Mercedes got hit twice at Valvoline Fast Lube...one broke the sensor out of the air cleaner ($250) and another broke the end off the rear fuel pump/filter with a full 25 gallon gas tank. In both cases they were told DONT TOUCH ANYTHING....JUST OIL FILTER AND OIL. I found my garage flooded a few inches deep in gasoline. On a Lincoln I had the trans fluid changed. They stripped out each and every bolt and I got 2/3 quarts of fluid in the parking lot. I cringe now at the thought of taking one anywhere.
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Report this Post07-14-2011 05:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jim_Martin29:

I think the original posters point was not that he didn't like the technician, it was that his Fiero didn't like the technician.

Maybe his Fiero got bad "vibes" from the technician or maybe the Fiero didn't like the way the technician touched him, perhaps the technician even had cold hands and the car didn't like it.

I got the point and thought it was funny. My car gets picky about who touches it too.

I guess people who don't believe that "non-living entities" can have feelings and personalities won't get it.

Some of us do.


Yep, you hit the nail on the head. My dad thinks I'm crazy because of it, at least it's nice to know others share the same view I do. My dad's view is if it isn't practical or logical it doesn't exist.

Most of you are taking the purpose of this thread the wrong way, as I stated in my second post. I didn't make this thread to rant against that business (although I can if you want, I could care less).

[This message has been edited by mattwa (edited 07-14-2011).]

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Report this Post07-14-2011 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mattwa:


It likes most friends and family, but I think you just got lucky there with the sledge-hammer that you used before trying to thread it in. Lol. And you know how to work on Fiero's, these other "mechanics" haven't seen a Fiero in many years, or at all, so that's why I'm paranoid, most so about the coolant tubes.


The logical explanation is that Andy put a curse on your Fiero. I know how he is---and he still owes me a pencil. Just drive on down to N'awlins and get the voodoo lady to remove the curse--you and you Fiero will have a good time..

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Report this Post07-15-2011 08:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Tstang429Click Here to Email Tstang429Send a Private Message to Tstang429Direct Link to This Post
Matt for an alignment Give whites a call. I can get you there number they have an acct with the parts company my dad works for. they told us when my lowered 88's on the road give them a call they have no care. They where around when the car was made and will be around a long time later. They are an alignment specialty shop on the west side of town. I cant guarantee there the cheapest.
and yea your car told you dont let them f me up.
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Report this Post07-15-2011 04:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mattwa:
Thanks for sharing, that's exactly what I need to do.

Can I ask which shop you go to? My guess is it's not a chain like Conrad's, because they wouldn't let me into the shop to watch, let alone drive it on the alignment lift. There is no shop that I know of around here that would let you do that, which is why I didn't even think of that.


The two times I've had my cars aligned I was in the pit supervising. It's pretty simple, if they don't want me there, they don't have my business. If they want me to install eccentric strut mount bolts, they don't have my business.

Picking the lowest bidder on a predetermined flat rate is the best way to have shitty service, it more or less ensures that the garage will rush the job, barely get the toe in spec, then get the next car in.

For this sort of thing, avoid big-box places; small corner garages where you negociate to pay by the hour will work out better.

When you have suspension mods/non-standard setup, just go in with the alignment specs you want. Don't make them look up things for an 86, then an 88 on their computer, at best it will slow them down. They don't need to know the year anyway, they just look under and see how the toe is adjusted differently.

When I went with my Fiero, they didn't even have Fiero listed in their computer! Good thing I had the numbers I wanted scribbled on a piece of paper!

[This message has been edited by pmbrunelle (edited 07-15-2011).]

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Report this Post07-17-2011 02:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AustralianClick Here to visit Australian's HomePageClick Here to Email AustralianSend a Private Message to AustralianDirect Link to This Post
I wouldn't get upset if they didn't know what a fiero is just be surprised if they do. That is not a horror story at all just a paranoid rant a horror story is having someone stick a jack in front of the rear wheels and jack away the rear end of the car that has happened here.
If you were to read between the lines and offer to pay for their time instead of allowing only the quoted time to do an alignment which they see there could be complications. You should have offered an hour to get it right rather than their allowed quoted time of 15 minutes then it all wouldn't seem too hard. Problem is you were a price shopper and wanted the job done quoted first they quoted least amount of time then you complicated it mentioning rear when it is really irrelevant. I really cant see how a wheel alignment can be stuffed up if your chassis and tie rods are all in good order and a balance doesn't even need a car present. Yes your paranoid there is nothing different about a fieros steering to other cars to make it difficult.
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