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Old 06-20-2012, 11:12 PM   #50
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 30
If you want more samples of that mechanics work, here is a thorough description:

1) Radiator was leaking. He tried to fix it with some silicon; the radiator started leaking more so I had to replace it.

2) He fixed some leaks. (I don’t know if it is good or not. But I would say it is good even though there are still some wet spots on the parking lot.)

3) He changed the AC belt and timing chain. This was good.

4) He changed one of my headlight bulbs that was burnt out for free. That was good and very nice of him.

5) He changed the rotors because he said they have a lip and they were too thin to be grinded. He said the lips on the rotors were the cause of the uneven feelings when braking. The new rotors pulsate when braking at high speed. I think they need grinding. God knows how much this will cost me! Grinding? New rotors? Who knows! These are supposed to be new rotors!

6) He changed the winter tires to new all season tires, and the car started driving so much better and smoother. But there is a low speed wobble and everyone says that low speed wobbles are caused by uneven tires—I don’t know, may be road force balance is the next step. God knows how much this will cost me! Road force balance? New tires? New wheels? Who knows! And if it is the wheel(s) that is bent, then why didn’t he detect it, or tell me?! If it is the tire(s) that have a flat spot, then why didn’t he detect it, or tell me? These are supposed to be new tires!

7) He aligned the wheels. This was good.

8) He balanced the wheels more than once with the same results: low speed wobble and shimmy at 120km/h. Often, he balanced them for free. This was very nice of him.

9) He changed the tires and rotors, sanded the brakes, and did the alignment and balance in one day. When I went to pick up the car, the whole car was shaking violently even at idle. This lasted for a day then stopped. He never explained what was the cause, and I still don’t know what caused it and if it has any long term effects on the car’s performance and safety. I haven’t been able to get an explanation from online search, forums, or mechanics of what could’ve caused that violent shaking after simply replacing the rotors/tires, and doing balance/alignment!

10) I asked him many times to look into the thrust arms and he did test the wheels with his hands and said they are fine. The reason I asked about the thrust arms is that the front wheels tremble when braking and hitting an uneven surface such as entering a parking lot. Finally, I took the car to Rocco and he said the thrust arms needed changing, and he test drove it with me and showed me how when braking at high speed the front end trembles. Rocco changed the thrust arms and the trembling in the front wheels went away.

(The shimmy at 120km/h, wobble at low speed, and pulsating in the brake at high speed braking are still present.)

11) He said the driver-side drive shaft needs changing as it is the cause of the shimmy at high speed, so I changed it (cost me $500). It solved nothing. Then he found out the new drive shaft he installed was faulty so he ordered another one under warranty and replaced it for free. He said the passenger side drive shaft was faulty and needed replacing as he now thought it was the cause of the shimmy at high speed. I declined to change it.

12) The engine light came on so I took the car to him. He scanned it and said it is the secondary air pump and reset it saying it is nothing important. It came again and I took it to him and he did the same thing. A couple of weeks later I took the car to him as it needed one more leak to be fixed. After he was done the car started shutting down. He scanned it and about 4-5 errors showed up, including: air sensor, throttle response, secondary air pump, etc. He said the cause was the fuel I was using, as I was using regular gas. He suggested I put Octane booster in the tank, and put premium fuel from Shell. I did that.

That did not solve the problem. So he said to run the gas tank out. I did. That did not solve the problem. He said I need to run at least 2 more gas tanks of premium fuel and Octane boosters to clean the engine from the carbon build up (or something like that). A week later and the problem was still there. I took the car to him. After 2-3 hours of inspection he found some small loose hose and said it is the cause of the vacuum leak! He put it in place and said the problem was fixed. It was not. I knew that small loose hose wouldn’t fix the problem as it was loose since I had purchased the car and I told him so. That whole ordeal cost me about $200, and a whole lot of time and worrying.

Since the problem was not fixed he said it is normal for all cars (at least manual ones) to shut down under heavy braking. I don’t understand his point as my car is automatic, and it never shut down before that day when I went to pick it up from him after he fixed the “last” leak.

I gave up on him so I went to Rocco. Within 5 minutes: he scanned it, got only one code back that said there is a vacuum leak, he spotted the leak, and fixed it. And the car never felt so powerful before!

Oh, that mechanic also said it is normal for all BMWs to have rough starting engines, because my car’s engine would sputter, losing and gaining power randomly, and shake. It simply is not true because my engine is as smooth as I’ve seen at start up, now that the vacuum leak is fixed. He simply didn’t want, or didn’t know how, to fix the engine shutting down problem so he started making up stuff.

13) After the last leak he fixed (the one mentioned in the last point), he said the front wheels need alignment again, because the whole front suspension system has to come down so he could replace that leaking gasket. I don’t understand why he didn’t tell me from the beginning that the alignment should be the last thing to do (to be done after fixing the leaks)! I am not a mechanic—I don’t know these things—I don’t know the whole front suspension system has to come down when fixing a gasket leak! What’s the point of doing an alignment, then doing another one a month later? To be fair, if I remember correctly, he did not charge me for the second alignment. That was very nice of him.

14) There was noise coming from the right rear wheel. I took the car to him and he sanded the brakes and that it should be okay now. It was not. He said to give it a week and then come back to him. After 2 days I couldn’t stand the noise anymore, so I took the car to him again. He sanded the brake pads again. That did not work, so I asked him to look into the handbrake discs. I was correct. So he cleaned the handbrake discs, oiled the wheel from the inside, and the noise went away. When putting back the handbrake discs he forgot one of the springs so I reminded him.

15) The power pump (or something like that) was leaking, and he said it’s only the hose and he will replace the clamp and the leak should stop. It did not. It still leaks. To be fair, I don’t think he charged me for attempting to stop the leak with the clamp. That was a very nice attempt from him.

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