• Report: #923034

Complaint Review: Mobile Auto Repair

  • Submitted: Mon, August 06, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, August 14, 2012

  • Reported By: bruingolf04 — VIRGINIA BEACH Virginia United States of America
Mobile Auto Repair
Virginia Beach, Virginia United States of America

Mobile Auto Repair Mobile Mechanic, Larry Goutreax , Scam Artist, Not Trustworthy, Terrible Communication- BEWARE. Virginia Beach, Virginia

*Consumer Comment: Larry

*Consumer Suggestion: Poor Larry

*Consumer Comment: larry gutreaux need be remove from craigslist.com

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I am giving an honest, objective review on the experience I had with Larry.

I paid $500 upfront with the rest due when the car was delivered (approx 1k), I found this to be reasonable considering it included removal of the head for the machine shop and a valve job. After 4 weeks of excuses, poor communication, and slow progress it was delivered to me with the promise that it was done. I listened to the car idle, sounded great, everything seemed well. Took it for a test drive, seemed to hesitate some but figured the almost stalling was the learning curve for the throttle positioning. Paid the guy after he explained it was reset and would be good to go. Great!

I drove the car .5 mile to put a fresh tank of gas in it, turned the car off and my coolant proceeded to flush itself completely onto the pavement. Air pocket? Maybe. Took it back, burped for the afternoon or so I was told and the car left for me to pick up. [continued below]....
..... I drove the vehicle 2 miles to my house and it stalled, hiccuped, burped, did everything but run like my car should, noticeable symptoms from before. At this point I'm obviously pissed, so I called a trusted mobile mechanic to come by and evaluate the work. Long story short, he checked the engine out and swore to me that he was 100% sure the head had never been removed, nor the headgasket touched. He was so confident he told me he would do all of the work for free if he dove into the engine and found that the former mechanic had done the job properly.

Long story short, I had to pay to have it done properly, the dealership later confirmed through tests and cleaning of the coolant system that the head-gasket repair in a bottle had been used and that's why the coolant kept flushing itself out. So I was charged 1k for something that took $5.

I ended up paying the next guy $1200 to do it properly with level head (it was not within limits when he pulled it), reworked valves, everything runs well, and no incidences with it at just over 5k miles. The 2nd mechanic took pictures of the head gasket and all of the replacements + cleaning he did. My new mechanic and I met Larry at his house to ask him about the method he used to change the head gasket and we got the run around and the chat about how long he'd been doing it this way. You need a special tool to hold the camshaft in position before turning the crankshaft to TDC and tightening the pulley bolt, he did not have this!.  I learned my lesson on finding the better "deal".

For the record: Larry offered a refund on the labor of $550 - guilty conscience? What made me mad is that I even have proof that he returned the NEW head bolts that he promised to replace (I was fine with them being replaced, thus why I paid extra for the head bolts) after purchasing them. Not only did all of this set me back $1k, he snapped all of my ignition coils off of the screw, put the wrong NGK's in after I gave him the exact model, yada, yada, the list literally goes on.

I don't know if I was the exception to his work or the norm but I can tell you that a my now trusted mechanic has had 2-3 customers since this incident come back with bad welds on exhaust, stripped screws, and other bad work-directly from Larry.

I'm adding the photos from the "replaced" head gasket, pulled about a week after he supposedly did the job. Notice the gunk, tear, and age of the gasket.

I cannot recommend Larry to anyone, good for those "hundreds" who have had a good experience. He will fight and deny most of the truth in this post but I have been diligent on keeping records including all of his text messages and receipts confirming I paid.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/06/2012 07:34 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/-Mobile-Auto-Repair/Virginia-Beach-Virginia-23456/Mobile-Auto-Repair-Mobile-Mechanic-Larry-Goutreax-Scam-Artist-Not-Trustworthy-Terrib-923034. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Larry

AUTHOR: concerned consumer - (United States of America)

 I'll have to admit this is not the first horror story I've heard on Larry. My friend owns a Mobile Auto Repair business and told me stories of how he has had to go and fix things that his customers that used Larry in an emergency to fix. 
 One story that sticks out in my mind is that he had a customer in Chesapeake (who has since moved out of state) that he has dealt with for years previous to their move, well they had lost his phone number and he didn't post for awhile due a surgery that put him down for several months. Well long story short they called Larry for which was a rear caliber kept seizing after Larry replacing this caliber several times to no avail. Well after months my friend posted again and they got his number and called immediately and he went coming to find out and very noticeable rear end problem. 
 The rear end was so bad is heating up the calibers and causing the seizing. Well after he replaced the rear end they have not had another problem with calibers again. 
 My suggestions that people can use that he follows to a T is that you stand outside with them (Mobile Mechanics) and watch to make sure that they do the job. BUY YOUR OWN PARTS!!! That's always the best so you have the receipts and warranties. On that note tho most Mobile mechanics will then only warranty the labor. Ask for you old parts back. Actually any good mobile mechanic will offer you the old parts back if you want them. Or atleast ask to see the old parts. 
 Just a few suggestions that may help the experience a more pleasant one. 
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Poor Larry

AUTHOR: Absolute_Mellow - (United States of America)

I would never excuse behavior that suggests theft. I can only offer an explanation that might help one understand why a mechanic might turn to this type of behavior.

When I got into the auto repair business in the late 1970s, times were good. An honest mechanic could make a very nice living. People were willing to have their cars repaired because interest rates kept most of them from buying new cars. Toward the end of the 1970s, interest rates and inflation drove most buyers out of the market. Owners were dumping money into their existing cars to keep them running. Back then, if you had more than 12,000 miles on a car, there was no warranty left.

It stayed that way for many years. The number of car owners grew by leaps and bounds. People continued to dump money into cars they should have scrapped long ago.

Now we are in a different time. Warranties on new cars are sometimes well over 100,000 miles. This means an independent shop will never have the opportunity to provide service on that car. Not to mention, cars are far more reliable than they were 30 years ago. Keep the tank full and the oil changed, it will run forever.

Men such as Larry have probably invested a lot into their business. Now there is little or no return on their investment. Bills and employees still have to be paid. Not to mention, regulations and fees have driven most garages into insolvency. A typical shop owner has 30 different agencies with their hands in the owner's pockets.

Does that excuse Larry? Absolutely not. And he needs to be held accountable. My point is, he didn't see his victims as a means to stay rich. I am guessing he became desperate to pay bills for the one business he knows best.

My advice is to take him to small claims court and try to get your money back. This would be your most likely bet. File charges with your local DA? Well, you may have him prosecuted, but you will never see a dime of your money.

Want to know what I would do? Find out where Larry's kids go to school. Do they have new shoes and folders for the school year? Probably not. Buy them an anonynous gift certificate to the local clothing store. Don't give them cash. How does this make you whole? It doesn't. It makes you human.
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#3 Consumer Comment

larry gutreaux need be remove from craigslist.com

AUTHOR: mobile mechanic larry - (United States of America)

ANOTHER BAD STORY ABOUT LARRY GUTREAUX THIS GUY IS LOW LIFE SCAM ARTIST HE ALSO OWNED ME MONEY HE STOLEN NEW PART OFF MY CAR RETURNED TO STORE FOR REFUND PLUS TOOK MONEY OUT OF MY HAND FOR ANOTHER PART NEVER CAME BACK FIX MY CAR TOOK HIM COURT OF COARSE LOW LIFE WAS NO SHOW JUDGE AWARD ME JUDGEMENT OF $601.84 HE NOT PAYING NOT SURPRISING THAT HOW LARRY DO HIS BUSINESS HE WILL LEAVE YOUR CAR IN MESS TAKE YOUR MONEY FOR PARTS,STEAL PARTS JUST BROUGHT HE IS CROOK ! HAVE YOU RECIEVED ANY MONEY YET I BEEN DEALING WITH MY MONEY SITUATION SINCE APRIL 2012 JUST HIRE OFFICIAL TRY GET MY MONEY NOT JUST GOING TO GIVE UP THIS GUY NEED BE REMOVE OFF CRAIGSLIST.COM HE IS BAD NEWS.
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