I own a 1994 Honda, which was in excellent condition for a car its age. On September 9, I discovered that my oil light had come on. I was surprised because I have the oil changed on a regular basis and the oil has never had a chance to go so low that the light should come on. I didn't drive it again until I put oil in it. I got two quarts and put it in only to see it run right out.
I was worried now because I thought this might be something serious. Knowing that if I drove it too far, I would lose all the oil and compromise the car with more repairs, so I drove it to the nearest garage; an Econo Lube just a block from my home. The manager said to leave it and he would call me. I did this. I went back later to see what was wrong. The assistant manager had been looking the car over to see where the leak was coming from. At first, he thought it was a loose filter, but said that they would have to look further because they really couldn't tell.
They put the car up on the lift, pulled the wheel, etc. I went in to talk about what was wrong. The manager told me that I needed a front crank shaft seal. When I found out what it was going to cost, I told him that I needed a few days to think about it because I didn't know how I was going to pay for it. He obviously didn't want to put it back together, or didn't know how and said that if I would let him fix it that day, he would discount the job 10%.
He also said that he would accept a check dated for my next pay date (9/27) for a portion and he would hold it along with a postdated check for the two weeks following, (10/11) when I would be paid again. I know that this is not lawful to do, but I thought this was a good faith effort on both our parts and a chance for me to pay for my car in installments. I thought he was honest.
He called me on Friday to tell me that he was only able to get the seal from the dealership and it would be until Monday. He called me Tuesday and said he was still working on it. He didn't call Wednesday or Thursday. Friday 9/20 he called to say the car was ready. I was quoted $321 including the 10% discount.
When I asked him why he hadn't called for two days, he said that he had to replace a valve cover gasket and all my plug wires, now bringing my bill to $451.93 including discount. I didn't say much at the time, only that this was money I never counted on spending. The more I thought about it after I got home, I knew that this work was not authorized by me, but I wrote the checks, one for $151.93 for 9/27 and the other for $300 for 10/11.
The car wasn't right. It had a loud whine and there was something wrong with the transmission. The gear shift was hard to go in reverse. (My aunt gave me this car in excellent condition. She also took it back to the dealer for checkups and minor repairs, brakes, etc. She was well off and able to afford to do this). This car was like brand new. I took it for regular oil changes and had the hoses, wires, etc. checked. I was taking care of it the way she would have.
The car was going to be nine years old, and I do admit that it probably needed to have more extensive replacement of certain parts. As soon as I got home I called and spoke to the assistant manager. He said to bring the car back in the following day, which I did. Saturday I went back and left the car. The manager gave me a card to go to a nearby transmission shop assuring me that if this is a result of anything he did, Econo would pay for it.
I drove to the transmission shop. They checked it out the best they could at no charge, but called me later that day to say they would need to take the transmission apart to see what the problem was. The manager at Econo had made arrangements with him to repair the car and that he would pay the bill. It turned out to be Econo's fault.
The transmission shop found a bolt in the transmission. When the manager at Econo repaired my car, he had to jack up the transmission to a degree and apparently dropped a bolt inside, replaced the plate or tray that goes on the transmission, locking the bolt inside. When they found the problem, the bolt at the top was bent at a 90 degree angle. Econo promised to pay them and kept putting the transmission shop off with excuses that he would have to see the owner of Econo to cut a check. My car was now tied up in this shop for over a week. They had a very difficult time extracting the money from them but finally got it.
My transmission is fine, but it still whines. They tell me it is my power steering pump. They also told me I need to replace axles and CV boots. When does it end. I had spoken to the owner about all of this and he was not aware that he owed anybody anything. The manager never discussed it with him. The owner confirmed that by law I would not be obligated to pay for the work that was not authorized, so I placed a stop payment on the check for $300 and rewrote it for the difference. I sent the check to the manager along with a letter asking him to return the $300 check because I had placed a stop on it and at the same time had reissued another in the amount of $145.46 for 10/11.
He never returned the check and I never heard from him again.
Yesterday I go online to look at my checking account balance and see that the check for $151.93 for 9/27 was never cashed. I phoned my bank only to find that the manager at Econo had put that check thourgh three days before the date he promised to hold it for. I speaking to the representative at the bank, she informed me that I should never have been allowed to place a stop payment on the check for $300 dated 10/11 because that check had been put through one whole week prior. Now, I/m charged a total of $30 for Non-Sufficient Funds.
I am really steamed, now. I thought this was a good faith thing. Boy, was I wrong. I've called Econo and the manager is off today 10/18, but I told the clerk who answered the phone that someone owes me $30 in charges, since he didn't hold true to his promise to hold these checks until the date that was on them.
All she said is that she will have him call me tomorrow.
Disgusted and disappointed in Mesa.