Here is my story. Back in July, I purchased a used car from a private seller. Car was an older Mercedes C280. Seller told me it needed an oil change ASAP, and probably a tune-up. I actually have an honest mechanic that I normally use, but he was on vacation at the time and I really wanted to tune the car up before I drove it, as I was taking it on a trip. So, I then turned to a mechanic that my wife and I used previously before we found the vacationing "honest mechanic".
This mechanic that we no longer used gave me a line of bull, telling me he was very busy and couldn't work on the car until a week later. But, he told me, his shop was now supposedly "affiliated" with another shop around the corner called G & J, and they could probably work on the car immediately. So, I took the car around the corner to G & J. The guys were really nice and the shop was brand new and full of new equipment. I immediately thought this would translate into higher prices being passed along to me, but I really wanted the car tuned up immediately, so I gave them a chance.
Before buying the car, I did lots of research and went on several Mercedes owner discussion boards and got lots of good advice. Some of the most important advice that I got was to NEVER use Bosch platinum or any other "fancy" sparkplugs, only use the original Bosch plugs that came with the car. When I tried to relay this advice to the mechanics, the lead mechanic kept cutting me off and telling me "Do you know who Ray Catena is? (he is a big Mercedes dealer up here in North Jersey...) When I replied in the affirmative, he told me "I worked for Ray Catena for 20 years as his lead mechanic, I know these cars inside and out, and besides, we NEVER use any parts other than what the manufacturer specifically recommends. Since MB obviously recommended the regular Bosch plugs, I thought this would not be an issue. Besides, I really dont like telling people their business.
When I picked the car up the next morning, I saw the empty boxes for the Bosch Platinum plugs. I was so pissed I could barely talk. I asked the mechanic if he remembered our discussion from the previous day, he kept changing the subject. And he charged me like $20 each for those plugs. Next they told me they did me a "favor" because the check engine light indicated that my PCV valve needed to be replaced, but that they cleaned the old PCV valve instead of replacing it, saving me money. Next, the same mechanic that ignored my specific instructions not to use the platinum plugs then tried to have me listen to the motor while he told me I supposedly had a valve tap, trying to talk me into a second appointment, presumably so that they could have a second crack at lying to me and persuading me into spending more money needlessly for another problem that didnt exist.
Fast forward a month later, I took the car back to my "regular" honest mechanic to have the platinum plugs ripped out replaced with the right ones. I mentioned the PCV valve and the supposed valve tap as well. The next day, I was very surprised to learn that not only did my car NOT EVEN HAVE a PCV valve, it also did not have a valve tap.
So, to sum up my experience, the mechanics at G & J High Tech Auto:
A- ignored my specific instructions about the parts I wanted to use (and risked damage to my car) B- lied to me about cleaning a PCV valve that did not even exist, and
C- lied to me about a non-existent valve tap in order to try and con me into bringing the car back and spending more money.
I do not think that these guys are honest. From my 20 + years of experience owing cars, honesty is a necessary attribute in an auto mechanic, as there are so many leeches and liars out there. Take your car to one of the many other shops in Newark or elsewhere, stay far away from these lying and dishonest connivers.