• Report: #221494

Complaint Review: Meineke Car Care Center

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  • Submitted: Mon, November 20, 2006
  • Updated: Sat, June 09, 2007

  • Reported By:Farmington Missouri
Meineke Car Care Center
813 Valley Creek Drive Farmington, Missouri U.S.A.

Meineke Car Care Center Damaged and missing parts after "repairs", that had to be corrected by another auto repair shop costing hundreds of dollars. Farmington Missouri

*Consumer Suggestion: Finding a Shop You Can Trust

*Consumer Comment: Exactly...

*Consumer Suggestion: Not that amazing

*Consumer Comment: Why was the dashoard apart?

*Author of original report: I find it amazing...

*Consumer Comment: yes that is what I was getting at

*Consumer Comment: yes that is what I was getting at

*Consumer Comment: yes that is what I was getting at

*Consumer Comment: yes that is what I was getting at

*Consumer Suggestion: Simple to check the bulb

*Consumer Suggestion: It's nearly impossible to remove the bulb for the check engine light!

*Consumer Comment: Did they remove the bulb

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The initial problem started when we had a cooling system flush on our 1994 Honda Accord with approx. 121,000 miles. We smelled antifreeze and noticed a small puddle of antifreeze under the car. A quick inspection showed that the upper radiator hose clamp had not been tightened. We tightened the clamp, returned to Meineke informed them and asked them to check the antifreeze level, which they said was ok.

Several weeks later, we noticed more anti-freeze beneath the car. We took it back to Meineke again, this time we were told the head gasket was leaking and needed replacement, as well as the water pump, timing belt, and power steering belt. We approved the repairs which took approx. two weeks. At this time the car was running very poorly.

Returned to Meineke where the oxygen sensor was replaced, but now the "check engine" light was "on".After several more days we were informed that the number 1 cylinder had very low compression and the head would have to be removed and rechecked. The car ran so poorly after this repair and the new belts were so noisy, we took the car back again and were informed they could find nothing wrong. I suspected the bulb had been removed to extinguish the "check engine" light.

The car was running very poorly at this point (hesitating, bucking, noise)and the accelerator pedal was difficult to depress. My wife, while getting gas at a local station, had a power failure in the car and was unable to unlock the doors or roll the windows down.

Meineke sent a mechanic to the station where he discovered the battery cable had not been tightened and was loose on the terminal. At this time my wife told him of the accelerator problem, and he discovered two cables that had been "crossed".

The car was running so poorly at this point, and after several trips back to Meineke with complaints and no results, we decided to find someone who could fix the mess Meineke had made. We took the car to Abbott Imports in Farmington, Missouri. After a thorough inspection, the mechanic showed us the sloppy repairs, the missing parts (including a motor mount bolt and an exhaust manifold brace), the damaged parts and what he thought it would take to get the car running normally again.

These damaged and missing parts were reported to Sam Greco at Meineke with no positive results. We told Abbott Imports to do the repairs (including the computer and several sensors) which ended up costing $673.70 in addition to nearly $1000.00 we had already paid Meineke.

We took the list of repairs and receipt to Meineke where they refused to acknowledge any damages except a crushed tube from the transmission to the radiator (the transmission now leaks).This entire mess took place over a period of several months, and we were without the use of our car most of the past summer. The car is now running fine after the repairs made by Abbott Imports.

Michael
Farmington, Missouri
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/20/2006 02:48 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Meineke-Car-Care-Center/Farmington-Missouri-63640/Meineke-Car-Care-Center-Damaged-and-missing-parts-after-repairs-that-had-to-be-correcte-221494. 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 Suggestion

Finding a Shop You Can Trust

AUTHOR: Mick - (U.S.A.)

March 2007
Finding a Shop You Can Trust
Source: Automotive Service Association
How do you find a shop you can trust to service your vehicle one that will make you feel confident about your choice and provide quality repairs at a fair price? Here are some tips:

Start with the most obvious. Is the facility neat and clean? Are employees genuinely concerned with your questions and are their answers direct, to the point and reasonable?

Look at the credentials of the business and the employees who will service your vehicle. Most shops will post educational certifications or accomplishments and professional business affiliations in their waiting areas.

Some affiliations to look for include trade association membership, such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA), and membership in the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Look for certification or education offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and the Automotive Management Institute (AMI).

Ask about the equipment used to diagnose and perform the service. Is it up-to-date and are the technicians educated in the proper equipment use?

Make sure a written estimate is provided prior to letting the business begin the repair. A good rule of thumb is to request approval on any changes to the original estimate that exceed 10 percent.

Ask about the shop's warranty. Most automotive service facilities will warranty their parts and labor either in writing or in shop posted announcements.

Ask family, friends and neighbors for their recommendations. Word-of-mouth referrals are the shop's best form of advertising.


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#2 Consumer Comment

Exactly...

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

Nobody is questioning that they caused the problems that you stated, just wanting to know what happened about your check engine light.

You said that you think they did that, and if they actually did then you do have a case against them, whether or not they want to cooperate with you.

They obviously did do something wrong, and if they then tried to cover that up by disabling your check engine light instead of actually repairing the problem, as Mike said- it is another level of rip off, which I am sure your state would love to know about, assuming they regulate auto repair.

You said you took it to another mechanic to have it repaired. Did the mechanic note down on your invoice all the problems with the missing parts, sloppy work, and not completed repairs? Could you get him to give you a written report now? With all of that information you have a very good case against Meineke even if they didn't disable the light, so don't bother with them, and file a complaint with the state.

So yes, we are especially interested in the possibility that they would not only cause damage and problems, but turn around and try to hide them instead of repairing it right.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Not that amazing

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

The reason we were focusing on the possibilty they disabled the check engine light is because that steps the situation up into another level of rip-off. Beyond the shoddy workmanship and unwillingness or inability to make it right, they were then also engaging in deceptive and illegal practices.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Why was the dashoard apart?

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

For a cooling system flush?

And why would you KEEP going back that many times?
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#5 Author of original report

I find it amazing...

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I find it amazing that people focused on the "check engine light" problem. Meineke did at one point have the entire dashboard apart with the explanation they "were looking for a short". Sure. But the main problems were caused by voltage spikes from the loose battery cable. Several sensors were damaged including the computer which had to be replaced.

There is no way to prove the loose cable caused these damages, other than the fact that none of these problems existed before THEY worked on the car! After at first admitting they did leave the cable loose, Meineke now denies ever having admitted it!

I have a lost cause for reimbursement and I know that. My intent was only to warn others. This will be my last comment on this disaster, and if anyone feels Meineke has been unjustly maligned, please take your car to them for repairs. Be my guest.
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#6 Consumer Comment

yes that is what I was getting at

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

The poster said: I suspected the bulb had been removed to extinguish the "check engine" light.

I doubt it is true, but either way he should check, especially if he is making an accusation like that. He never said if they actually did or didn't so I was wondering.

I am sure it does happen occasionally, but more likely the owner of the vehicle either removes the bulb or disables the light in some other manner. My husband took his truck a few years back to get a smog, the technician accused him of removing the bulb which infact had just burned out after um 15 years.
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#7 Consumer Comment

yes that is what I was getting at

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

The poster said: I suspected the bulb had been removed to extinguish the "check engine" light.

I doubt it is true, but either way he should check, especially if he is making an accusation like that. He never said if they actually did or didn't so I was wondering.

I am sure it does happen occasionally, but more likely the owner of the vehicle either removes the bulb or disables the light in some other manner. My husband took his truck a few years back to get a smog, the technician accused him of removing the bulb which infact had just burned out after um 15 years.
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#8 Consumer Comment

yes that is what I was getting at

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

The poster said: I suspected the bulb had been removed to extinguish the "check engine" light.

I doubt it is true, but either way he should check, especially if he is making an accusation like that. He never said if they actually did or didn't so I was wondering.

I am sure it does happen occasionally, but more likely the owner of the vehicle either removes the bulb or disables the light in some other manner. My husband took his truck a few years back to get a smog, the technician accused him of removing the bulb which infact had just burned out after um 15 years.
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#9 Consumer Comment

yes that is what I was getting at

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

The poster said: I suspected the bulb had been removed to extinguish the "check engine" light.

I doubt it is true, but either way he should check, especially if he is making an accusation like that. He never said if they actually did or didn't so I was wondering.

I am sure it does happen occasionally, but more likely the owner of the vehicle either removes the bulb or disables the light in some other manner. My husband took his truck a few years back to get a smog, the technician accused him of removing the bulb which infact had just burned out after um 15 years.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Simple to check the bulb

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

If it was too hard to remove the bulb, the more astute "mechanic" could just go to the ECM and cut the wire that leads to the bulb there. It's still a lot cheaper and simpler than making a proper repair to the engine.

As Jennifer pointed out, all cars with a check engine light also have a "bulb test" function. It is activated by simply turning the key "ON" to the normal run position (but do not start the engine). If it is working properly, the check engine light will light up. On some cars it will go out after a few seconds or on others it'll stay lit until the engine is started.

This is an essential test to do during the test drive of any used car. Also there are lights for the air bags and ABS system if the car is equipped with those systems. You check for disconnected or missing bulbs the same way as the check engine light -- turn key on, but do not start engine.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

It's nearly impossible to remove the bulb for the check engine light!

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Removing that bulb for the check engine light would be nearly impossible, and no mechanic would go through that time and trouble for something so insignificant.

On that Honda, the entire dash face and gauge clusters would have to be removed. This is several hours work.

The only answer in getting paid is small claims court and testimony from the other shop and repair receipts.

Good luck.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Did they remove the bulb

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

from the check engine light? You didn't say after the repairs made if the mechanic found the bulb to be missing. If you start the car the light should come on for a few seconds. If they did remove the bulb that Im sure is illegal and you should report them, actually either way you should file a report with your state don't even bother with Meineke.
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