• Report: #70852

Complaint Review: Midas Auto Service Experts

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  • Submitted: Mon, November 03, 2003
  • Updated: Mon, November 03, 2003

  • Reported By:Hemet California
Midas Auto Service Experts
501 West Florida Avenue Hemet, California U.S.A.
  • Phone: 909-652-5962
  • Web:
  • Category: Mechanics

Midas Auto Service Experts ripoff deceptive dishonest unqualified mechanics Hemet California

*Author of original report: Attempted ripoff at the Midas auto repair center in Hemet

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Midas Auto Service Experts?! Ha!

My rear brakes were making noise. I have front disc brakes, and rear drums. My fiance is a car/motorcycle expert who had checked out both sets of brakes the week before and determined I just needed the drums turned, and said when the drums are turned new pads should be installed also due to wear.

We took my vehicle into Midas and spoke to the manager. He said it was standard procedure to check both sets of brakes so my fiance and I left, stating what needed to be done to the rear brakes. We left with an estimate of about $180.00

We checked back later, and were told the front brakes were bad by a kid who looked to be about 20 years old. He looked completely bored with the entire scenario when my fiance looked at the disc brakes and pointed out to the "mechanic" and the manager that all was fine. The manager agreed and said there was nothing wrong; so we left.

We received a phone call stating there was something else wrong with the rear, and it looked like the drum couldn't be turned because of the ridge(s) inside. My fiance pointed out they could be turned one more time, the ridge and wear pattern was even. There was no uneven wear on the pads. The manager again agreed with this assessment and we left.

Then we received another phone call; my right rear cylinder was leaking and the uncertified "expert" "who had 23 years experience under his belt" thought this was unsafe. My fiance pointed out there was no fluid on the inside of the tire or any fluid anywhere. The so called "expert" pressed on the cylinder with his finger causing a few drops of fluid to exude. Of course fluid is going to come out if you press on it! Duh!

By the time we walked into the lobby area and spoke to the manager, my bill exceeded $400.00 if I agreed to have all the "necessary" repairs done.

In the managers defense; he clearly stated to me all his mechanics are not certified and he knew nothing about automotive mechanics. He depended on his mechanics being honest and telling him what's wrong.

They had already turned my drums; so I had them put the old pads back on; and my vehicle brakes don't make a sound now.

The manager waived all fees, so I got my drums turned for free. If my fiance hadn't been been with me, and been a knowledgeable person in this matter I would have been ripped off for between $400 - $500.00.

Mindy
Hemet, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/03/2003 12:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Midas-Auto-Service-Experts/Hemet-California-92543/Midas-Auto-Service-Experts-ripoff-deceptive-dishonest-unqualified-mechanics-Hemet-Californ-70852. 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 Author of original report

Attempted ripoff at the Midas auto repair center in Hemet

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

My fiance's report on the Midas Madness scenario.
--------------------------------

When we got to the store we explained to the service manager that there was a squeaking/howling noise coming from the rear brakes when applying them as the Toyota SR5 was moving in reverse. I explained to the service manager that I had already checked the brakes front and rear, and the front brakes were fine but the rear brake shoes did not have normal wear patterns on them. The drums needed to be turned as they had an uneven surface. We stated that we wanted both rear drums turned and new lifetime warranty shoes installed. The service manager wrote up a quote that my fiance signed (it is her truck), on this quote or estimate is stated the work we requested and the price of approximately $176. He said the inspection would be done in about an hour, so we said we would return after breakfast.

When we returned to the store we were greeted with a bill that had gone from $176 to over $400 at which we were aghast. I asked the manager to explain why it had gone up so drastically. The manager, my fiance and I, all three, went out to the truck to go over the mechanics notes. The mechanic noted that the front rotors were under specifications for thickness and the pads needed to be changed. I pointed out that although the rotors were slightly under spec (a few thousandths) the rotors were otherwise in great shape. The surfaces were very smooth and the disc pads had 75% or more of the pad still left. I physically showed this to the manager and his comment was well I can see you don't need new disc pads and the rotors look OK, I'm sorry, I'm just going by what the mechanic wrote up. He asked if there was any pulsing when applying the brakes or any fade. We told him no, in fact the truck brakes overall worked just fine. There was no pulsing, no pedal fade and no pulling to one side or the other. We again stated the ONLY problem was the noise made when braking while the truck was going in reverse.

We then went to the rear brakes. I asked to see the specs on the drum diameter and the mechanic had not checked it, he checked the front rotors but not the brake drums which was what the work order was for in the first place. The mechanic said he didn't check the drums because they probably would not clean up. The manager first told us that the shoes were in good shape and didn't need to be changed and the drums were probably OK. I was, to say the least, surprised and aggravated by this comment. Which is it, won't clean up or probably OK? So, I then proceeded to show him the uneven and unusual wear patterns on the shoes and he said that came from the brakes not being adjusted properly. During this time the mechanic checked the drum diameters and they were 252 mm & 253 mm. the drums were stamped with MAX. DIA. 256 mm. The computer generated spec that the manager was looking at said 10.050 in. and to that the mechanic said you can't go by that, they are always wrong, well 256 mm equals 10.079 in., pretty close I'd say. The difference between 256 and the two drums at 252 and 253 are .160 in. and .120 in. respectively thereby giving a .060 ~ .080 in. cut and the drums had .010~.020 in. surface variation. They would clean up just fine.

Then I had him feel the drum surface and he said it probably should be turned, but we could still use the old shoes since they still have some good lining on them to which I replied, then you would be braking with improperly worn shoes on a newly resurfaced drum and for the price of approximately $37 for new lifetime warranty shoes it would be much better to just put new shoes on. He readily agreed. So we went back into the office and worked out an agreement that the rear brake drums would be turned and new lifetime warranty shoes would be installed for the original $176 because all the hardware looked to be in fine shape. A new quote was printed out and signed. We left and planned on returning in about an hour or so.

About a half an hour later we received a call that the rear wheel cylinders needed to be replaced and one was not working at all. Also the hardware needed to be replaced. Even though it appeared to be fine, the mechanic said the springs were fatigued. I told the manager we would be down there very shortly to discuss the new discoveries.

When we went out to the truck and talked with this uncertified mechanic with 23 years of experience (at what who knows?) I asked him why he thought the cylinder was bad. He asked how many miles does the truck have on it? I replied just over 204,000. He said well that's why, they're old and need to be replaced I thought to myself how do you know these are the originals, you didn't ask that, you just assumed. He then said watch this as he pushed the cylinder rod in until it distorted the seal and caused the seal lip to leak. I told him that doesn't mean anything because the whole entire assembly was dry, it had never leaked. If it had, the brake assembly, the brake drum and the inside of the wheel would all have been wet and you would have had to add fluid to the reservoir. The brake assembly was dry, the brake shoes and the brake drum was dry as well as the inside of the wheel and the reservoir had not needed fluid added in several months. I also pointed the nearly equal amount on wear on the left and right pairs of shoes and stated that if a cylinder was not working then there would be no wear on those shoes. The mechanic with 23 years of experience said that doesn't mean anything, it could still be bad. I then explained to him that if one wheel cylinder was not working properly then the truck would veer to the opposite side when braking. He said not if it is the rear brakes, it won't. I told him sure it would, not as bad as if it were the front brakes but it still would, even a low tire pressure on one side can cause the vehicle to pull to one side. If only one side of the rear brakes was working the truck would pull to the opposite side when braking and the harder you were braking the harder it would pull. He said no it wouldn't, not with the rear brakes. I then asked him why he thought the springs were fatigued and I wanted to see his spring gauge. He said what spring gauge? I don't even know what that is. I explained a spring gauge to him and he said you don't need nothing like that, just look at them, they look old. Whether you use a spring gauge or not, you can't tell if a spring is fatigued unless you stretch it, unless it is so eroded that it is smaller in diameter which these were not. By the way, he picked up the main spring and tried to bend it sideways with his hand to show me how fatigued it was and the spring just kept returning to it's original position.

I became so angered at dealing with this person, that I told the manager that we just wanted to have the truck put back together; and leave because the mechanic was lying and we felt we were being ripped off. And that we would be sure to let everyone that we know in our community (that we have lived in for over thirty years), just how bad, dishonest and swindling this Midas store is. I told him all I wanted was to get the rear drums turned and new shoes put on and twice they tried to talk us into items that were unnecessary and costly. The manager then said he would do just that and at the original quote. I said that would be appreciated and we left.

A few minutes later we got called by the manager and he said that he talked with the corporate office and he was told he could not offer the lifetime warranty unless they replaced all the parts mentioned. The brake drums had already been turned. We told fine, just put it back together. The manager had the truck put back together and gave it to us at no charge. There was no charge for the drums being turned nor for the inspection and dishonest recommendations.

This has been by far the worst experience I have had with a service center of any kind. The blatant dishonesty displayed by the mechanics involved, one on the front brakes and a different one for the rear brakes, is appalling. The manager tried and did well with being courteous and even admitted understanding the points I made. However he said he is not a mechanic and has to trust his staff, I think he needs a new staff. The last thing he said to us was I'm sorry but I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.

The truck by the way, is working just fine and no irritating noise. Damn, it could all have been so easy. But as it turns out, we lost most of the day going back and forth. We suffered untold frustrations and we will not spend time or money with Midas again. But you can believe we WILL participate in the best advertising a place like that could have and that is word of mouth. Too bad it is such negative publicity they will get.
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