I am writing this because I suspect either blatant fraud or considerable incompetence or just plain rudeness. To begin, I took my car in on November 6th, 2011 at 2pm to the Woodland Hills Pep Boys to check on an evap leak as indicated on an initial assessment at the Reseda Pep Boys. Prior to this, my car had shown the check engine light. I took it in to the Pep Boys in Woodland Hills because I was told that they were one of the few that had the machine that could run the particular diagnostic that my vehicule required.
The initial evaluation suggested that the fuel cap was loose and that there was a small vacume hose under the car that was torn. The mechanic replaced the hose at no charge to me. For this I was thankful. After this, I was told that the check engine light would turn off after about 50 miles. After about 70 miles, I decided to take my vehicule back to the Woodland Hills Pep Boys to inquire on why the check engine light was still on. I was told that it may be due to my need to replace the actual gas cap. I then purchased a new gas cap.
I asked about my check engine light still being on. The mechanic told me that the light should go off in a matter of 50 miles or so. So I drove it off again. But again, not surprisingly, the engine light did not go off. I then went back to the Pep Boys after driving an additional 50-70 miles during that week. I demanded that they check my vehicule since I had already paid for the diagnostic. They did not seem to thrilled about my request. I indicated that since I had paid that the service included them having to diagnose what the problem was.
They told me that for that it would require that I pay for an additional diagnostic until the problem/leak was addressed. I said I suspected fraud since I had already paid and it clearly had not diagnosed the problem. A mechanic came out to check my car with a manual hand-held device, to which he showed me on his electronic tool three different codes that came up. He said that my vehicule still had a problem, three problems. I suspected that they were up to something. So I asked that my check engine light needed to be reset.
They said that that would not fix the problem since the hand-held device clearly indicated that there were additional leaks and needed to run an actual diagnostic that would come at an additional charge. I refused to budge in to their request that I run an additional diagnostic. Instead, I asked for the check engine light to be reset. The mechanic obliged to my request. I said I would be back when the check engine light went back on, which I of course doubted would occur since nothing to this point really seemed to be adding up. To this day, the engine light has not gone back on and it has been 2,000 miles.
Today I called the Pep Boys in Woodland Hills to relate all of this to the mechanic answering the phone on staff. Ironically, the same guy who I've interacted on several occasions, Martin, changed his story over the phone, and actually makes sense now. He told me that standard procedure is to reset the check engine light after the problem has been fixed. He seemed to ignore the fact that not once did they recommend doing this during my three discussions with the mechanics on my previous visits there. Instead, he seemed annoyed and aggravated that I would even relate what I quite clearly documented on my three visits there.
Not sure if it is sheer incompetence, or ability to manipulate unsuspecting clients such as myself, or perhaps blatant fraud. I suspect it is all three. I am VERY GLAD that I did not follow through on their misguided advice as I can only imagine what kinds of problems they would have diagnosed. I won't go into my assumptions about anything beyond this review, as I simply wish to relate the events as objectively and honestly as I can. Hope this helps and triggers red flags for some possible scams out there that I am sure tend to occur more often than most people may imagine. Thanks again for the opportunity to allow clients to document these kinds of episodes.