OK, sent my Pontiac to PepBoys to get it fixed. It wouldn't start. I told them I thought it may be fuel related, but a previous diagnostics (from Pepboys ) indicated a Cam Position Sensor. Any rate, needed checked out. Guy said he wanted a new diagnostics, to keep from having to randomly replace parts looking for the answer. I said OK. Sounded pretty solid to me. Then he calls back needing to put a battery in because mine would not take a charge. Yes it would, I know it would cause I charged it a year ago, and have been driving it since, with no problems. Until the car wouldn't start.
"Fine", says I, "put in a new battery for 94 bucks so you can run your diagnostics". Didn't know they were going to charge me 15 dollars to put in this 94 dollar battery, of course. I called to check on it a few hours later, yes they put in the CPS but they recommended a 4 step pro fuel pkg and tune up and a tune-up pkg, because it looked like it needed it. This was somehow going to jump the price to over 900 bucks. yes, I told a couple people it was 700 bucks because I was starting to feel silly about how much it was costing, but my reasoning was that I was going to get a car totally redone, and purring like a kitten. Then I would have a vehicle that presumably lasted me til I graduate. It did. For a day and a half.
Back to the story: I called them the next day (Sunday) and asked them how it was going. He said they got the car to start, but it would not stay running, they said it needed an ignition module. 120 bucks with labor run round 300 dollars. I said, put the breaks on pal, Im done with this. Forget the tune up and stuff, lets get the car running again. He said the tune up was done already. Really. A tune-up done on a car that isn't running. Right. So now we are looking at 1200 plus. I said Im not paying another dollar to get this car fixed. You guys don't know what you are doing. He said he talked to the supe, and she said eat the ignition module and the labor, get me the car, I ended up paying 800. The car ran like a charm til Wed, I get in it to go to class, won't start. This is the same thing it was doing to begin with. So I towed it right back to PepBoys. Now, today, they said a "MasterTech" looked at it and said the fuel is white. I changed the fuel filter a month ago, and I didn't see any white fuel. It has a gas lid on it. The diagnostics they ran has no codes written down so I can't figure out how much of that stuff should have been done. At the very least, the diagnostics was worthless, because they ended up randomly replacing parts anyways.
Ended up with all that stuff, new belts, plugs and wires, and the cps unit, the module and some other thingy and no FIRE! For another 523 dollars they could hook me right up. The big issue is, this hapens a lot in America. Business doesn't do business professionally or ethically any more. I should have went and bought the tools and the fuel pump and changed the crap myself, and you can believe me, next time I will. But the more peeps do this, the worse it is for the economy. I am not the only person this stuff happens to. I bet there is a veritable army of people out there who just really don't want to do business with anyone. :( So where do we go from here?
****UPDATE****There was nothing wrong with the fuel system in my car. The problem is still in the CPS. First, the wiring harness was fried. Apparently they changed the plug thingy on the end but left the fried wiring while they started randomly replacing parts. Then, the sensor thing is both internal and external. The thing the plug plugs into has a magnet on the inside of the timing cover that sends a signal to the thing with the wires. The magnet also has to be replaced, and the new mechanic has to fish the old magnet out. Incidentally, this is the main reason i wanted a mechanic to do it in the first place. I read this on a Pontiac mechanix fix-it forum, and I don't have the tools to go this far with it, and its a bit above my pay grade. :)
So...IF I had went ahead and let PepBoys drop the tank for 550 bucks, I would, once again, have gotten my car back still screwed up. And a "Master Tech" was the bright boy responsible for this newest diagnosis. I think I should get my money back. First, the diagnostics report is blank, so I dunno if they should even have replaced the other stuff. 85 bucks for a 4 step fuel tune up pkg that apparently turned my fuel white. I told them they could take all the belts and battery stuff back off but they said my stuff had already been picked up and tossed. The new mechanic, fixing the real problem, is going to need 578 dollars. At the least, PepBoys should pay for this, since it was part of the first issue that was supposed to be fixed.