I gave my used 2000 Toyota Camry to Pepboys, Sunnyvale, for an inspection. Pepboys mechanic called me and told that there was an oil leak. I agreed for a diagnostic test using tracer dye. They told me that they found that the oil pan gasket was leaking and it would cost $500 to fix it. I agreed to that.
Just a couple of hours later they called me and told me that they fixed it and I could pick up the car. I was surprised that they could do it so fast. I picked up my car. A month later I realized that the oil leak was still there and I took my car back to them.
They asked me to leave the car for a couple of days so that they could figure out the issue. I agreed to that. When I went there after a couple of days, they told me that the bolts on the oil pan gasket were not torqued correctly and that is the reason for the oil leak and that they have tightened the bolts.
The service manager assured me that they ran the engine for an hour and could not see any oil leaks. Hence he concluded that it has been fixed for good. After 15 days, I realized that they had not really fixed the oil leak. But due to my other engagements, I could not take the car (every time I took the car and left it at Pepboys I had to go without a ride for the time my car was there).
After a month, I managed to find the time to go to Pepboys , and the original mechanic who worked on the oil leak had hoisted my car up and showed where it was leaking from - supposedly from the pump and not from the oil pan gasket as they told earlier. They told that sometimes a leak in one place could not be detected until all other leaks were fixed.
I talked to the store manager, she asked me to come on a Monday morning to meet with the service manager to sort out the issues. I went and met with the service manager, the same guy. He was not very pleased to see me there. He acted as though he was doing me a favour. He brusquely informed me that they would not touch the car again till I got the engine steam cleaned. It was possible to identify the location of the leak only after that and that he did not want to keep "guessing the location of the leak. My question to them is why did not tell me this, at the beginning. How did he get this brainwave then, and not the first time I gave them the car for inspection.
They just took my 500$ and told that the problem was fixed. The service manager kept "explaining" how difficult it was to detect an oil leak. If they realize that fixing an oil leak was so difficult, why did they not do it right the first time, after insisting on getting it steam cleaned. Why were they playing trial and error at the cost of my time and money?
My suspicion is that they did not do any tracer dye diagnosis of the oil leak , just did a visual inspection of the leak and decided it was leaking at the oil pan gasket and , claimed to have "fixed" it and charged me 500$.
san jose, California