This report deals with a few companies. The companies in question are the AutoZone in Davenport, Iowa, the Pennzoil "Grease Spot" oil change center in Galesburg, Illinois, and Tech 4 Automotive in Muscatine, Iowa.
I had a check engine light come on in my '01 Mustang. I brought it to the AutoZone in Davenport because they do free "check engine light" testing. The employee told me that the code that came up on the computer meant I had a bad EGR valve. He never said it could be any other problem.
While I was getting my oil changed at the Pennzoil "Grease Spot" in Galesburg, I decided to get a second opinion. The employees there also said I had a bad EGR valve and that it was "stuck open." However, they told me it was located WITHIN/UNDER the intake manifold, which was simply a flat out lie.
With this information, I went to Tech 4 Automotive and told them I would need my EGR valve replaced. Without any questions or any sort of diagnostic, they replaced the valve. I guess they assumed I was a mechanic who knew how to diagnose the specific problem, but wasn't able to make this fairly simple repair myself (it looks like it's held on by one bolt, and a couple hoses/tubes attach to it. That's all).
This repair only took about 15 minutes, 20 tops, yet they charged me for ".70" hours of labor (~42 minutes). Also, they have a "code of ethics" posted in the front lobby, in which the first one says something along the lines of "We'll make recommendations on how to fix your vehicle and we'll fix it right the first time," which they failed to do.
They then tried to tell me they could NOW diagnose it, but it would cost $60, but they'd waive the diagnostic fee IF I decided to get whatever problem they found fixed at their location for whatever price they'd want to charge.
1. AutoZone in Davenport, IA told me I had a specific problem, although I found out later from a different store that those computers can't tell you a SPECIFIC problem... they can only give you a ballpark estimate.
2. Pennzoil in Galesburg, IL "diagnosed" the same exact problem, saying I had a faulty "stuck open" EGR valve, although I don't know how they diagnosed it since they apparently didn't even know where it was.
3. Tech 4 Automotive charged me for a part I didn't need (although, technically, this is what I asked them for), didn't strive to "fix it right the first time" as per their posted code of ethics, overcharged me for labor, and then tried to sell me a $60 diagnosis, which they said they'd waive if I got whatever problem they found fixed at their shop for whataver price they wanted to charge.