Report: #507135

Complaint Review: Midas Auto Service

  • Submitted: Fri, October 09, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, September 15, 2011
  • Reported By: K — Oak Ridge Tennessee USA
  • Midas Auto Service
    120 Illinois Ave.
    Oak Ridge, Tennessee
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I took my vehicle to the Midas Auto Center in my town to have a simple oil change performed. Let me start by saying this car has NEVER leaked a drop of oil.

Well I took my vehicle in for an oil change, which took the expected amount of time. During that time the store manager David came out into the lobby and asked me if I knew there was a chatter in the valves. I advised him I was aware of this and that the car has been doing that since the day I got the car two years prior. Then we briefly discussed adjusting the valves when I told him what I was quoted by an outside repair facility he advised me that they could do it for less. Since I was not expecting to do anything but the oil change on this visit I did not have the money on me to have this done. So David advised I should get it done soon and went back into the bay.

A short time later David returned to the lobby and told me that the car was done and handed my the repair order neatly folded up. Since I had my 11 month old son with me I just wanted to get out of there. (Which I suppose is my fault for not looking over the paper until later).

I had to take the vehicle out of town to get my husband which was just short of a 400 mile round trip. At the time of this trip the car acted fine and performed as it normally does. However, the next morning I took one of my children to school and noticed a dinner plate sized puddle of oil under my car. Needless to say I was highly upset. (again the vehicle never leaked a drop of oil before the oil change).

I looked at the repair order at that time and noticed it stated there was an oil leak around the oil pan. This was not verbally communicated to me at the time the vehicle was returned to me.

I called David and advised him the car was leaking oil and he asked me to bring it back in right then. It took me a few hours to get things settled at the house before I was able to take them the car back. They put the vehicle on the lift and advised me there was oil all over the driver side under carriage (which was shown to me at that time). I was told that it was old oil and had been there for a long time. I called my husband who then came in to look at the car. When he touched the oil it was still yellow. I had lost about a quart of oil in my 400 mile trip. Which I attribute to a new leak since the oil was still yellow.

After some back and forth with David about the cause of the leak, it was agreed that they would locate the leak and fix it with a 50% discount on the labor and we would pay full cost for the parts. We were also advised that the timing belt was past factory recommended change time during this back and forth conversation.

My husband told David that since they were going to have the engine apart trying to find the leak that we wanted to go ahead and have the timing belt changed and the valves adjusted. David was told that the cost of the repair and belt replacement did not matter we just needed to know the final cost so that we could have the money wired from his boss out of state.

David hem hawed around and told us "Our main concern is locating and fixing the leak so that is what we are going to do. Then you can bring the vehicle back in on Monday and we can do the rest of it." On numerous occasions my husband told him we wanted it all done at the same time. And it was one excuse after another. Things such as "it will take hours and I only have one tech working tomorrow." and blah blah blah.

We finally relented after we were told that they would find the leak and update us on what needed to be done to fix it. We finally went home and a few hours later we were contacted and advised that the upper cam seal (no leak was found near the oil pan as originally stated on the first repair order) was leaking and that there was no way they could have caused this to happen. We were then told that it is being fixed and they would call us when it was done.

I received a call at about 5:30 telling me the car was almost done and we could come and get it. So my husband went to get the car. He inspected it and agreed there was no signs of leakage at that time. So he brought me the car, we then went to go get his vehicle from the Midas parking lot and while driving the half a mile there I realized that the car was running rough and that it had very little power.

So when we got back to Midas it was mentioned to the tech that the car was not running right and that there was a loud metallic clanking noise when you accelerate. They put the vehicle back on the lift after test driving it to see if they could hear the noise. Once they poked around under the hood for a little bit we were advised that there was oil on the timing belt which caused it to stretch so the car was jumping time. The tech then "adjusted the timing belt". And the car ran a little better. We were also advised there was a spark knock and were advised to putter higher grade gas in the car and change gas stations every time we fill up until the spark knock is gone.

They were advised that I had to take my husband back to work out of town (another 400 mile round trip) and I was assured that the vehicle should make it. I asked all of the techs in the shop if they would take their children or family in that car on the trip I had to take. And I got a few flippant remarks about how they wouldn't take their children to that destination in ANY vehicle. Which upset me since I did not find any humor in the situation. I was then told that the vehicle should be fine until Monday and was reminded I should bring the vehicle back to get the other work done that my husband had repeatedly requested be done that day.

So I test drove the car and felt that the jumping time issue wasn't that bad and that I could "deal" until Monday since I was told it should be fine. My family proceeded to leave and head out on the road. The vehicle did okay on the way there. I parked it over night and left to come home about 9 in the morning the next day. I got almost 30 miles and decided to pull of at a gas station to get drinks and snacks. At the top of the off ramp the vehicle stalled. I thought "no big deal its a standard transmission, lets try this again"

The vehicle then stalled about every 15-20 feet. Every time I pressed the clutch to shift into 3rd gear the car would stall again. I limped it into the gas station and immediately called my husband to let him know the car is messing up and I didn't think it would get us the 200 miles back home. He then told me to try and drive the car the 30 miles back to where he was. I tried to drive the vehicle past the stalling and did not even get it out of the parking lot and the check engine light came on.

Of course I am upset and my three young children are scared that we were gonna be stranded in the middle of no where. I called my husband again and he and a friend of his brought a truck to tow the vehicle back to where he was.

We got the car back and immediately called around for a repair shop in the area. We were not able to get the car in that day since it was Saturday and were told that we would have to wait until Monday.

Stranded in a small town all weekend was very stressful not to mention the fact I had NO choice to be there and No way to get home. Monday morning came along and we got the car into the shop. After several hours my husband was shown the damage to the engine. The cam lobes were chewed up. We were advised that the vehicle would need new heads, a new cam shaft, and new valves. Not to mention the fact that there was one ( 1 ) quart of oil in an engine with a 3.5 qt capacity. We were quoted $800 for the repair.

Since we did not have that kind of money we could not get the vehicle repaired at the time. A gentleman from the repair shop was kind enough to tow the vehicle and me and my children home for a small fee.

When I got home I contacted the Midas Corporate office since I am done dealing with the people out at this Midas. I was sent an email advising me that the complaint has been forwarded to the franchise owners.

The next day I was contacted by Bruce the co-owner of the franchise. I explained the situation in great detail and told him that I didn't feel it was fair that my car was running fine before the oil change and now I am having serious engine problems with it. He told me that he would have the vehicle towed the their Maryville location and they would look at it and see what they could do.

I then got a call from the other co-owner Bruce's brother David (not to be confused with the manager of the Oak Ridge Midas). David came and got my car and I again explained the situation and what I was told was wrong with the car. A short while later my car was on the trailer and on its way to Maryville.

After most of the day had past I was called and advised that they did not find evidence of the damage mentioned to Bruce and David. I advised Bruce of the place the vehicle was diagnosed and was told he would call them and speak to them about the car.

I was told that the vehicle needed a new timing belt, the valves adjusted, and that he recommended replacing the water pump since it drives the timing belt. They also recommended fuel system maintenance (including a new fuel filter) and all the front belts and a few other things. I was then told that I would be called back with a price for this "servicing".

I received a call from Andrew (whom I assume is a service writer at the Maryville store) and was advised that the price of the timing belt replacement and the water pump was a little over $535. And with the other items mentioned the grand total was over a thousand dollars.

I was absolutely flabbergasted. Considering this repair bill which was now over $200 more then the outside repair shop had quoted me and did not even include the head work, the cam shaft replacement or the valve repair. I asked Andrew why the actual engine issues the vehicle was brought there for was not even looked at. He told me he would have to talk to the tech and he would call me back. I told him he needed to call my husband and explain it to him since he was the one who seen the damage to the cam lobes.

A short time later I got a call from my husband and was told that they claimed there was never a mention about the cam/head/valve issue so it was not even looked at. And after further inspection the damage was noticed. My husband then told me that he told them to just bring the car back to me and that he was told they would call me and let me know when they would be bringing it to me.

About an hour went by and no word about my car and its return to me, I called the shop and spoke with Andrew about having the car returned to me and I was told that he was waiting on David to return to the shop and that he would give me a call when they were bringing it back.

Approximately 6 hours before their shop closed is when I spoke with Andrew... The whole day went by and no word of my car.

I am certain that at this time Midas will NOT take responsibility for the shoddy work that caused my engine damage. I am also certain that they will claim all the damage was done prior to the oil change service.

But most of all I want the world as well as my family and friends to know that this Midas group does not care about customer satisfaction. They are really good at trying to placate their customers enough to get them out of the shop. But over all they care nothing about the work they do.

I am pretty sure someone from their shop(s) will read this and write a rebuttal explaining why this is not their fault. And that they have a 15 year reputation in the area as a good repair shop, and that they pride themselves on customer satisfaction. I have seen it from other postings on this sight regarding work done at their location.

But I have proof from and independent repair facility that this damage was caused from the engine being starved of oil. Which happened when I drove the vehicle on my trip after it was improperly serviced.

So, I am left with three small children I can not get to and from anywhere. I am dependent on neighbors for a ride to the grocery store so that I can provide for them. As well as a hefty bill I can not pay. And no word as to when I will actually get the friggin car back.

I also know that it may be construed as my fault  since I did not check the oil when my car left Midas the second time. But that is because I stupidly "trusted the Midas touch".

As a side note, I have had past issues with this Midas and stupidly gave them another chance.

In 2006 I took a different vehicle I owned to Midas (this same shop in Oak Ridge) for a brake repair. Which cost me about $300. When I drove the vehicle  home (about 3.5 blocks) the front tire fell off the car. My neighbor was in the car with me at the time to witness this. I thought "no big deal, they left the lug nuts loose. Human error." I walked to the local auto parts store bought new lug nuts for the car and put the tire back on. Later that day I took the vehicle to another local service station where they determined there was no physical damage to the car. When I decided " no harm, no foul." and nothing was brought up about it. Since I do understand that it is a simple mistake and it could happen to anyone. And it did not seem worth the time or effort to fight about it since there was no damage done.

Even after all that I decided to trust Midas again since you know, its just an oil change.... HAH!!!

Never again will I take anything I own to Midas since they will not own up to what they did to my car and I'm pretty sure they are not going to fix it with out an exorbitant price tag for which I will be responsible.


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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/09/2009 10:35 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Tech1 - (U.S.A.)

This is what happens when you let butchers work on your car. I would never trust a independent shop with a timing belt I have had to fix to many of them. If they recommended such a repair and would not do it GO TO A DIFFERENT STORE/DEALER they would have had you out the door before lunch and you would have had no problems.
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#2 General Comment

me43 here

AUTHOR: Bill d - (U.S.A.)

um----to the author---you make sense-but---i do hope you undersstand that you make no sense---sounds to me you neglected a cam seal leak which can also cause oil to leak all over the timing belt and not to mention lose oil which can starve the cams for oil and ruin them-----umm--the oil was yellow cause they just changed it?!--dah?!?!----if they were so in the wrong why are you negotating with them about a price to fix your car?!---it sounds to me like you pull a stunt blame them--and the p* *sales manger gives in---now--to appease your dumb as-*with your little 50% off the labor deal-guess who gets screwed on that--the mechanic that gets paid flat rate--now his pay for the job is 50% off--nice goin lady who doesn't take care of her car and her equally dumb husband who doesn't give a sh* about your car--if you don't--why should he?-------now you want to blame everyone for your problems------in any case----again--i guess the biggest jerk off in all this is believe it or not-not you---but---the di*head manger who did not stand up to your dumb a$s and sent your a*s packin if you did not want to do the job for the fair price---i would not screw my mechanic--not for your dumb a$s--even if you are hot--that s**t doesn't matter to me---and you hot stupid bi*hes will get nothing from me-hence why you will keep tryin to get it
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#3 Consumer Comment

Similar Experience at the Same Store

AUTHOR: Travis - (United States of America)

I had a similar experience at the same store. I called about getting brakes put on my car and was told with parts and labor it would run $250. I felt it was reasonable and brought my wife brought the car down there while I was at work. They told her the price was $700 and that was before they did an inspection. She told me about the "bait and switch" and I called the owner and the BBB. After the BBB stepped in, the owner offered to do "just the front brakes for $250". I refused because I felt if they were so quick to try to rip off my wife, they did not deserve my money. I went to budget brakes in Knoxville and got all 4 brakes changed for $200 (which was the same exact price they quoted over the phone) and have not had a problem with them since.
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#4 Author of original report

Response to previous poster.


Thank you for your rebuttal.

But I did not purchase the car new. It had all regularly scheduled maintenance performed. The timing belt on the car is NOT the original belt. And Honda recommends every 60,000 miles NOT 35,000.

The damage to the engine according to a shop not related to Midas was caused by running the vehicle starved of oil. The vehicle never had an oil leak I have never ran the vehicle low on oil. Not to mention the fact I have regularly scheduled oil changes.

That was done when Midas did not properly refill the oil at the time of the repair. And I took the vehicle out of town on a road trip.

Trust me when I tell you that I would LOVE to have my vehicle serviced by a Honda dealership or an authorized Honda repair shop. Hell to be honest, I would love to have anyone but Midas work on the car, but when you live in a small town and your pickings are very slim and no one can get you in in a timely manner, choices are very limited.

Instead of waiting for my regular place to get me in (the next day) I was in a hurry since I had to take the vehicle out of town. Yes I understand that I should have planned better and get it done a little sooner, but like most people, my life is hectic and it fell through the cracks.

I am offended by the fact you seem to think I am in idiot. I know Midas is best known for their brake and exhaust work, however, an oil change is a simple procedure and any monkey with a lift and the tools can do one. However, I live in an apartment complex that prohibits any type of vehicle repair on the premises not to mention the fact I do not have the proper jacks or tools to do an oil change.

But again, thank you for your "input".

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#5 Consumer Comment

Please read your owners manual

AUTHOR: jackster - (USA)

Mrs ,

  I certainly understand your frustration BUT if you had read your owners manual you would have known you missed the time to have that timing belt changed by about 35,000 miles .

   I own Hondas and that is the one thing you cannot put off . It is the ONE thing that can cause engine damage .  You car would've easily made it to 245,000 miles if this maintence procedure had been done at the proper mileage . 

  Lastly while a Midas Auto Center might be a great place for brake / exhaust jobs or minor repairs I would NEVER let them do the type of work you are asking them to do .

    You need a mechanic that specializes working on Hondas .  I.E a dealer or certified Honda mechanic .

  I feel bad for you as it sounds like major engine damage has occured and probably happended before they touched your car .  Good luck .

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#6 Author of original report

Got the car back today.


They finally brought my car back to me a little while ago. When I questioned David about why the issues the vehicle was brought into them about was not discussed he did not have an answer for me.

He then proceeded to tell me that they highly recommend the timing belt replacement and that should be a priority. The even though after the valve adjustment the vehicle is losing compression the car can still be driven.

I was advised the timing belt is in danger of immanent failure and that it would leave me stranded if it breaks. But the damage to the heads and the cam shaft would not immediately fail it would just get worse over time. And that the repair would end up costing me more then the car is worth.

I understand the information he gave me, what I don't understand is WHY the requested repairs were not done even though my husband requested MULTIPLE times during the original repair that they be done? Why I am now responsible for damage caused to my engine (which will probably result in a repair bill costing more then the car is worth) which is a direct result of repairs/ or lack there of requested at the time of the oil leak repair?

Why is it this company prides themselves on customer satisfaction and yet they have left me out to dry?

Please don't get me wrong, both David and his brother Bruce were very polite. And quite pleasant to work with. But being polite and pleasant to work with does not fix my car.

I feel shafted because I trusted Midas to do an oil change on my car. I also trusted Midas of Maryville to fix my car when they came and towed it to their shop. If I would have known they were not going to address the concerns caused by the Oak Ridge store I would not have wasted my time or theirs by having the vehicle taken to their shop.

They did adjust the valves at no cost to me, but what good does it do? After the valve adjustment the car is losing compression? Sounds to me like it just caused more problems then the car already had.

And YES my husband requested they just bring the car back to me. But that is because it had become obvious at that point that they are not going to fix the issues we brought to their attention.

During one of my conversations with Bruce I did tell him that I was aware of the mileage and that the Timing Belt repair would be my responsibility, and that I did not have a problem paying for that repair. And still they made no attempt to make right on the engine damage according to Andrew the service writer, the tech was not even advised there was engine damage so he did not know to look for it. (WHAT?? the tech wasn't told about the reason the vehicle was brought to him??)

I feel totally ripped off by Midas and I don't even know what recourse I have at this point other then to take the car to someone else (since I have to have my car) and pay the ENTIRE costly repair bill. Which I will NEVER feel is fair or right.

Just as a side note, Anyone who knows about cars may be interested to know that this is a Honda Civic with about 145,000 miles on it. Yes 145,000 miles seems like high mileage on the average car, but like I said, this is a Honda and anyone who has ever had one or known anyone who has had one will agree that this is low mileage for this vehicle.

Any advise on how to get this issue taken care of or what my next step should be would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You for listening.

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