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  #1  
Old 04-13-2019, 07:10 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Dishonest mechanic, what would you do?

Earlier this week my daughter's Mini tripped a code, went into limp mode and was running horribly. My little Mini/BMW code reader was not telling me anything so she took it to a local European Mechanic. He said throttle body ($730/installed), valve cover gasket ($240 installed), and oil change ($180). He said it was all OEM parts and 2 year warranty.

Rock Auto had an aftermarket throttle body for $160 (dealer and mechanic wanted $550 and $630 respectively), Mahle (OEM) gasket was $35, and a top notch oil filter were ordered. We paid mechanic $135 for the diagnostic fee and brought the Mini home.

I pull the throttle body and look at it. It is literally IDENTICAL to the cheapie I just bought. Same markings, same materials, same oil globed in the throttle shaft area. Both were Continental and made in Germany. Identical in every way. My first thought was "Woo hoo! re-packaged OEM for 1/3 the price!". Then I started thinking about it and thought "why would this not have a BMW or Mini logo on it?". I called the previous owner (we bought the car from my neighbor) and he said he was fairly confident he had the throttle body replaced by the same mechanic. Now I am thinking, this dude charged my neighbor for an OEM part and put a cheap aftermarket part on it. I took the Throttle body to the Mini dealer in town and the parts guy did not come out and say "That's not an OEM part" but he did say "95% of the parts that leave this dealership either have the BMW logo or Mini wings and almost all have the factory part number on them. That does not have the factory part numbers on it."

This morning I started the valve cover gasket. Things are going fine until I lift the valve cover and there is RTV all over the place. grrr..... lazy. The valve covers on these motors are known to leak. Instead of replacing the factory gasket, the dude just gooped grey RTV all over the place. I bet (I have not verified yet) he charged my neighbor for a new gasket and just glopped RTV on this thing.

So here's my question: my neighbor spent alot of money at this place for this cars work over the last few years and now I am seeing this guy is doing shady work. I am going to post pictures of the throttle body on the Mini forums to see if it is indeed a cheapie or a repackaged OEM. Would you do anything? I mean, he did not screw me or my daughter at all, just my neighbor. For us it was an inconvenience scrubbing all the RTV out. Should I ask my neighbor to ask the mechanic for copies of the receipts then approach the mechanic with what I found (if he charged for OEM but used cheapies/charged for gasket but didn't replace it)? Should I just post a Yelp/google review of this guy? should I or my neighbor call the police and report this scammer? What would you do?
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2019, 08:24 PM
joe joe is offline
 
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Location: PNWet, USA
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If I'm wrong here I apologize in advance but I'm under the impression owners and the parts supplies use the OEM differently and prolly legally. To us we always say keep your OEM starter and fix it rather than replace it with modern China junk. To vendors all OEM means that the part supposedly meets OEM "specifications" for that part. Not necessarily made by the same manufacturer? Whether it does or doesn't meet spec is beyond the garages control other than which parts vendor they buy from. They'll buy the cheapest avail for a bigger mark-up. A couple local small town garages here only get their parts from the local Napa cause the parts are better than our now defunct local CarQuest parts store unless it's something low production and proprietary for say an Audi etc that only comes via the Audi dealer for BIG $$ and a long lead time.
So far as yelp reviews or bad mouthing on the internet etc I'm not a fan in case I'm wrong. If you're feeling really wronged by the shop file a complaint with the BBB.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:57 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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leave it. you don't actually know any of what happened. yopur neighbor insnt even sure he had it replaced or if it was done by the same mechanic.


you might be barking over nothing.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:44 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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I'd guess your version of what happened is correct but I agree you need to let it go. You don't know for sure and it isn't really your battle even though you're paying for the aftermath. I do understand where you're coming from, though.

What failed on the TB? "Bearings"? Possible to fix the one you have?
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  #5  
Old 04-14-2019, 11:12 AM
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Cecil14 Cecil14 is offline
 
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Simply don't recommend that guy in the future and leave well enough alone. If you're wrong and you start sniping at his reputation you could well have a defamation lawsuit on your hands.


aa
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:05 PM
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ZackN920 ZackN920 is offline
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It's not your battle man. The PO of the car should have done something if he felt "wronged" but didn't. Let it be his decision if he wants to do anything. Then its not all on your ass.

He probably wouldn't have known if you didn't bring it up. Your right though about that mechanic. Sounds like a real piece of to avoid.


…$180 for an oil change?! WTF!
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2019, 12:01 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Was at lunch with a buddy with an Audi yesterday and he said he took his Q3 there and had the same issue with them glopping RTV all over his valve cover.

I am going to listen to you guys and keep my mouth shut. I appreciate the feedback. That was kind of where I was leaning but you guys all made good points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJTD
...What failed on the TB? "Bearings"? Possible to fix the one you have?
This throttle body is extremely over complicated, over engineered, and overly sensitive. This thing is going in the trash. I'm guessing it was a motor that went bad but I am not sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZackN920
…$180 for an oil change?! WTF!
HAHAHAH!!! Right?!? I don't think that is uncommon for these cars. The oil filter is a cartridge type and it's mounted at an upward 45 degree angle. So, as you open, it dumps a 1/4 quart of black juice down the front of the engine/trans axle/steering rack/subframe. I use a plastic bag under it and usually catch most of it but have not seen a good way to prevent the mess. So that $180 is 5 quarts synthetic, a (supposedly) OEM filter, 15 minutes of engine compartment cleaning, and re-setting the oil light. I am not saying that is all worth $180 but if you are a mechanic and some dude comes in that does not really know what "Synthetic Oil" is or have the tools to open a cartridge oil filter (27mm socket), it's easy to make it sound like they are getting a good deal.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:21 PM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
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Rang

the reason it bothers you
is because you are honest

your train of thought is very different than someone
who likes to over charge un-informed customers.

you think," how can I help this person"....

they think "oh boy another sucker "....$$$

thing is, ...if you were not looking out for your daughter
she would have been over charged for crappy work too.

it bothers me too, he will get what is coming eventually,....KARMA !
dave in NC
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2019, 09:43 AM
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letank letank is offline
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only one way , file a complain with the BAR



https://www.bar.ca.gov/Consumer/Comp...orm/index.html
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