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Old 04-13-2019, 07:10 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
360 AMC
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 2,655
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?
79 Cherokee Chief, barely runs
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:24 PM
joe joe is offline
Join Date: Apr 28, 2000
Location: PNWet, USA
Posts: 22,311
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.
"Don't mind me. I'm just here for the alibi"
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:57 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
Join Date: Jan 20, 2006
Location: The Great Googley Moogley Midwest.
Posts: 17,000
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.
Originally Posted by Hankrod
Ristows right.................again,

Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.

Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!

→ Where the kids hang out... come for the mindless chat,stay for the hand drawn emoticons.

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Old 04-13-2019, 10:44 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Apr 26, 2012
Location: Lompoc and Sunland, CA
Posts: 1,269
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?
Sic friatur crustulum

'84 GW with Nissan SD33T, early Chev NV4500, 300, narrowed Ford reverse 44, narrowed Ford 60, SOA/reversed shackle in fornt, lowered mount/flipped shackle in rear.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:12 AM
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Cecil14 Cecil14 is offline
Join Date: Jan 22, 2001
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 5,080
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.

1983 J-10 - 4.6L(MPFI)/CS130D/Hydroboost/NV3550/D300/44/44/3.54/Disc-Disc/32s/42 gallon 'burb tank
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:05 PM
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ZackN920 ZackN920 is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Nov 18, 2015
Location: Stephenson County, IL
Posts: 876
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!
1990 Grand Wagoneer-"The Crapwagon"
AMC 360, TF727, NP229, 3.31gears, 2" lift
Rancho 44044, Rusty's 2" AAL, TFI
...still kinda rusty

The other's
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:01 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 2,655
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.
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.
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.
79 Cherokee Chief, barely runs
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:21 PM
SOLSAKS's Avatar
350 Buick
Join Date: Jul 25, 2016
Location: Benson. NC
Posts: 765

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
SOLSAKS - dave
1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
1982 J-10 Fleetside
1988 grand wagoneer
2004 RUBICON jeep
Benson, NC
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:43 AM
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letank letank is offline
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Join Date: Jun 03, 2002
Location: San Francisco
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only one way , file a complain with the BAR
74 wag, 349Kmiles on original ticker/trany, except for the rust. Will it make it to the next get together without a rebuilt? Status: needs a new body.
85 Gwag, 226 Kmiles. $250 FSJ test lab since 02, that refuses to give up but still leaks.

See Ouray 2013, Engine bits and Fuel and brake lines, and Body work
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