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Old 04-05-2012, 07:22 AM   #26
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I was recommended to a local VW/Audi shop, they did a good job until I started to get an idle problem. Car kept idling at 850~875RPM instead of a calm, steady 800. Took it to this "specialist" 3 times while no avail.

Finally I gave up and looked at the old work papers for the car. Conviently I work in Richmond and my new shop "Juans Auto" is in Richmond. Took it to him and he found the idle problem (PVC purge valve) in under an hour.

Now because of that, he's my mechanic and I've taken it back to him for over a year now.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #27
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learn to do it yourself sure, but what happens when a rear wheel bearing goes on your subaru? or the 2nd gear synchro blocking ring wears out and it pops out of gear on any car, or your check engine light comes on for an 02 sensor and after replacing all 4 sensors the light won't go out because you need a cat.

timing belt anyone?

or say your car won't start, you've banged on the tank and the starter and it still won't go


I'm in 4th year right auto mechanics right now, so I don't have to find a good shop, but myself and many many others have invested a lot in tools and school to learn how to trace down a problem, fix it with the right tools quickly and effectively.

It's true there are bad shops out there who will over charge and good shops with rediculous rates (bmw...) and while I'm all for DIYing, modern cars do require special tools and knowledge to work on, otherwise you're going to throw parts at it until it's fixed in many cases.

so ask around, and depending on what kind of car you have, you may want to find a specialist. You didn't mention what kind of car you have or anything, you will get different replies if you have a 1990 stock civic auto, a modified EVO9 or a 2009 IS350. Are you looking for basic oil changes and maintenence for a new car or do you own a 91 240sx with 339k kms on it?

all these things should go through your head when choosing a shop, and if you still can't figure it out, ask a tow truck driver where he takes most cars.

Wheel bearing goes out?

I bought a press from princess auto for 170 bucks and did all my bushings and wheel bearings with it, 170 bucks for a press is cheaper than 1 visit to a mechanic to do any of those things.

Tranny/Syncro failure? 40 dollars for a gear/pulley puller

02 sensor and you have 4 of them? Lordco has an excellent return policy, buy one, doesnt fix, return, try another, return, try another. Finally, swap cat, but usually the obd scanner will tell you which 02 sensor it is anyway, or if its the cat.

timing belt? lol.

a starter is usually 2 or 3 damn bolts to take it off, hardly requires 4 years of training to replace it.

Anyone who comes to my place to get shit done, I charge them 30 an hour for friends, and 40 an hour for strangers, because thats an honest wage, and what I feel mechanics should be paid.

charing people 80+ dollars an hour because you had to go through 4 years of school to learn how to change a timing belt, is pretty much stealing if you ask me, and the customer doesnt/shouldnt hafto pay for your massive overhead for renting a building, thats your cost for doing business, sure you can include a little surchage for overhead, or cost of travel time, or a little markup on parts. But doubling your wage because you get raped on your lease shouldnt be allowed.

Hell even if they charged 50 an hour, thats still a fairly good price for a mechanic, but no where is less than 70, and its hard to find 70's even.

but a guy who graduates after 4 years, charging 80 dollars an hour (160k a year), shit, why do we need doctors? everyone just become mechanics.

Last edited by Glove; 04-05-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:54 AM   #28
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Same here. My mechanic is my hands.. Not a pussy bitch that isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:03 AM   #29
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You can search the interwebz for reviews on shops but I think the best is a referral from someone you trust. That's how I've found almost every shop I've ever dealt with. Not just mechanical.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:41 AM   #30
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Same here. My mechanic is my hands.. Not a pussy bitch that isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.
haha

Jokes aside, I do most general maintenance on my cars myself as well. For bigger jobs, I have a few mechanics who I know on a somewhat personal level. One is a close friend of my aunts, another is a tenant that lives in my parents' place's basement suite, and another is a family friend.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #31
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I've been working on cars since I was 8, helping out my dad with oil changes, brakes and other stuff.
Then as I got older, started working more and more on cars and with friends cars.
I went to bcit for auto tech and learned a lot and transferred those skills to working on more cars.

For my engine build, I went through my friend, as you guys know as truong, who recommended Gearheads. I got many things done there which I could not do myself. And ever since, the relationship grew. They've always treated me with respect and like a family more than another customer.
So ever since I sported their logo on my car, it's been more or just my mechanic, but a trust between two parties.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #32
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Been around the game a few years, been to multiple shops with positive and negative experiences.

But the ones that care about your business are the ones that keep me coming back. Hence why I'm a strong supporter of The Speed Syndicate.

Alex, Curtis and Kevin really do take care of their customers. Good bunch of trustworthy guys to help you with your needs.

How I found them was when I had heard from SG that ADVMotors shut down and he recommended Speed Syndicate. Went there for a few simple jobs and developed a great relationship with the guys there. Great to know that when you drop your car off their they got your back.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by 1990TSI View Post
true enough, but the average person doesn't have access to a press, and those rear subaru wheel bearings go all the time
Just 1 example

hand tools will only get you so far before you start throwing parts at a car.

I just don't see the average person ripping a transmission apart or doing an alignment, mounting tires or trying to diagnose a misfire with basic hand tools and youtube.

but good for you
Well actually, I've done everything you mention with little to no issues. Hand tools and all. It's quite easy to press out a bearing with hand tools if you know how . There are many tricks you can do, and be creative. Or alternatively you can take the hub of and bring it to a shop to press in/out for $10. Then re-install. Cheaper than paying someone to re-re the hub for you.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:46 PM   #34
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02 sensor and you have 4 of them? Lordco has an excellent return policy, buy one, doesnt fix, return, try another, return, try another. Finally, swap cat, but usually the obd scanner will tell you which 02 sensor it is anyway, or if its the cat.
So your method is to swap parts in and out until you find out the problem? How about diagnosing the problem in the first place and then replacing only what's required? Relying on an OBD scanner to tell you what's wrong with your car is about as accurate as flipping a coin.

Tell me, if you get a code that says "B1S1 O2 Sensor Heater Failure" and after replacing the O2 Sensor the code comes back, then what do you do?

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timing belt? lol.
So I assume you have all the camshaft holding tools for each specific model so you can align everything properly?


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Anyone who comes to my place to get shit done, I charge them 30 an hour for friends, and 40 an hour for strangers, because thats an honest wage, and what I feel mechanics should be paid.

charing people 80+ dollars an hour because you had to go through 4 years of school to learn how to change a timing belt, is pretty much stealing if you ask me, and the customer doesnt/shouldnt hafto pay for your massive overhead for renting a building, thats your cost for doing business, sure you can include a little surchage for overhead, or cost of travel time, or a little markup on parts. But doubling your wage because you get raped on your lease shouldnt be allowed.

Hell even if they charged 50 an hour, thats still a fairly good price for a mechanic, but no where is less than 70, and its hard to find 70's even.

but a guy who graduates after 4 years, charging 80 dollars an hour (160k a year), shit, why do we need doctors? everyone just become mechanics.
So when you do a timing belt (for example) and it breaks because it's defective and takes out all the valves, then what? You going to rebuild the head for your customer out of your own pocket? What kind of warranty do you provide to your customers? What if something happens to the car while it's in your garage getting fixed? What if you make a mistake (don't say you never do - it happens to even the best mechanics) and the customer has an accident because of something you did? Do you think it's stupid for a shop to spend $1,500 and up per month for insurance?

Honest shops provide so much more than "parts changers". You know the job will be done right. You don't have to worry if something happens to your car while the shop has it because they're covered. If something is wrong with the work they will correct the problem at their expense because they provide a warranty (parts & labour). To a lot of people spending the extra money is worth it for what they get in return.

I have no problem with people who work on their own cars. I give props to people who get their hands dirty and try to actually learn how their car works and figure things out so they can try to fix it themselves. I just don't think people should be charging others while they "learn" how to fix something.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:00 PM   #35
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Before any major work, like engines or tuning ect, I make people sign a waiver saying no warranty, and I am not responsible for any damage to property or persons.

They pay half the price, but they also take the risk.

That being said, I am so busy with peoples cars all the time I dont even have time for myself, so im obviously doing something right, and no one has ever come back with a problem with any of my work, dont need to prove anything to you buds.

Its up to the person to decide if they want to trust a backyard mechanic or not, most people do though, through word of mouth referrals. I guess some people believe the ammount of money saved is > than the "risk"

Also, anyone who has every tried to collect any kind of "warranty work" through a shop, the shop will beat around the bush and try and blame every possible thing before actually admitting fault, because warranty work is lost money.

not saying all shops are like this, but a lot of them are.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:34 AM   #36
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I'm the "Mechanic" in my group of friends....

Got a lot of business on the forums and through word of mouth

Started off as a First Year Apprentice willing to work for food just to gain a bit of experience with wrenching on cars.
got bigger and bigger.
more and more people started calling me up.

Now I'm working as a Parts Advisor At a Japanese Dealership

Still wrenching on friends cars on the weekend.

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Old 04-07-2012, 06:57 AM   #37
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Before any major work, like engines or tuning ect, I make people sign a waiver saying no warranty, and I am not responsible for any damage to property or persons.

They pay half the price, but they also take the risk.

That being said, I am so busy with peoples cars all the time I dont even have time for myself, so im obviously doing something right, and no one has ever come back with a problem with any of my work, dont need to prove anything to you buds.

Its up to the person to decide if they want to trust a backyard mechanic or not, most people do though, through word of mouth referrals. I guess some people believe the ammount of money saved is > than the "risk"

Also, anyone who has every tried to collect any kind of "warranty work" through a shop, the shop will beat around the bush and try and blame every possible thing before actually admitting fault, because warranty work is lost money.

not saying all shops are like this, but a lot of them are.
"No one has ever come back with a problem with any of my work". Now I know you're full of it. It's impossible to work on a lot of cars (which you imply that you do) and never have an issue with your work. You can take steps to avoid problems, but it's impossible to eliminate them entirely. What separates the good shops from the bad ones is how you treat the customer and take care of problems when they arise (and they always do).

Having a customer sign a waiver is not "taking care of the customer".

I noticed you never bothered to respond to my questions about having the proper timing belt tools or what to do about an O2 sensor you replaced that didn't fix the problem. You're the one who said they were simple problems for you to deal with.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:11 PM   #38
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-02 sensor and you have 4 of them? Lordco has an excellent return policy, buy one, doesnt fix, return, try another, return, try another. Finally, swap cat, but usually the obd scanner will tell you which 02 sensor it is anyway, or if its the cat.

-charing people 80+ dollars an hour because you had to go through 4 years of school to learn how to change a timing belt, is pretty much stealing if you ask me, and the customer doesnt/shouldnt hafto pay for your massive overhead for renting a building, thats your cost for doing business, sure you can include a little surchage for overhead, or cost of travel time, or a little markup on parts. But doubling your wage because you get raped on your lease shouldnt be allowed.

-but a guy who graduates after 4 years, charging 80 dollars an hour (160k a year), shit, why do we need doctors? everyone just become mechanics.
This post is so special I needed to make my own reaction GIF for it.

Last edited by El Dumbasso; 04-09-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:23 PM   #39
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for training and equipment.

you may have purchased a $170 press, but most shops have to look for equipment that lasts, thus they will probably opt for that $500 heavier duty press. the equipment gotta last, to them, they may be using that press 500 times more, and more often than then $170 press. cant garantee that $170 press will last long.

Having worked and am working in the automotive industry, both at independant and dealership, i have a better understanding of cost of running a business. and at $50/hrs an hour shop rate, u cant pay the bills, the overhead, and ur staff. $100 is necessary. rent costs money, hoists cost money, electricity, tools break, oils, grease, felt, nuts, bolts, zip ties, wire connectors, all factor in.

not everyone has the ability to work on their car, especially in the lower mainland where space is a premium. you live in a condo, you'll get a fine for working on ur car in your parking spot.

for me, i like wrenching, but cant do it much anymore, car accidents prevent me, and so the result of that is finding a mechanic with the peace of mind knowing they will put as much attention to detail as i will. no skipping corners, grease the fitting before putting it back.

what a mechanic gets paid is only part of the pie of what gets charged to consumers. cost of running a business. advertisement, marketing, accounting, cost of employees if you have any.



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Wheel bearing goes out?

I bought a press from princess auto for 170 bucks and did all my bushings and wheel bearings with it, 170 bucks for a press is cheaper than 1 visit to a mechanic to do any of those things.

Tranny/Syncro failure? 40 dollars for a gear/pulley puller

02 sensor and you have 4 of them? Lordco has an excellent return policy, buy one, doesnt fix, return, try another, return, try another. Finally, swap cat, but usually the obd scanner will tell you which 02 sensor it is anyway, or if its the cat.

timing belt? lol.

a starter is usually 2 or 3 damn bolts to take it off, hardly requires 4 years of training to replace it.

Anyone who comes to my place to get shit done, I charge them 30 an hour for friends, and 40 an hour for strangers, because thats an honest wage, and what I feel mechanics should be paid.

charing people 80+ dollars an hour because you had to go through 4 years of school to learn how to change a timing belt, is pretty much stealing if you ask me, and the customer doesnt/shouldnt hafto pay for your massive overhead for renting a building, thats your cost for doing business, sure you can include a little surchage for overhead, or cost of travel time, or a little markup on parts. But doubling your wage because you get raped on your lease shouldnt be allowed.

Hell even if they charged 50 an hour, thats still a fairly good price for a mechanic, but no where is less than 70, and its hard to find 70's even.

but a guy who graduates after 4 years, charging 80 dollars an hour (160k a year), shit, why do we need doctors? everyone just become mechanics.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:11 AM   #40
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Everyone I know has said good things about the guys at speed syndicate. So I went there. was greeted as if I was already a long time customer and felt at ease. Guess it also helps when your friends go there as well and they trust them as well (especialy when they're anal about their car).

Guess it also helps that Curtis used to own a civic and has done things to it so I trust him with my car as well.
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