Auto Mechanic Mistake

Last week I was ranting about Chevrolet after my wife took her vehicle to the dealer. After posting about my rant I was feeling better but that all changed last night when my wife came home from school.

Are These Bolts Important?
As a little bit of background, my wife had the car in at the dealer last week and one of the things that they did was a routine oil change. When she arrived home last night, she asked me if I would take the car around the block as she was hearing a noise every time she was turning right.

The first thing that I did was head out to the garage to take a look underneath the vehicle to see if there were any visible problems. As soon as I looked underneath I discovered the problem. The skid-plate that protects the oil pan from debris was hanging by only one bolt and dangling down to the floor of the garage.

When the mechanic replaced the plate after draining out the oil, they either didn’t think the other three bolts were all that important or they never tightened them. I have to imagine they were there and just never tightened, working their way loose and falling out since last week.

Chevy Frustrations.
While I understand that mistakes happen and this was not intentional, it really frustrates me when it is coupled with all of the other problems that we have had with this Chevy vehicle and the dealer where we purchased it. If I had the appropriate bolts I would have simply reattached the plate and left it alone. Since I do not have the bolts, I will be taking the vehicle back to the dealer so that they can attach the plate properly. As a friendly reminder, I will request that they actually take the time to tighten the bolts this time around.

While I am extremely happy that this noise did not turn out to be anything more serious, it only adds to my disappointment with the purchase of this vehicle.

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13 Responses

  1. Saman says:

    That’s quite a careless mistake! I have found tools on my engine block after oil changes!

    • mnc says:

      Exactly. One would think this is a very routine thing and someone was just being careless. Leaving tools on the engine block is ridiculous as well.

      Saman, as an FYI, I edited two of your previous comments as you used a different name (included your last name) and it was causing incorrect numbers for my Top Commentators plugin. You’re now properly listed with all 4 of your comments.

  2. Clever Dude says:

    My wife gets annoyed with me when I complain about the slightest noise in our vehicles (except the old grand am, which will NEVER quiet down). However, my attentiveness paid off when I heard a slight ping (with the radio on) when I went over a speed bump slowly. I was about to keep driving, but knew I should have heard that sound.

    I stopped the car (Acura TL-S) and found a bolt where I had just driven. I wasn’t sure if it came from my car, so I took it. Sure enough, it was a bolt from my transmission, which they had just replaced. It wasn’t critical because there’s quite a few bolts, but they found many of the bolts weren’t tightened properly.

    • mnc says:

      Wow, that sounds like it could have been a pretty bad situation if you had not been paying attention. When the bolts are loose, it is only a matter of time before they work themselves out and then it can get nasty.

  3. It sure is a drag that this seems to be the norm.

    • Saman says:

      I don’t know about it becoming “the norm”, there are millions of auto repairs a year done by thousands (maybe more ) of mechanics and how many times have you heard of something going wrong?

  4. Tyler says:

    More cars nowadays are coming with Skid plates and having to change the oil of a car with a skid plate is hella annoying 😉

    I have buddies that work for garages and they groan when a car comes in with a skidplate.

    But yea that sucks about the dealership not putting the plate on properly. Luckly it wasn’t something worse than that!

    I’ve personally never liked dealerships, but if I were to deal with another one (other than my Local Toyota shop) it would be a Chevy dealer in Vancouver. Why? Because my CEO buys all his cars (H2, Porsche, 2 Bentleys, 2 Cadillacs… I could keep going) yes he owns all of them still. Anyway we get treated quite nicely over there. Though if I were to get a new vehicle and it were to be a truck I’d look at the Chevy Silverado.. we have them at work and their awesome fun!.

    Though I’ll stick with my little Toyota for now 😉

    • mnc says:

      I’ve never even bothered changing the oil on the Chevy due to the skid plate and the location of the oil filter basically requires you to be a contortionist.

      The dealership where I bought my car is fantastic and I don’t have any hesitation to go there. But we’ve found a good mechanic for repairs on my wife’s vehicle. The reason she took it to the dealer was we had negotiated a package that covered oil changes for the first 60k miles when we bought the car.

      • Saman says:

        I have never trusted dealerships either. I’ve caught two different dealership in telling lies and wont go back to any of them. I know I’m generalizing all dealerships, but I like the attention and care I get from my current mechanic – plus I get to swap computer help from free auto repair!

        • mnc says:

          Having a good independent mechanic is really priceless and can be quite difficult to find depending on your area. And it’s always nice when you can barter services.

  5. Clever Dude says:

    I would suggest that no one is trusting of something they don’t really know. I had a horrible experience with Jiffy Lube where they stole parts of my wife’s car (the plastic grill inserts in her grand am). They didn’t just pop out in the 2 minute drive to the station and we backtracked over and over to be sure before confronting the manager about it. They eventually reimbursed us, but I change my own oil now.

    We also got shafted by an independent mechanic on the grand am for a water pump repair because he was incompetent. The thing sounded like a tank when he gave it back to us and said “it should sound better in a day or two). We tried to get him to look further into it, but he refused. We drove is 220 miles to my wife’s parents’ mechanic and he knew exactly what it was when he heard it. It was an injection nozzle that provides oil to something. The mechanic pushed it down to be able to work around it, but forgot to pull it back up.

    So, the moral is you can’t trust chains, independents or dealerships to look out for your best interest all the time. They’re a business and need to earn a living too. However, if you educate yourself in a subject, at least at a high level, you’ll be more well-versed in that topic and won’t look like a lamb being led to the slaughter.

    • mnc says:

      Thanks for sharing those stories! It is unfortunate to see how some people behave within their profession or even just in general.

      As I said in an a comment on my post about MTV TrueLife’s show on debt, this is why I feel it is so important to raise my kids to respect others and stand by their word. Too many people try to avoid the responsibility and/or do deceitful things to people.

      But you close up with some great advice, take the time to educate yourself a little bit on a subject and that will result in you being able to make informed decisions.

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