Hooniverse Asks- What Was Your Worst Car Repair Experience?

Yesterday we asked about the bad experiences you had with buying a car, and you provided us with some great war stories about bad dealers, untrustworthy private sellers, and cars that weren’t all the ads said they were. Now that those nightmares are behind you, tell us what it’s been like to get them fixed.
As I noted yesterday, my Ford dealer has been a great place to get the maintenance done that I’m too lazy to do myself . But that’s not always the case, and I had a friend who took his Camaro into a Chevy dealer for the “Free” 30-point checkup, only to have it brought back out with broken power steering lines, which the Chevy dealer was more than happy to fix for a large chunk of change.
While the unscrupulousness of many a mechanic is well known, there’s also those embarrassing moments when we ourselves do something monumentally stupid to our cars – like the time I broke the windshield with my head while trying to lever the dashboard back into place on my mom’s Taurus after replacing a leaky heater core.
So, whether through the incompetence or evil of others, or at your own hands,  what’s the worst thing that has happened?
Image sources: [wreckedexotics, flickr]

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8 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What Was Your Worst Car Repair Experience?”

  1. LTDScott Avatar

    -In general, the shop took forever to do any work on the car. After waiting a long time, I talked to the owner of the shop and he admitted they were having financial troubles, so they were focusing on contract work that was more lucrative first. As an apology, he gave me the paint job for free (nothing out of my pocket) if I was willing to be patient. I accepted.
    -After the car was painted, I requested that the stock painted pinstripes be reapplied. The pinstriper did it completely wrong so they had to be removed and done again, delaying things by about a week.
    -I patiently waited for several months after multiple excuses when I finally had enough. I called the shop and found their phone number disconnected! WTF! I immediately left work early and drove down to the shop to find the gates closed, and no other cars in their facility other than mine, which had been repaired and painted, but none of the trim had been reinstalled. I was just about to go to Harbor Freight to buy a bolt cutter and enlist some friends' help to break out my car when one of the painters saw me and came up to the gate. She was only there to pick up her tools and equipment and leave. She said none of the employees had received their paychecks so they all left. She knew the car was mine and asked if my bill was paid (it was) so she was able to get my keys and suggested I take the car immediately. I had to park my other car illegally but I was willing to risk a ticket to get the LTD back.

  2. goingincirclez Avatar

    So one cold January Thursday afternoon, I’m northbound through Indianapolis en route to Chi-town when I feel an ominously audible sort of “whump” in the accelerator pedal, feel the car start to bog, the RPMs climb just slightly, and watch the temp gauge start to creep. Uh-Oh. A couple miles of nursing along wasn’t enough, as 5 minutes later I was pulled on the shoulder diagnosing what turned out to be a blown radiator. And not just blown, but 12-gauged. Fortunately I always carried an emergency coolant jug for just such an occasion, and I was able to top it off enough to get to the next rest stop to refill the jug and radiator… I repeated this process ad infinum, stopping about 6 or 7 times for the remaining 140 miles to Chicago, delaying my arrival by little more than an hour, with no significant damage to the car (or so it seemed at the time, but that’s a topic for another post).
    So, the next morning was spent frantically trying to find a shop to replace the radiator so I could trade vehicles with my dad and head back to KY. The first, closest, neighborhood shop proved an exercise in futility, as the demoralized slob running the show gave me a whole martyr’s list of offenses why in so many words he just really didn’t want to bother with anything today, geez, why are you in here anyway?. The most reputable shop was already booked solid and I couldn’t afford to bump myself up the chain. Finally, my grandfather – who used to own that said most-reputable shop – suggested another place I’d never noticed before, that could probably do the work that day.

  3. goingincirclez Avatar

    The swap was a simple 5-minute affair. But upon setting the harness back into place I noticed that “something” didn’t seem quite right….
    That “something” was a kink in the factory wire loom to the alternator harness that looked a little clean, like someone had recently touched it and bent it out of shape. Further inspection was warranted… I removed some of the wires from the loom, and there it was: crush-deformed insulation surrounding pristine shiny copper, where someone had intentionally cut a wire in a hidden location.
    So, those fucks at that shop, after admonishing me about "faulty wiring" and trying to bill me for that repair, decided to prove their point by sabotoging my alternator. And in this subarctic-deep freeze, that battery was only good for so long before conking out on my dad, poor guy. And with an F'd up harness, no way a jump-start would ever get it home. All the symptoms make sense. Those ASSHOLES!
    And yet, days later it would have been impossible to prove, and with new parts already in hand, and time wasting out of state, it would have been useless to fight it.
    I take great pleasure knowing that shop is no longer in business. And I wanted to kick my grandfather’s ass for recommending it to me, but he gave me his WWII Bronze Star “for being brave enough to drive that wreck halfway around the country and back”, so I figured he was just getting one last prank in on us.

  4. Domonique Graue Avatar

    Sie treffen den Nagel auf den Punkt!

  5. Marylin Clayborn Avatar

    Le prémièrement, le ton de mp3 player est mauvais que AAC et WMA.

  6. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Good advice. What a shame that, since the last comment on this thread was made in January 2010, there's virtually no chance whatsoever of anybody clicking on your link. Thanks anyway.

  7. Allan Petter Vasquez Avatar
    Allan Petter Vasquez

    Automotive issues mainly occur when your vehicle meets accidents or damages. In addition, regular maintenance is also needed by vehicles to improve its overall functionality. In this case, proper car servicing can be done in order to improve the overall driving experience. After all, who doesn't want a good car condition? A casual damage to any part of vehicle will result into improper functioning of your vehicle.If that is the case, a reputable auto repair service is the best solution to enjoy unperturbed service that improves the overall functionality of your car.