Silvia Club of NSW

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:34 pm 
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T03 Hybrid

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:39 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Canberra/Sydney Australia
Car: 180sx Type X
Has anyone been in a situation where a 'mate' has agreed to get you a 'good deal' but they can't give you a price on the 'good deal' until it comes?

OK this isn't a terrible story where people die or anybody was hurt, but seriously - I feel like my intellect and common sense has been molested by trying to protect relationships I don't know if I should care about.

My housemate, also an avid car enthusiast has a mechanic that he likes to use. My housemate, also has no common sense when it comes to being a diligent consumer so he actually likes to prepay his mechanic for work he hasnt yet done. i.e. resulting in him receiving a trailer car about 13 months late.

Anyway, I had to buy a daily driver recently and my usual mechanic was completely booked out and I was interstate, so I desperately needed someone to inspect a car I was looking at. So I asked my housemate's mechanic who was able to help and said the car was clean. I believed him because I 'was told' that he was quite meticulous. Evidently when my own mechanic checked over it - this car was not up to par. The daily driver I bought, had chopped springs, a leaking radiator, dodgy sound system wiring, the whole carpet had been stripped out once and restuck back on, my intercooler spray wasnt working because some douche has zip-tied the cables too tightly while putting it all on dodgy. And other things I won't discuss but basically cost me about $5,000 to return to a condition I was satisfied with (and things were actually working and car not trying to overheat and commit suicide).


Ok so that was bad enough. Not to insult my housemate, recently I had to purchase some brakepads for my daily. I had a look around, I've used Project Mu before but in Australia they are quite expensive so I considered an American brand like Hawk since the dollar has been at parity in recent times.

Housemate says 'oh my mechanic can get you a good price on Hawk pads'. I ask how much, of course he can't give me an answer because his mechanic never gives him any details - and if you ask, its considered an insult. Anyway, I knew the Project Mu ones were going to be about $220 a set for the lowest end, street ones so I thought the Hawk ones couldn't be much worse.

I did a due diligence on the American price for this Hawk pads - they're going for around $120USD per set.

The mechanic got my Hawk Performance Ceramic pads in a turnaround time of a week - great. I told him he wouldnt get paid until I received an invoice (coz that's how I roll) so the mechanic understood this.

About 3 weeks later, I receive an invoice for $561 for set of front & rear brakepads. I don't even pay that much for my CIRCUIT CAR pads that are rated to 800 degrees! So I thought - that's a bit high... I mean, they are quite large brakepads - but they couldn't cost more than double they are selling them in the US for could they? And guess what. I actually found an Australian website that stocked the same brakepads for less than half the price (for 2 sets) he has just charged me.

I did the good natured (but stupid) thing of paying this immediately, on a piss-weak invoice that muttered a few words about "brake pads for wrx". Not even the brand, product number, model anything. Pathetic excuse for an invoice. I need this to claim it on my lease by the way, that's going to be interesting. Looks really dodgy now.

Out of courtesy to my housemate who I am very good friends with, I have not escalated this to his mechanic - as I wouldnt not like people yelling at my mechanic. But every night I grit my teeth in anger... and feel offended at this predicament.

My natural inclination is to tear people apart (e.g. report him to the dodgy backyard mechanics authority) but in this case I need to tread carefully to preserve domestic harmony and not have his mechanic on the wrong side.

I have told my housemate to deal with this because it offends me, but naturally he is a spineless tool who is going to sit on his hands and continue to suck up to his mechanic.

I havent fitted the brakepads to my car yet (pray god they are even the right fucking brakepads for the right calipers), so is there anything I can do to redeem my self-esteem? I'm kind of hoping they're the wrong size so I can send them back to the dodgy mechanic and demand a refund.

Moral of the story is - don't trust anyones' stupid dodgy backyard mechanic who doesn't conduct an actual business with your time or money! Grrr!

Apart from setting the dodgy backyard operation on fire, if anyone has any objective and constructive suggestions on restoring justice in this situation without resulting in me having to move out, feel free to share your sentiments.

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Nissan Silvia underbody tray to suit 180sx


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 3:27 pm
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Too late now on the brakes (unless they don't fit).

If he's taking you for a ride then he's probably taking your friend for a ride too.

Hurt feelings aside for a moment, you are doing your friend a favour and protecting them from their own stupidity by going elsewhere.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:47 pm 
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T51 Hybrid
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:31 pm
Posts: 359
Car: S13 Silbeer and OneEighty wife mobile
I've had few bad experiences myself.
I say tell everyone you can and move on. :evil: If they don't want everyone to hear bad stories they should treat people better, thats how reputations are built.

Regarding the brake pads though, you kinda walked into that one, he MIGHT have had a really expensive supplier..... best to know a price before you buy a product.

I've learnt two major lessons from dealing with mechanics:

1, don't tell them there is no rush !!!! You won't see your car for months, they won't give you a better price, quite often they end up charging you more because the car has been there for so long.

2, Don't tell them you are not fussed with making your car pretty because its a track car. This tells them they don't have to take pride in their work and it turns out so shoddy, you ask yourself why you didn't have a crack at it yourself. Again this doesn't attract a discount just lazy ass work.


Eventually you will find a good mechanic, then you stick with them, and you don't miind getting them to do things you could do yourself. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:55 pm 
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T03
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:46 am
Posts: 140
Location: Sydney NSW
Car: 1992 Nissan 180sx ::SiL80::
this is why ill try to do 500% of the work required on my car myself, and for the record i have very very reliable contacts and people available to do the work with very good reputations...

i still think you should have put it to this dude like you put it to us in ur thread...

Kurtis

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:18 pm 
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T51
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:56 pm
Posts: 302
Location: In the drivers seat
Car: 92 S13 SILVIA
I can sort of relate to this , I had a so called "mate"owns a panel beating spray painting work shop , he offered to give my car a full paint job and take out a few dings for me , said he would not charge me for labour.
So he has the car for about 2 weeks , no problem car will be ready shortly hes busy with alot of work etc etc , about a 3 weeks later hes stalling me saying hes flat out and will finish it off shortly he has to do full paying jobs first mines a "mates rates job" , he ends up leaving going interstate for 2 weeks , i ring his work shop to see whats going on , i go out to the workshop to see my car , the cars not there they had to take it to his other work shop. i am using public transport i cant travel all over sydney chasing my car , i ring this loser up and say weres my "f"ing car get it sorted , he comes back to sydney i finally get hold of him and he tells me that somenes has stolen all my gauges ( 5 gauges ) my front mount intercooler (hybrid brand new aswell)
my boot and my front bar ! he says people come and go all the time from his work shop he doesnt know who stole the parts.I demand he replace all the parts , so he eventually after 3 weeks gets me a new intercooler , i say weres the other parts , he says nah wasnt my fault he wont replace anymore parts ! i was planning on going over to his house and strangeling him ! but my wife stopped me . Lesson here is Dont let your so called mates do favours for you !!!!! i wont be doing that again , And yes we are no longer friends i had know the guy 20 years .....

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 234
Car: 200sx S14.5
jay:
have you tried recommending your mechanic to your house mate so he can make a comparison?
if the qualities of both mechanics vary so vastly, perhaps he will come to realise the mistake he has been doing for the past how long!

and about the pads, just tell him the pads are wrong without even trying to fit them, that price was just too insane
get the refund and tell him he fucked up

and last of all, TEAR THE GUY APART! you can't let people like that get away with it all the time!!!

kurpt:
i can relate to your story, i had a "friend of a friend" that also owns a panel shop, and he had given me a pretty awesome quote on a respray with removal of dents etc etc
we went through what needed to be done, respray everything except engine bay

the process of him getting the job done, was about 6 months, with my constant abuse after about the 2nd month...
and in the end he didn't paint the boot nor the interior, so yeah, that's the last of my "i've got a friend of a friend that can do this cheap" thing


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