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Just give me back my KEYS! Mechanic Complaints We Hear

Hey there. I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Autotek, and today we’re going to talk to you a little bit about some of the biggest problems we’ve heard from you in terms of what you don’t like about your mechanic.

Just like going to an attorney, people give attorneys a horrible track record because they think there’s something they’ve got against them if something’s going on. Mechanics often get the same rap. Oftentimes mechanics will get fed that they are selling a repair that’s too much money or the car repair didn’t hold up or any other malady of problems. We’ve heard these complaints from you across the board. We know exactly what you’re facing, and we want to explain how we can help, how we can guarantee the best consistent service to keep you reliable, and how we can really work together as a team, because you and I both want your car to run reliably and keep you on the road as long as possible.

One really common complaint that we hear is a mechanic may tell you that your vehicle’s unsafe, and you brought it in because you had a concern about A, B, or C, and a mechanic comes back and tells you, well, it actually needs D, something totally unrelated and it’s dangerous, and they don’t want to let you go.

They didn’t want to let you leave. It’s so dangerous. They’re adamant, it’s a safety concern. They don’t want to give it back and you feel like you’re being pressured into a sales pitch. First off, in the state of Colorado, no mechanic can keep your keys from you, period. A mechanic is more than welcome to tell you this isn’t safe, this is dangerous, and show it to you pointed out. They can even ask you to sign a piece of paper saying that you told them and you made them aware that there was a safety concern with that vehicle. However, they cannot restrict that vehicle from being given back to you in any way, shape or form. We’ve often heard people say that they took it to a mechanic and the mechanic said, “Well, we can’t let it go. It’s too dangerous.” Please understand that anytime a mechanic says that to you, they’re not trying to make a sale to you. They are not trying to tell you, “We want you to spend money, spend money.” We want you safe.

In the case of this 2007 Kia Optima that I’m sitting underneath right now, this vehicle came into us because it made a squeak. The only complaint was from the owner was that it made a squeak. They said it was from the front left corner. It drove fine. They couldn’t see, feel, hear anything otherwise, but it made a squeak, and they just wanted to get it checked out because they’re concerned. When we found the problem, we found a ball joint that was so loose that it could literally come apart. Now, the way a ball joint works is just the way your shoulder works as a ball and socket. We have a ball in a round sleeve that is the housing that’s designed to pivot and rotate so that parts of the suspension can move from each other. When this joint fails, the grease that’s inside this to keep it nice and tight gets very, very hot. Eventually, that grease leaks out of that joint. The rubber boot that’s protecting the joint might fail and let that grease, out or the grease in and of itself might get so hot, it literally boils through that boot. Once that happens, instead of having this nice tight motion, we get play. We get this slop in the joint itself. Just like you might have a bad rotator cuff when you get old, and you feel that shoulder try and drop on you. Exact same thing going on.

However, if it happens to your shoulder and your shoulder pops out, it’s dislocated. You’re in horrible pain. You’d go to the emergency room, they throw it back up, they pop it back in. They might recommend surgery to do a repair because of what it’s done to those other components in your shoulder. In the case of a ball joint in your car, if the ball joint fails, literally the corner of the suspension comes apart. In the case of this car, it’s a little dark for us to see, but in this corner where this joint physically mounts, we can actually lift and lower the joint within its socket, meaning that there is so much play in that joint that just like having a bad rotator cuff, and you feel that one arm is always pulling down and always hurts or feels like it’s pulling in one spot. That’s exactly what’s going on with this car.Now, we had to call the owner of this vehicle and tell them that we recommend this ball joint be replaced and that it is an immediate safety concern. Now, the Denver car owner, of course, is going to be a little excited because they go, “Well, what do you mean? I just came in because it makes a squeak. How has this immediate safety concern?”

So we went ahead and brought them into the bay so that we could show them what’s going on with the vehicle and explain why we care about their safety, their wellbeing, and their reliability. If you’ve got a motor vehicle and you’ve had a mechanic tell you before, “It’s not safe. We can’t let you go,” I’m concerned, but if you’ve had a mechanic tell you it’s not safe, let me show you why and let me explain to you what’s going on so that you understand, you’re better educated, and you can use that knowledge is power to help you make an educated decision, you should be staying with that mechanic and letting them take care of you because they care about your safety.

Here at Saul’s AUTOTEK, the number one priority is keeping you safe.

The number two priority is keeping you reliable. Well, we make sure that you’re safe, we know you’re going to be reliable, and we can guarantee the service. If you’ve got a concern about your vehicle, maybe you’ve been told by another shop, it’s dangerous, and you just want a second opinion, we would love to bring you into our bay, show you what’s going on with your vehicle and help you learn about your car so that you can make an educated decision without any sales pressure pitch.

If you’ve got concerns about your Denver car or truck repair, come and find us at Saul’s AUTOTEK. (303) 919-7769, 365 days a year. We’re here to keep you safe.

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About the Author

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

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