They’re Out There

This reminded me of a guy that came into the shop one time for an oil change and while I had his car up in the air I noticed he had a tie rod dangling out of the steering arm on one side just flopping around.

I got a price on the part and told the service writer about it.

He comes back and says the guy declined the repair.

I told him that he needed to go back and explain to the jackass that his car wasn’t safe to drive.

He comes back again and says the guy declined it again.

I told him to go get the guy so I could show him that this thing was dangerous.

The guy comes out, looks at it, nods his head and still said no.

I escalated it and went and got the service manager and told him, that the vehicle was unsafe.

He explains to this guy that if the tie rod breaks that he will lose control of the vehicle and will either hit someone or at the very least get stranded in the middle of the road because he won’t be able to steer the car.

The guy still wouldn’t go for it.

I’ve been broke before, I know how it is so I told the guy personally that if he bought the tie rod for under $30, I would put the damn thing on at no charge.

Nope, wasn’t going for it so we had to let him go.

People like that scare me.

Anyone with a lick of sense would have at least called a friend to borrow the $30 if they had to in order to fix such a dire problem.

People like him are out there every damn day.

22 thoughts on “They’re Out There

  1. Where I am, if a vehicle is found unsafe while in the care and control of a vehicle repair shop, it is required the customer sign off on declining the repair AND the vehicle has to be removed from the property by a tow truck at the customer’s expense. Laws here are very clear if the vehicle is unsafe and it leaves the premises under its own power, then the shop and the mechanic are both negligent and liable for all subsequent damages and income lost.
    I know this because a shop not far from where I was where they simply gave the guy his keys, he went home with it, then his wife tried to use it and went through the garage door. The shop ended up closing down as a result of it.

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  2. I worked in a gas station a long time ago and one day we put a car on the lift for an oil change and just as the lift got all the way to the top a tie rod let go and was just swinging in the wind. The customer did not decline that repair.

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  3. I was in the (small) parking lot of the bank building that housed the largest ISP where I worked in my town. I had parked a block away, and was walking through that lot when I heard a rice burner come in to the lot, and when he turned into a slot to park, I heard the distinct clicking of a CV joint about to let loose/seize up. I stopped the guy, explained that his vehicle drivetrain was going to catastrophically fail – most likely in the worst place/situation possible – and he thanked me and we parted company. I was pretty emphatic stressing the importance of what was going on, I hoped he believed me. If he didn’t heed me, I guess he found out the hard way…
    Some people ya gotta hit over the head with a big splintery 2X4 to even get their attention.

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  4. The last Ford truck I had was an f150 two wheel drive with about 150000 woods road miles on it that I bought from a forester that worked for a million acre forest products company.
    I needed to get it inspected, so I took it to the local Ford dealership for inner and outer tie rods.Afteer about 10000 miles, I made a high speed run back home from a meeting about 75 miles away.
    The next morning, as I backed into my normal parking area, one of the “new” tie rod end balls fell out.
    I was pissed, but lucky.

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  5. On the other hand-
    I took the wife’s F-150 to a local dealer for a software recall and when I came to pic it up, they were all ‘You’ve got a serious oil leak in the valve covers and another one (can’t remember) the timing chain cover- we can fix them for only $1600″

    Ummmm- no, I can do that.
    So when I took the truck for it’s free oil change at the dealer we bought it from-I asked them if they saw any oil leaks that needed fixing.
    They said ‘No, you’re good why?’
    –The dealer in my town said it needed $1600 of gasket replacements–

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  6. WOW!, i have delt with a few of the same idiots. Had one that brought car in for a brake problem, the pedal going to the floor. Drove the car on to the lift could barely get it to stop, the master cylinder was leaking the front pads were GONE the caliper piston was rubbing the rotors and the rear wheel cylinders were leaking also with the shoes down to metal!!! Customer refused any repairs had him sign that the car was TOTALY was unsafe and would crash if he left said he would be alright! So i pulled the 86 ford ltd out to the lot for him and crashed the car into the railing in the lot. He tried to sue us for it but lost in small claims court!!!

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  7. I was the manager of a Western Auto store with an attached 4 bay shop back in the day. Dude shows up wanting to know why his breaks are squeaking so I have the shop lift her up to see what the issue is. The mechanic calls me over the intercom to come to the shop, barely stiffling the laugh. I come to the window and he just points and laughs, I look at the disc brake and it takes me a minute to recognize the “sunburst” pattern was actually the cooling fins of the disc! He then showed me the disc brake piston that had been acting as the brake pad for who knows how long. How it did not pop out is beyond me.
    I figured up the cost of replacing all the parts and went to talk with the owner. Needless to say, he wanted nothing to do with the 300 dollar bill and told me to just put it back together and he will depart. “Well sir….no can do” “State of Kansas says that if a mechanic releases an unsafe vehicle back on the streets we can be held liable for any accident that happens”. Dude was SERIOUSLY PISSED OFF. The owner of the store comes over and I tell him what we found. He agrees with me. Guy is FUMING…screaming his brains out. Finally stalks off. Owner tells me to have the car put back together and push it out of the shop, lock it up and bring him the keys. Next morning, car is gone.

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