My antifreeze was leaking and my regular mechanic told me that it was my water pump. It is a 2001 Pontiac Grand AM 4 cylinder and he could not replace it because the 4 cylinder was difficult to fix. He told me to have the thermostat and timing chain changed because the timing chain needed to be removed to replace the water pump anyway. I received two estimates between 4-500 dollars because the 4 cylinder was difficult or time consuming rather. Pep Boys estimate was 800 for labor. I took it to my neighbor who is also a mechanic. He stated that he did not want to work on a 4 cylinder water pump. I remembered a place in the neighborhood that my mother used and that I used twice in the past. Their prices were reasonable and service was very good. I called this place, AFCAR, and the estimate was $230. I asked again because the price seemed too good to be true. I scheduled an appointment for 3/17/2018 which was the following day. I bought a water pump and thermostat and took it to AFCAR. I asked Tarik at the front desk if I should change the timing chain since it was beside the water pump. He asked if the car was running differently. I told him no. There was a noise which others believed was the water pump all along but it ran the same. He said that I would be able to feel a difference in the car with the timing chain. I repeated that I didn’t, it was suggested by my regular mechanic. Around 4:45pm that evening Thursday 3/17/2011, Tarik called stating that there was something blocking the water pump and needed to be replaced for $25, I also needed a belt. It was not mandatory at the moment but I would be back soon if I did not replace it for $30. I agreed. These things are now identified as serpentine belt and serpentine belt tensioner. He said the car would be done later that evening. Friday, 3/18/2018 at 9:45am Tarik called stating that the $230 estimate was not accurate. They worked on the car all evening and realized it was a 4 cylinder. I explained that I make sure that mechanics know that it is a 4 cylinder, in no way did I say it was a 6 cylinder. I know how time consuming it is. He stated that because it was their error they would take off 2 hours of labor and charge 480. With the other work it would come to 550. I became frustrated because all of the other estimates were around the same so I knew he was insulting my intelligence. I said fine. Although now I realized that 480 plus 55 is not 550. I called right back stating that my engine light was on which may have been due to the water pump. I asked him to reset it and if the light came back on I would have the diagnostic done. He agreed. Tarik called at 7:45pm that evening stating that the car would be ready in 5 minutes and asked how long I would take to get there. I said 5 minutes. I was in there in 5 minutes with my car still on the lift as Tarik helped another customer. After finishing with that customer 10 minutes later, I began to talk to him about my car. He apologized again for taking long stating that it was a 4 cylinder. Stupidly I stated that my regular mechanic did not want to touch it and other estimates were 4-500 due to it being a 4 cylinder. He said they do not turn down jobs. I told him that I needed a tune up next because it had been several years, which he quoted $200 for that job. I asked how the car was running; he suggested that I ask the mechanic. He asked the mechanic about resetting the engine light. The mechanic said he disconnected the battery anyway so it would reset itself. While waiting for the mechanic to finish the test drive I asked what happened to the other mechanics. He stated that his friend bought the business from them in November but did not change the name and number as of yet. He was not a mechanic but the office manager. Chad the mechanic came to give me the keys and I asked how the car was running. He said it had great power while driving but he felt a sputter at the light indicates needing a tune up. He talked about how it was difficult to fix the water pump. I left around 8:40pm and went across the street to wawa which was less than 50 feet away. When I got back in and turned the car on it shut off immediately. It turned back on with no problem so I ignored it. The engine light came back on along with the trac off light which was not on previously. At the first light, the engine was jumping up and down, I immediately called the shop, no answer. At the next light the same thing happened and I also noticed that the temperature gauge was a little above the half mark so I began to wonder if the thermostat was changed. I called again, no answer. There was nothing that could be done at 9pm so I went home and called the next morning. Saturday 3/19/2011, I called from 8:45am-9am and Tarik finally answered. I told him that the car was shaking horribly and that I called right after I left but no one answered. He said he had 5 cars that day and was unsure when someone could look at it. At this point I was frustrated at his brush off. I got in the car and my neighbor (mechanic) came over, saw the car jumping, and lifted the hood. He said the timing was off. I took it back to AFCAR and told Tarik what was said and that the temperature gauge was reading high. Around 11am, Tarik called stating that the mechanic said it was not the timing chain because he did not have to remove it. I asked if he planned further investigation. Tarik stated that he (Tarik) told me the night before that I needed a tune up. I reminded him that I told him I needed a tune up. I said it was not shaking like that before so it has nothing to do with. He started explaining that when one thing is fixed whatever else is going bad gets worse. I hung up on him and drove to the shop. When I arrived the car was exactly where I left it. I went in with the receipt explaining that I was taking it somewhere else to ID the problem. I asked why thermostat replacement was not on the receipt. Arrogantly, Tarik said because they did not charge me for it. He asked if I wanted to see the receipt showing that they bought it. I said I bought it so I actually have the receipt. Another man asked how he could help because he saw my frustration. He identified himself as Martin the owner. I explained it even asking how they could say it was not their fault when no one checked the car. Martin took me out to the car. I told him my research showed that it could be a spark plug that was not secure, a hose, air, timing chain, bolts etc. He lifted the hood and disputed each thing that I said. For example, the spark plugs are on top and were not touched. I asked how he could debate with me without turning on the car to assess the problem. He had someone get the keys and start the car. I asked if he really thought that I was driving it like that when it sounded like it would shut off at any moment. I drove as a part of my job so how could I drive it like this all of this time? When his mechanic said sputter, did I really know that he meant shaking ungodly? Martin stated that he would look at the car. If it was their problem it would be fixed, if it was my problem he would give me a discount. I stated that there was no way that the car was 10 times worse than when I brought it in and it is my fault. I asked if he wanted to see the missed calls from the evening before which proved that I called within 10 minutes of leaving (after I left wawa). I left the car with Martin. My mother returned with me around 1pm. Martin was not there. Chad the mechanic was in my car at the time and argued with us about how we questioned his craft by saying he did not fix it right, how we called and said it was the timing chain when we knew nothing, how he had other cars to work on and did not have the time to waste on my car all day, how time was money and he worked on the car all last night without getting paid by the hour, and how this is the reason no other wanted to touch the car. I said but you did touch the car and I paid 550 and I want it fixed. He said he told me the car was shaking last night and since I did not say anything he believed I knew the whole time. I told him there was a difference between saying the car had a sputter and the car was shaking. Also, the car is older and it does not run quietly so it is left up to interpretation when others drive it. When I drive my mother’s car and get back into my car I notice a big difference because her car is better. In no way did he say that the engine was jumping up and down. He are a mechanic so if you felt a sputter when I didn’t it is because he know what he is feeling. He said the diagnostic showed a misfire which means tune up. I said the engine light was already on so if it is a tune up it already needed it and was not shaking like this. Therefore, the engine light is not showing what he messed up. Tarik called around 4pm and I did not answer. I immediately went to the shop with my mother and sister. Tarik said Martin worked on the car all day and determined that it needed a tune up. I said we were here at 1pm Martin was not here and he is not here at 4pm, so he came after 1pm, worked on it all day and left in 3 hours. I said I was not paying for it because I believe they would take that time to go in and fix what they actually did wrong and say it was a tune up. I asked what they planned to do if it continued to shake after the tune up. Tarik replied u201cwhat if it stops shaking after the tune upu201d. We were all arguing and a former mechanic that recognized my mother and myself told Tarik that the timing belt could have been stretched and that the proper thing was to go all of the way back in because it could be something that was missed. Tarik said they should have checked the engine light in the first place. I repeated that the engine light had nothing to do with it shaking. Tarik disputed him, left and slammed the door. The man told me to just wait and talk to Martin because Martin would do it. I told him Martin was acting just like the rest. He said that he did not work there anymore and could not help. I took the car. Sunday 3/19/2011, I took the car to another mechanic. He said that the problem was not a tune up. It was not misfiring, the timing was off. He wanted to do another diagnostic but guess what? My engine light was not on anymore which I am assuming is because it was on due to the water pump the whole time and it reset itself. He said that a gear was off. This would require taking off the water pump and possibly breaking it. He said it was human error but a slight turn of the gear throws off the timing. He said that it would cost about the same for labor as I originally paid because of where the water pump was located and it was time consuming. He is going to write all of this up for me to pick up today, Monday 3/20/2018 after work. I will take the work order to them and tell them to fix it or give me a refund. I just don’t believe this will work. I filed a complaint with BBB also. I do not have the money to get it fixed and then fight for months suing them. I may be old fashioned but I think that they will definitely brush off my demands because I am a woman with all female assistance over the weekend. I will get the work order/estimate but I am not sure how to handle this issue. If it was not costly I would just write a bad review and go somewhere else to fix it but paying 1,000 for a water pump is just not an option. Please help
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