Ya gotta feel sorry for some of those folks. You wonder what the auto repair shops are doing to them.
I'm serious. I spent ten years as a claims adjuster working vehicle service contracts. Considering what the repair shops tried to pull on us, knowing we were professionals, you had to wonder what they were doing to an uninformed public. I could write a book, and maybe I will.
One Dodge dealer wanted $3900 to replace the engine in a B100 van when the only problem was a failed injector. A Chevy dealer almost got away with putting a $500 salvage yard engine in a pickup after I'd approved $2700, plus labor, for a new Goodwrench engine.
The one I loved was a Dodge dealer in Colorado called with a transmission failure in an Intrepid. I pulled up the contract and the history showed that, by coincidence, I myself had approved $1600 plus labor four months prior for a Chrysler reman trans with a 36 month/36,000 mile warranty. When I brought this to the callers attention, he said, "Oh, no. Four months ago we just installed a 90 day used trans".
I told him I could document that four months ago I personally had approved a Chrysler reman trans with a 36/36 warranty on the same car. He said, "It looks like we have a problem".
I told him, "No, you have a problem. If you installed a 90 day used trans after I'd approved, and paid for, a Chrysler reman trans with a 36/36 warranty, it's your problem, not mine".
Another time, a Ford dealer called with an engine failure on a pickup several thousand miles before the contract expired on miles. For some reason, I forget why, I suspected they'd drained the oil and ran the engine till it seized, thinking they'd get a new engine just before the contract expired. Uh, they didn't check the date on the contract. It had already expired on time.
If some of those shops had worked as hard at being honest as they did at being crooked, they'd have been making more money. I think half the scam artists in the automotive business were located on Long Island, NY. When you took a call with a 631 area code, you were automatically on guard.
Like I said, I could write a book. The large, franchised dealers were the worst. Some small, two man shops were so honest, you almost didn't know how to deal with them.