Saved! From Car Inspection Hell

Well, I took my according-to-Pep-Boys $927-needing-to-pass-inspection car to a local garage this morning.

Total cost of inspection: $27.00

NOTHING that Pep Boys said I needed done to pass inspection was necessary. I was warned that the brake linings are CLOSE to being out of spec, but I shouldn’t have to have them done for another three months, probably.

In other words, Pep Boys tried to pick my pocket for $900 unnecessary dollars. Never again. Never. To any Dopers living in the Lancaster area, I recommend the Mifflin Street Garage. They’re honest, which is more than I can say for the chains.

Argh I had this all typed out and hit the wrong stupid button…

I had a somewhat similar experience with Monro once. The brakes on my 95 Probe had started squealing a little, so I took it in to get the pads replaced. They put her up on the lift, and came back in, looking grim-faced and somber. They informed me that my front left caliper was completely frozen, and the rotor on the right front was irreparably gouged.

Now, ever since the time I had destroyed a pair of rotors by waiting to long to get my brakes done, I had been very attentive to my brakes - once they started squeaking, I took them in to get replaced. So I was floored that my brakes could be in such horrible condition.

The mechanic said it was a common issue in Probes. In fact, he had just had a 98 Probe in the day before with the same problem. Immediately, sirens went off in my head. Maybe he didn’t know, but I knew that there was no such thing as a 98 Probe.

So I told them I didn’t have the 600 dollars they were asking for, and took it home. I was asking a friend about what was now a very suspicious situation, who offered to replace them for me. He’d take me to the store, buy the parts, and put them on. So that weekend, he came over, and we were about to head to the parts store to pick everything up when he decided to take a quick look and see how bad the situation was.

He took the first pad off, and slid out from under the car and just shook his head at me. I steeled myself for the worst. He handed me the brake pad. It was in almost perfect condition. He showed me the rotor - excellent shape. We went to other side of the car. Same story - brake pads were almost brand new (I’d only had the car about 6 months) and the rotor was just fine.

Because he had gone through the hassle, and I actually already had the brake pads on me, he went ahead and changed them. But I’m still floored to this day that they tried to soak me so badly. If they had replaced my brakepads at 100 bucks, they probably would have been ripping me off. It’s highly likely that the squealing I’d heard was just brake dust. But apparently, the fact that I brought it in for new brakes when there was nothing wrong with them in the first place just flagged me as an easy target. Thankfully I didn’t get taken.

I complained to Monro’s HQ but they never did respond.

Check out some of the horror stories at


Wow, the site is gone (it WAS there, really!).


Linky no existy.

Clickus interruptis. :stuck_out_tongue:

I took my truck to one of their shops years ago, they had one of those transmission fluid changing machines that flushes out your torque converter and everything, unlike a regular drain-what’s-in-the-pan-and-change-the-filter job. The transmission was starting to act up, so I figured that flushing out the whole system would be worthwhile (try the cheap fix first, just in case). They called me and told me that my trans was slipping so badly they couldn’t get it to back out of the parking space where I left it. :dubious:
You should’ve seen them jump when I put it in reverse and floored it when I picked it up , my truck was pointed right at their front door! :smiley:
Left a nice black streak on their parking lot, yeah, it’s slipping like crazy. :rolleyes:
That was over 60,000 miles ago, it still doesn’t slip. Shifts like crap, especially when it’s cold, but she don’t never slip.

Never try to bullshit me on car repairs.

I’ve gotten shafted so many times by so many different mechanic shops that I refuse to accept any estimate for work in excess of a few hundred dollars without getting it verified by another shop. Boy, do they start backtracking and claiming they’ll “see what they can do for me” when I threaten that.