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#4480520 - 08/06/17 08:10 AM Why do repair shops always cut corners?
Klutch9 Offline


Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 2453
Loc: Rochester, MI, US, World
I don't use repair shops much, as I usually DIY. But I had another somewhat disappointing experience recently. I had some rear suspension work done on the Sedona, which included a used (like new) subframe, and new lateral links. When I got it back, all was well, but I noticed that the rear end sat higher. I carry a load for work, so usually the rear end squats a half inch or so. About a week after I brought the van home, there was a binding/popping noise coming from the rear suspension when turning of taking off... odd, I thought. The first thing that came to mind was "I bet they didn't tighten the suspension bushings with weight on them". There are 6 rubber bushings that require loading at ride height in the rear, and when I loosened them to check, about half of them made an audible "pop!" when I broke the nut loose. All 6 were re-tightened at ride height. Noise was gone, and ride height was back to normal.

There are also 4 cotter pins on various ball joints in the rear, which they nicely replaced with new on all but one, which they used a jam nut setup with the old nut... why? Cotter pins are plentiful. They also snapped off a short piece of threaded shaft on one of my new end links and nicked the boot, but it still installs just fine smirk

If I did the repair myself, I'd have no issue cutting corners or improvising if it didn't affect safety. But in a professional setting, it just seems wrong. I'll bet most people never check the work that a shop does; nor should they have to, in fact.
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'11 Fusion SE 2.5L - 75k miles - Havoline ProDS 5w20, FL-910s
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#4480531 - 08/06/17 08:19 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20450
Loc: Upstate NY
Inexperienced mechanic and/or in a rush.

Sometimes I think I too anal about indy shop repairs. Had the front flex brake lines replaced and a short steel line snapped so they used some nicopp to replace it. But the nicopp was not bent to nice clean bends like the OEM line. Worked fine. I was always planning on re-doing it. Never got to it before I sold the vehicle.
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2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
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#4480537 - 08/06/17 08:22 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4394
Loc: The Midwest
Not all repair shops cut corners and some shops have both great and lousy mechanics. You should contact the shop about your experience and also do a Google review on them.
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#4480541 - 08/06/17 08:24 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
Tech819 Offline


Registered: 02/08/15
Posts: 254
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Although you had a bad experience not ALL repair shops always cut corners. But finding a good mechanic that you trust can be difficult.
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#4480543 - 08/06/17 08:25 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
"Gotta beat the book time!!"

"Can't make a profit unless I beat the book!!"
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"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4480558 - 08/06/17 08:39 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Linctex]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4848
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Linctex
"Gotta beat the book time!!"

"Can't make a profit unless I beat the book!!"


Yeah this is common. Things like leaving the hard to get to bolts off because it takes too much time and will still take time and technically hold
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#4480612 - 08/06/17 09:42 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
KD0AXS Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 2441
Loc: Nowthen, MN
You can get it done fast.
You can get it done cheap.
You can get it done right.

Pick two. You can't get all three.

Problem is, most customers want all three.

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#4480617 - 08/06/17 09:47 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
GrtArtiste Offline


Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 730
Loc: Ohio
Years ago I used to work at a forklift dealership. It was SOP to cross-reference every part possible to a cheaper (for the dealership) non-factory part, usually because it was available sooner so as to fix the customer's mule sooner. But of course, the customer got billed for factory parts at factory prices and always with the assurance that factory parts were being used. There were more shady dealings going on there than I could handle. I only lasted a few years there.

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#4480628 - 08/06/17 10:07 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12639
Loc: NE,Ohio
Because they get paid by work done not time.

So if you could make $30 an hour or $15 an hour which would you do?
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#4480659 - 08/06/17 10:40 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: KD0AXS]
raytseng Offline


Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 2333
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: KD0AXS
You can get it done fast.
You can get it done cheap.
You can get it done right.

Pick two. You can't get all three.

Problem is, most customers want all three.


would agree. OP do you want to mention what you paid for the service?
if we consider the "stealership" as rhe baseline,
if you went to an independent did you pick the indy to save money over the stealerahip or for the quality?

if you want at good results you need to pay at least a fair price.

if you are a stickler you need to pay premiums over the ave market price for a good shop.

just like flying and airplane tickets its a race to the bottom. if you're buying inly based on price picking yhe cheapest flight no matter what, you're going to be crammed in to coach treated like cattle and dragged off planes.


Edited by raytseng (08/06/17 10:41 AM)

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#4480682 - 08/06/17 11:18 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
aquariuscsm Offline


Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 18158
Loc: Dallas,Tx USA
The whole thing that is just plain unethical about this is that no one should ever have gamble with their money,and especially with something so expensive,it should never be a hit or miss. Businesses that cut corners with their customers should NOT be in business at all. Don't take a customer's money and give them half-assed service.
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#4480692 - 08/06/17 11:28 AM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
Stelth Offline


Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 2030
Loc: California
The real reason I started doing serious work on my own vehicles is because of experiences with mechanics. There were times that I had to re-do the work to get it right, so I figured why not do it myself. However, as I've gotten older, there are definitely jobs I don't feel like tackling. I've found a local mechanic that is pretty good, and I have him do stuff that I either don't want to do, or don't have time for.

I'd like to put in a good word also for Pep Boys. YMMV. My daughter borrowed my 2003 Hyundai Elantra for a few weeks. History on this car is that my Dad bought it new, and it's been mine since he passed a couple of years ago. Pretty good shape for an old car. The thermostat apparently went bad while she was driving it around Santa Monica, and she didn't notice until the radiator tank cracked and steam was blowing out everywhere. Young ladies (she's 30) often don't seem to observe gauges closely. Anyway, I'm in San Diego and working full time, so I told her to take it to the Pep Boys in Burbank. Pep Boys guy called me, and at first I thought he was kind of a dolt. Nonetheless, he explained to me that the car had gotten very hot, and he would replace the radiator for X amount, and recommended changing the hoses as well, and that would be X amount additional. He said the hoses were intact, but he felt that they had been softened by the high temps. OK, I had him replace the radiator, since I can change a hose without much trouble. When the time came to settle up, he charged me about $80 less than he had quoted, and said he had a daughter and had to take care of her cars as well. In any case, I was favorably impressed with the work (not cheap even after the discount), and the customer service. It's just not feasible for me to drive up to the Valley to change a radiator.

Taking a car to a shop you don't know is a [censored]. But good mechanics are out there, and in southern California, I've had good experience with at least one chain (for relatively minor stuff).
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#4480756 - 08/06/17 12:39 PM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Linctex]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21187
Loc: Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: Linctex
"Gotta beat the book time!!"

"Can't make a profit unless I beat the book!!"


Mechanics will starve if they took their time and did a quality job. They are rushing to beat the book time and immediately start on the next vehicle.

Job must really suck if you are pressured to slap on parts without any care.

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#4480958 - 08/06/17 03:47 PM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Mr Nice]
car51 Offline


Registered: 03/12/15
Posts: 10252
Loc: Southwest PA
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Originally Posted By: Linctex
"Gotta beat the book time!!"

"Can't make a profit unless I beat the book!!"


Mechanics will starve if they took their time and did a quality job. They are rushing to beat the book time and immediately start on the next vehicle.

Job must really suck if you are pressured to slap on parts without any care.


I get payed by the hour not flat rate so I milk the tough jobs smile
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2009 Toyota Camry LE

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#4481130 - 08/06/17 06:57 PM Re: Why do repair shops always cut corners? [Re: Klutch9]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3537
Loc: New England
Never experienced with auto repair.

However the SCURGE of earth are body shops who cut all sorts of corners, lie, cheat and steal.

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