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Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? #5232263 10/06/19 05:10 PM
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fisher83 Offline OP
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I generally do repairs for free for friends and family that are struggling but that are at least making an effort to maintain their vehicles but are strapped for cash. I stick mostly to maintenance and simple repairs and pass on the more complex stuff. I had looked at his van about a year ago and the repairs needed were so extensive that I told him it was above and beyond what I could do for him and that the vehicle was so bad off I didn’t even believe it to be safe to drive anymore. I advised him to have it towed to a shop for repairs or to junk it before he gets someone killed. He crashed once before in another car from a similar issue of ignoring seriously needed repairs but thankfully nobody was hurt. Fast forward to today and he is still driving it. Power steering squeals like a banshee and the wheel wobbles uncontrollably like the wheels are falling off. I wouldn’t feel safe driving this thing a mile. He called and asked me to put brakes on it. I politely told him that I do not believe the vehicle is safe to be on the road and I felt that he was endangering everyone by continuing to drive it that way. I told him that I cannot in good conscience have any part in putting this vehicle back on the roadway and would not be doing any further work on it. I’m sure I’ll hear some backlash from the wife’s family but I still think I didn’t the right thing. What say you, BITOG friends. Would you have done the same?


2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport
2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x 35k
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232267 10/06/19 05:19 PM
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Eddie Offline
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You did the correct thing in my opinion and I would have done the same. Ed


2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232270 10/06/19 05:24 PM
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I am going through this right now. I told them cost (900) just parts. They got took for a grand when they bought it 2 days earlier so I didn't think that they would do sink that much into it especially since I have to remove AC just to save them another grand but all the parts came to my address so now I am fixing it. I told them don't get on a hurry.


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Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: Eddie] #5232272 10/06/19 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddie
You did the correct thing in my opinion and I would have done the same. Ed

+1


06 Lexus IS350- Wife
88 BMW 325is- Mistress
Say "no" to Turbo!
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232273 10/06/19 05:25 PM
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Chris142 Online Content
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We no longer work on any European cars. We just are not set up for the complicated electronics they have. Buying the tools to properly work on them is not worth it for the small amount of them we see.

After the Cadillac CTS we did I don't want to do another one ever again. It's been a huge pita.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
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Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232278 10/06/19 05:30 PM
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Danno Offline
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You wouldn't believe the junk that gets traded in at our store, filthy, poor mechanical shape, and what gets me the most...they usually have a car seat or 2 in them.

smh


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Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232295 10/06/19 05:47 PM
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fisher83 Offline OP
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My wife and I sold this van to his parents a few years ago in great mechanical shape. We had just returned from a 3,000 mile road trip a few months prior to selling it to them. The battery was new, serpentine belt was new, plugs and wires, front and rear brakes, and all fluids were new. He had driven beaters for years and my wife wanted a newer vehicle so we sold him this one for about 1/2 of what we could have sold it to anyone else for. Just wanted to give him a leg up by starting with a reliable vehicle that should have gone several more years with basic maintenance. Him beating the heck out of it and neglecting it over the past couple of years has turned it into a complete heap. They say no good deed goes unpunished.


2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport
2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x 35k
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232307 10/06/19 06:01 PM
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Fisher83- Good for you for keeping your integrity. Cars and owners like that bother me since they are putting everyone at risk.
Several years ago I used to help my neighbor with his nissan sentra from time to time, he did not maintain this thing at all despite claiming to do frequent servicing on it himself.
When things broke on the car, he would blame me.
When parts were needed, he would complain even when buying the cheapest option, never acknowledging that the labor was free.
He would never say thank you.

This continued for probably 6 or so months, after that I just told him that I was too busy to help out.


2017 Toyota Sienna
2019 Toyota Camry
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232311 10/06/19 06:04 PM
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Inspecktor Offline
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The liability issues would scare me away.


2001 Ranger 3.0 177,500 mi
2006 Dakota 4.7 156,000 mi
1986 GL1200A 74,500 mi
2001 Buick LeSabre Limited 297,000 mi
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232316 10/06/19 06:06 PM
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madRiver Offline
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Charity work like that is enabling.

Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232321 10/06/19 06:11 PM
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fisher83 Offline OP
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I’m glad that the consensus seems to be that I did the right thing. I have little doubt that he will continue to drive the van until it just won’t start anymore. Hopefully that happens before he crashed and hurts someone. Thanks everyone!


2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport
2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x 35k
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232322 10/06/19 06:12 PM
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CARJ Offline
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I'll do oil changes, brakes, spark plugs, but above that, I don't want to bother. I usually offer the oil changes only because it drives me crazy that friends are willing to spend $100 at a "quickilube" for a synthetic oil change that should cost less than $30.


2004 Toyota 4Runner | 193k | Havoline Pro DS 5w-30, YZZD3
2012 VW Passat | 96k | M1 0w-40, XG9911
1997 Honda Civic HX | 222k | M1 0w-30, PH3593a
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232328 10/06/19 06:17 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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Strongly disagree with your position. You state it's unsafe then when he wants to get something done that is safety related like brakes, you refuse. Ironic to say the least.

With all due respect, you do not seem fit to assess safety of a vehicle if you don't even see how important good brakes are. It is a bit dubious that when you attempt to list the safety issues, it is merely power steering squealing and a wheel wobbling. If there had been anything worse, you would have mentioned it for sure. Either of these things are well within the capabilities of a shadetree mechanic in one afternoon.

I'm not suggesting that a bent rim shouldn't be fixed, but obviously this guy is strapped for cash and at least trying to get something done when you were contacted about the brakes.

Further you have supplied no supporting argument about how his prior wreck was due to poor maintenance, or are you just assuming it? People get in accidents all the time and besides underinflated or worn out tires, poor maintenance is not the usual cause.

Some people simply aren't car people and will do the minimum necessary to keep it running. That he has an old car is evidence in itself that he can't be TOO accident prone or he wouldn't have had the vehicle long enough for you to notice things needing done a year ago, rather it would have been wrecked and put in a junkyard already.

The fact is, you looked at it a year ago and he drove it for a year without the sky falling, so your assessment of the grave danger was apparently not quite accurate.

Y weren't teaching him a lesson or anything like that. You just caused him to drive on old brakes till he finds someone else to do it, the same as your passing on doing other repairs he needed (quote " repairs needed were so extensive that I told him it was above and beyond what I could do for him", but then all you could come up with was squeaking steering and a wobbling wheel).

I can completely understand if you are not willing to donate multiple days of your time to do the repairs, but that is where the judgement should end. Perhaps you should work out a modest payment to make it more worthy of your time, and if nothing else, buy some tools that speed up your productivity so you can get more work done without it seeming too daunting.

On the other hand, certainly you have no obligation to maintain his vehicle and it is his burden to operate it safely on public roads. I just think you overstepped your place in this, a couple different ways as mentioned above, and that your expressed intention and the end result are at odds with each other.

At the same time, I see and agree with your point of view that you should only be helping when reasonable, not becoming the primary responsible party for maintaining HIS vehicle, that he probably drives vehicles that shouldn't be on public roads, but the thing is, he apparently is doing so, and isn't going to stop (pun intended)... brakes can at least improve the safety of others.

Last edited by Dave9; 10/06/19 06:26 PM.
Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: Dave9] #5232343 10/06/19 06:33 PM
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Kruse Offline
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Originally Posted by Dave9
Strongly disagree with your position. You state it's unsafe then when he wants to get something done that is safety related like brakes, you refuse.


And here's where I have to disagree with you. I have a relative that always hit me up for work. He did it because I felt sorry for him and did the repairs for cheap. It was getting to be that his vehicles were all I'd ever work on. I finally put the foot down and said I was too busy for his vehicles. He then wanted me to work on a truck that had a failing fuel pump. I said no. He called several times asking me and I said no. Finally he drove on my place, shut his truck off (to make SURE it was the fuel pump) and it wouldn't start after I told him to hit the road. The fuel pump died right on my place. He then admitted that it had been giving him problems for two weeks and he just kept limping it along. The truck was a beater, so I said we'd cut a hole in the bed of his truck for fuel pump access. We did that, installed a new fuel pump and got him down the road. My wife told him if he pulled that stunt again, she'd call the tow truck to get his vehicle off our place.
If you keep enabling them, they will take advantage of you and expect a lifetime warranty on top of that.

Re: Ever refuse to work on a vehicle? [Re: fisher83] #5232347 10/06/19 06:41 PM
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I have refused to work on a vehicle more than once, the latest being a Toyota 4runner with holes in the frame. Customer wasn't too pleased, he tells me the usual....I just need to get it through the next few months. The thing has holes in the frame and I won't trust it on our lifts. This vehicle shouldn't be on the road at this point - he's found someone to work on it because he is still driving it - and he found someone to get him an inspection sticker. A year later this guy is driving around with holes in his frame the size of my fist, right where the suspension is welded to the frame, the wheels could literally fall off, but this guy needs to get "a few more months out of it" (it's been a year now).

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