"You come to my shop, boss, you get what you pay for," is exactly what the dude told me, and unfortunately, I paid for it. But before I go there, let me take a step back. You see, time is money, and money is time, especially my own free time. A few months ago I decided it was time to replace the plugs and wires on my '95 Camaro, but if any of you have ever looked under the hood of a latemodel Camaro, you know they stuff those suckers to the brim like attendance at a Monkees reunion, which makes them near impossible to work on. And when it comes to plugs, you better have a lift if you even wanna get started on the job. If only everything was as easy as working on trucks... So I decided my time wasn't worth putting up with trying to change plugs, and it's not a major ordeal where I need reassurance about the shop my vehicle goes to, so I headed out to an auto mall right by my house.
About a mile from my house is a strip of about seven auto repair places, and I just pulled into the closest one that also happened to fall under the branch of a local chain here in the SoCal area. They gave me a price to change the plugs and wires, and I said call me when it's done. Sure enough, they called me a few hours later; I paid the man and headed out. As I got home I noticed they gave me back the old plugs, but two of them were missing. Being the Negative Nancy that I am, I bypassed the notion of it being a simple mistake of misplacing two plugs and automatically thought they didn't change two of the plugs. I told my roommate my debacle, which drew a blank look and a shake of the head, followed by, "You're an idiot," as he walked away. Still, I was reluctant to give up, so I called the shop and asked what the deal was. As it turned out, that guy didn't like my inquiry and immediately shot back with, "If you paid for plugs and wires, boss, then that's what you got. You come to my shop, boss, you get what you pay for." I took his word and moved on.
I still wanted to put a new opti-spark on the motor (which is an LT1's distributor that is a total pain in the you-know-what, and on top of that they go bad after about 100,000 miles) because the car was running rough. I already had a shop picked out to do that work because it is a rather large job. So I headed up to the shop for the new opti-spark a month later and told the mechanic it was running rough and I really hoped this fixed the problem. Well, as soon as it was up on the lift, part of the problem was diagnosed immediately. As it turned out, when the previous shop ran the wires, they ran the passenger-side wires so close to the A/C compressor it chewed up two wires, and the motor had been running on six cylinders! The worst part about that is the car had no more than 200 miles on it since the first shop touched it. Upon some further inspection, it turned out my original assumption that they didn't change all the plugs turned out to be true. They changed the easy ones, but they left the two hard plugs alone. At this point I was rather upset, to say the least.
The next day I headed to the crooked-boss-callin'-nogood shyster armed with photos, snapped wires, six old plugs and a write-up from my shop, and demanded my money back. Well, after he finally realized he was in the wrong, he then assured me, "In 15 years this has never happened at my shop, boss, and for my mistake I will put your car on the lift right now and finish the job, boss." I didn't want that snake and oil shop touching my ride, so we settled on half my money back due to the fact that they did do half the work they signed on to do, and some was better than none.
Anyways, the lesson here is that you can never be too careful when it comes to your ride. Now sure, we have all heard stories regarding guys building their trucks who have gotten into mishaps with the quality of work a shop performed on their truck regarding body, paint, mechanical, and other major issues. But when it comes to routine maintenance, most just assume any shop with an open sign on their door should be able to bang it out. However, even the smallest of jobs comes with loose ends. Therefore, always think twice about whose hands your ride is in, even if your truck is at a big-name chain, or you could find yourself in a situation similar to mine, boss. By the way, I'm gonna go ahead and rule out anyone who deems it necessary to call me boss. Something about that style of communication rubs me the wrong way...but you figure that one out for yourself.-Dakota Wentz