Walking into a mechanics shop as a lone woman with a small child could easily be listed in my top five list of “stuff I don’t ever enjoy doing.” I don’t enjoy the feeling of being screwed over. But I do enjoy vindication.

Back home I had a mechanic whom I could trust. I had signed an estimate for $1,200. They had my money.  When I came to pick up my car the next day they said “Good news! What we thought was wrong wasn’t wrong so we fixed what was wrong and you only owe $189!” (In Salt Lake City, Plowgian Auto Repair 1357 E. 3300 S. 801-467-2854. Ask for Larry.)

Another time we were driving with the moosh to Kansas City and our air conditioning went out somwhere in Nowhere, Missouri. We stopped at a mechanics where they filled our low freon and plugged up a leak so that we could make it to our destination comfortably and fix the problem when we got back home and had the time for a lengthy repair. They did all of this for free. (Meineke 2315 W. Clay St. St. Charles, Mo 636-940-7294. Ask for Dave.)

Is it so sad that this kind of service is rare these days?

Instead I take my car in for a $17 oil change and end up trying to be tricked into a $350 bogus repair (And I know darn well without a doubt it was bogus.) (Goodyear 1303 S. High School Rd. Indianapolis)

What happened to integrity? Is there any way to find a decent mechanic anymore?

To those of you in Indy, have you found someone good? How about anyone else? Got someone you want everyone to know about? I have no problem making the end all be all list of trustworthy, honest mechanics so that us moms don’t have to feel like enormous targets when we take care of our cars ourselves. Please comment or e-mail me, mooshinindy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Beware you shady mechanics, you never know when the girl you try to screw over has a blog.

Comments

  1. one of the reasons I’m glad I don’t need a car in Manchester!

    Lindy’s last blog post..Why

  2. Please tell me you didn’t pay it! Um, ya. I never do any of the car stuff. I still don’t know how to change a tire and hate having to put gas in the tank. I leave all that stuff to Jess. I know, I know, poor, helpless, woman. :P

  3. Oh, I know mechanics!! All westside, but I have faith in these guys…

    1) For transmission issues or anything involving a 4X4 (they specialize in jeeps)
    Titus Transmissions
    11 S Production Dr/Avon
    271-7744
    Ask for Chris or Dave tell them Sarah sent you (I used to work there ;) )

    2) For tires, brakes, little things like that…
    Indy Tire
    7309 E US Hwy 36/Avon
    272-4841
    I don’t have a name, but they’ve never once gipped us, and often saved us money over our other options

    3) For just about everything else
    Myers Garage
    522 W 2nd/Lizton
    994-5436
    The owner is Mike (yes, Michael Myers)…at least that’s what the chicken scratch looks like on this letter he sent us simply thanking us for bringing our car to him. GREAT little shop…VERY nice people if you’re willing to drive to Lizton (the shop is really close to I-74)

    Those are the three we’ve used several times…trust them all!

    Sadie’s last blog post..A dinosaur is in my kitchen!!

  4. Thank you grundles for the SLC mechanic! Will be calling him this week for some much needed work!

    xox

    heidikins’s last blog post..Sometimes, I hate being a girl

  5. We found a great mechanic here in Avon…Dan Jones Automotive. I’m a nerd and listen to Car Talk on NPR even though I have absolutely zero interest in cars. They have a website (www.cartalk.com) and readers can leave reviews for mechanics. I’ve found reputable mechanics both here and in SLC.

    Anna’s last blog post..Embracing My Inner Barney

  6. Michael’s Automotive
    10th and Emerson

    They have been taking care of almost all the cars in my family for generations. :)

    Sarah’s last blog post..Brothers First

  7. Not sure what side of town you are on, but my husband and I prefer Firestone on the southside (Greenwood (317) 881-6735 and Southport (317) 882-3840). They have been great at answering our questions (no matter how stupid they seem and from our experience so far – they have been honest. And they do complete auto repair – not just tires.

    Stacy’s last blog post..Red Bull Art of Can

  8. So here’s one to stay away from:

    Malless Auto Service 4525 W 71st St. Indianapolis, IN 46268

    They tried to screw me over years ago (as an 18 year old), and I took them to the BBB. Don’t mess with me, my family, my car, or my money! :)

    As a side note, I saw an episode of “In the Motherhood” recently (you know, because I have tons of time to sit around and watch online sit-coms…please!) that reminded me of your hot doctor experience. The lady’s doctor turned out to be her ex-boyfriend…funny stuff.

  9. I totally relate and I hate that I kno nothing about cars.I once said to a mechanic-just so you know I’m fully aware you screwed me over and scammed me and I will tell everyone I can about it.

  10. Oh, I just saw Anne’s post! I forgot about Dan Jones Automotive! I’ll add in a vote for them too!

    (P.S. if my post looks all screy, I’m sorry…this stupid computer…)

    Sadie’s last blog post..A dinosaur is in my kitchen!!

  11. I did a post on mechanics we have loved in Central IL here: http://central-illinois.blogspot.com/2007/08/automechanics-we-have-loved.html

    Rayne of Terror’s last blog post..Heartbreaker

  12. I was going to blog this week about this very topic, or one similar lol! I took my car in for a routine service on Monday, 16 month old in tow. The room had a kids table and chairs – but that was it – no books no toys – so kid is just meant to sit there and quietly wait? Yeah right!

    All the magazines were about sports, boats, cars and parts – hmm – not my idea of a fun place either.

    I also got the ticket back with 3 expensive things that ‘needed’ replaced. I played the stereotypical female card (which I hate, but it’s handy sometimes) and said – ‘not sure, I’ll have to talk to my husband about this’ – and sure enough – one is completely unnecessary, and the other two minor items, he can do himself! Hmmph!

    Annie’s last blog post..My Transplanted Life

  13. I know the exact Goodyear you are talking about. And I live 3 hours away!

    I’ll check with my Indy friends to see if they have any recommendations.

    Antonette’s last blog post..Here’s Something to Dog-ear

  14. I hate dealing with shady mechanics & automotive stores, so much so that my husband is the one that handles all of that stuff.

    I’ve seen consumer related shows that show this kind of bad service, and how they especially prey on women just because they know they can get away with it 9 times out of 10. Just horrible.

    carrie’s last blog post..The ads are gone

  15. Our car had to be taken in this week too. I drive by the place every day and yet I REFUSED to go there. I made Tim get up at 7am on his day off and deal with the car stuff. They treat women like they know nothing. I hate it. However the guy was awesome with Tim while I waited in the truck. Such a double standard!!

    ashlee’s last blog post..Going Car Seat Bonkers!

  16. My husband is a mechanic who works for a large, national chain. The company policy is that regardless of what a customer comes in for (even a simple oil change) they are *forced* to do a full work up of the car. There are two reasons for this:

    1. Obviously, profit. If they can find something else wrong, then you might agree to having it repaired. I can attest to the fact that in this slow economy, people are putting off even vital repairs such as brake discs for as long as they possibly can.

    2. Let’s say there is something wrong with your car that you had no clue about. The mechanic finds it, writes it down (your hubby is an attorney so you know how important it is to have stuff in writing!), walks out of the shop and tells you what the problem is. You’re jaded at this point and think, “Heck-to-the-no I am not getting that fixed. I bet it’s not a real problem. You probably made that up!” Now, further imagine you leave the shop and there is an accident. If there is even a 1% chance that the accident could’ve been avoided had you gotten the car repaired as the mechanic suggested, then the mechanic could be sued if he didn’t bring it to your attention. It’s all about CYA, or “covering your ass.” California is famous for its frivolous lawsuits and the mechanics industry is no acception. On an almost weekly basis people return to my husband’s shop complaining of problems with repairs they received; my husband then has to go, pull their paperwork, and review for them that they refused repairs and that the new problems are related to the problems they refused to fix. Most lose their anger pretty quickly (when he’s lucky) and slink out with their tail between their legs.

    Unfortunately, there are many people in the profession who lack ethics. If you truly feel he was trying to pull some sheisty stuff, I’d report him to the state board. There are simply some industries out there associated with rip-offs: plumbing and car sales to name a few. But alas, there is the old saying: “There’s three sides to every story: yours, theirs and the truth.” That is not to say you’re lying, I just mean to illustrate that there are some ethical people who suffer for the wrongdoings of the sleazeballs who try to take advantage of moms…and rarely have a voice to defend themselves. My dad works in the car business so I could definitely tell some stories about unethical customers and their delusions on car profits made by salesman, LOL. I have a good friend who’s a plumber, too, so I guess I’d better shut up before I ramble all day. :)

    Casey’s last blog post..I need to lay off the candy before bed

  17. OOOO I hate that too.

    I will never ever forget the guy that tried to convince me for 10 min why I needed to have my automatic transmission serviced and was very irritated with me that I would let something “this important go without being serviced”.

    He felt rather stupid when I pointed out my car had MANUAL transmission.

    Britt’s last blog post..on top of mt laundry

  18. i’m lucky in that department. my grandparents owned a car lot while i was growing up, and my aunt & uncle own one of the best mechanic shops in town (H.A. Travis Automotive, Abilene, TX)

    i know, it doesn’t do you much good in Indy, but you know, if you’re ever in Abilene and need a good mechanic, i totally got your back

    Biddy’s last blog post..I’ve always thought these look like milk trucks…

  19. Casey,
    I wish I knew some good places to tell you, but unfortunately, I am in the same boat as you. I HATE having to take the car in for some random thing by myself. Or with the kids. (sometimes even worse….Oh? We have a HOUSEWIFE we can screw around…WHAT-ever, dude.)
    Luckily, my husband does stuff like changing the oil, rotating the tires, and other maintenance stuff. Holla! We have taken our car to get the A/C fixed and some recall stuff taken care of at Andy Moore in Noblesville. I don’t know if you have to have bought your car there (we did), or if it is just a service department, period, but they were very nice and quick. Of course, my husband is the one who “took care of it”, so to speak. Good luck finding someone as dependable as you had in your old stomping grounds!

  20. Good for you girl! Blog their asses to shame.

    ashannie’s last blog post..I Don’t Want to Hear It

  21. I wonder if all Goodyears try to pull that crap – I have a friend who swears they try to replace her entire car anytime she takes it to get the oil changed there. They are LIARS!

  22. I’m married to my mechanic. :) He always works for free, and he’s very honest. And looks great in uniform!

    Jenny from Mommin’ It Up!’s last blog post..I’m Packing My Emergency Baby Delivery Kit!

  23. We have been so pleased with Becks Service Center on the corner of Edgewood and Madison in Indy (317-787-5345). They are honest, offer great explanations, and do great work. When we were thinking of buying a new (used) car, we took it to Beck’s before we bought it and they did a thorough inspection of the car for free.

    Andrea’s last blog post..Last day for voting

  24. I agree with you – they take one look at a female walking in and start ringing up dollar signs.

    In Tempe, AZ I have a phenominal Honda guy – he’s always honest, and will tell me when something can be held off.

    Hon-Man – (480) 377-0638
    http://www.hon-man.com/ (the only problem is the flash site is annoying, I’ve yelled at him about that)You can ask for Tait.

    Mandi’s last blog post..Strange First Date

  25. I usually like Tires Plus. I’ve been to three across Minnesota, and only one has ever tried to dupe me into spending more money than I needed to. (Never trust a guy with too much gel in his hair.)

    Amber’s last blog post..Ready for Its Close-up

  26. Ugh, I’d rather be beaten to death with a bag of hot nickels than go to a shady mechanic. They’re always trying to trick me into something. jerks.

    amanda’s last blog post..More Hyphenated Last Named Gone Wrong & Moving

  27. REading through the responses I saw someone mention a lack of things for the kids to do….that Myers garage I mentioned had a HUGE waiting room. A ton of parent magazines. A kid-size desk, and tons of toys from puzzles to coloring books to trucks. My girls were plenty entertained while we were there! Which was good since the horrible mommy didn’t bring anything :P

    Sadie’s last blog post..Great Strides – 5/18/08

  28. I had to laugh at the “nowhere Missouri” comment that Meineke is up the street from my house! LOL

    Danielle’s last blog post..I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet!

  29. Hey,

    Really cool blog! I’d love your advice on mine its: http://www.sunnylandsydney.blogspot.com
    keep up the good work!

    Love Sunny

    Sunny’s last blog post..Saturday Surprise – yes thats food

  30. Whew. It’s about mechanics – here I thought you went all pervy on me.

    And no suggestions from me – it is impossible to find a decent mechanic.

    andi’s last blog post..I’m such a good mother

  31. Has someone mentioned going to http://www.cartalk.com and searching for a mechanic that way? I love the show and there are good reviews on the site. Best of luck; darn those crooked places (shakes fist)!

    Sara’s last blog post..Passion and difficulty

  32. wow. this is a completely fabulous idea! unfortunately i don’t have anyone to recommend. :(

  33. Oh yes! Frank and Roger at Riverside Auto in Old Mystic, CT! Love them and their greasy place.

    Anna at Hank & Willie’s last blog post..Oh right, the blog