Ok, here is the question of the day for all of you out there reading this little blog:
What recourse does one have for bad/poor auto repair besides making a complaint to the shop and to the Better Business Bureau?
Here is my situation:
In February of this year, I took my Honda into the Big O Tire Store on Bolsa Chica near the corner of Warner Ave in north Huntington Beach. My brother favors this auto repair shop because the owner/manager, Rich Lindsay, has given my brother and his friends good deals on tires. I have had tire work done at this shop previous to Feb. with no problems.
In Feb., I got new brakes, rotors, cv joints, and front axel. This work was approximately $600. When I got the car back, I noticed that the brakes would pulse when it came time to stop. I called Big O, reported the problem to Mr. Lindsay, and he told me to bring it back so he could have his guys look at it.
My mom took it back for me when I went to SXSW, as I did not need it for 8 days. When I returned, she told me that she had paid another $600 to get a new steering column and assembly. Out of a Tire Store? I was upset at her, as she is famous for getting suckered into non-necessary, expensive auto repairs. The brakes were still pulsing. And the SRS (air bag) malfunction light had now come on.
Back I went to Big O Tires mid-March, I told Mr. Lindsay that I was very frustrated as the pulse was still there and now the SRS air bags had a malfunction. He claimed that he had test driven the car, looked the brakes over again, and that there was nothing wrong with the brakes. Additionally, if I needed the SRS light looked at he could not help me that I had to go to the Honda dealer for that. I replied back that the SRS light was not on before he sold my mom on the new steering assembly and that the SRS is connected to the steering, and it was obviously his responsibility, as they had done the work. He said he would fix it, but that I owed him.
I came back a few hours later to no SRS light but the brakes were still pulsing. Best yet, the speedometer was not working. I was furious. Luckily, my dad was in town a few days later and said he would help. My dad and I discovered the Big O guys had slipped the speedometer dial arm under the metal rest stop at the zero mark when they disconnected the SRS system. Basically, it was a small screw to get me back for my persistence, as the speedometer dial arm could not have gotten into that position on its own.
I talked with my dad and we both concluded that trying to go back to Big O to get the pulsing brakes fixed was a lost cause, as I would probably get more mischief done to the system.
Over the months the pulsing has gotten worse, today I took my car in for a routine oil change and tire rotation at the local 76 station. I asked the head mechanic if he would also take a look at my brakes to figure out the source of the pulse. When I picked up my car a half hour ago, the 76 mechanic informed me that whoever had last replaced the rotors and brakes had put rotors of the wrong size on and they were causing the brakes to pulse and the brake pads to get waves in them. He said I need new rotors to replace the wrong sized ones and pads.
The car needs new rotors only 5 months after they were replaced. I am pissed. The 76 guy told me that this is something brake guys do when they want to make more money, as the rotors put on were the cheaper ones.
Ok, gang, what do you recommend:
1) Calling up Big O and drilling them several new rear ends? Then demanding that they put on the correct rotors and pads? Knowing that they will most likely fuck it up more?
2) Calling up Big O, bawling them out, and then report them to the Better Business Bureau? And go somewhere else to get new rotors?
3) ..... or is there another option that I am not thinking of?