The Car Mechanic Conspiracy Theory

My car has just reached 70,000 miles and she’s starting to show her age. Combine that with the fact that I’ve treated her like a jerk and you have a recipe for frequent visits to the repair shop.

I have this bad habit of waiting until the car is on “E” before getting gas. I think subconsciously I like the excitement and challenge of guessing how much further I can push it until it runs out of gas. Actually, I know how far that is because it’s already happened once :oops:.

My wife keeps her tank at 1/2 full or more and is constantly on my case to get gas.

She’s right. My bad habit recently caught up with me and there was so much dirt in my engine that the car wouldn’t start.

Luckily I’m not that far from the repair shop.

They installed a new censor and flushed the engine and ($350 later) I was back on the road.

Now after 3 weeks, my car is back in the shop. This time it’s to get the shocks/struts repaired.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in all my years owning a car. Everytime I go to the repair shop, I’m always back there within 2 months fixing something else.

Here’s my conspiracy theory question (no offense to mechanics):

“Do car mechanics fix one thing with your car but loosen or disable something else so that you have to come back to them and spend more money?”

Hey, it’s just a theory but I’d like to know what you think…


I had the same thing happen to me at one of the National Car Repair shop that also sells many tires! I finally found a reliable mechanic based on friends recommendations.

Yes I think that some mechanics do these kind of things. You have to find a reputible place to use and build a relationship with them. I called on a part the other day and they told me I had to buy the whole under-carriage for my seat instead of just the switch at a cost of $500.00 something dollars and my husband could not understand why so he called them and questioned this and they said no,no,no, you can buy just the switch which was about $67.00. They also take advantage of women because they think we are STUPID!

Hello Ron.I sort of take offense at the suggestion.Mechanics are no more dishonest than say a TV repairman or a appliance man.People are suspect of someone that knows something about something they don't.Do you really need the shot or meds for the cold your Doc gave you or would you have gotten better in a few days anyway?See my point.A car is going to last about 3 years or 75,000 miles before it starts have problems.When it does several things start to go,brakes,belts,hoses,batteries,shocks,exhaust ect.When you buy a car you prob finance it for 3-5 years.Most put about 20-25,000 miles a year on there car.So in 3 years you either start to replace parts or trade in for a new car.You either pay a note on the car or you  pay the mechanic to keep the old one going.When my TV goes out it becomes a target.I put it out at about 3-400 yards and it gets shot with my Sharps Quigley Rifle.(reference Quigley Down Under with Tom Selleck.)It doesn't get a second chance.If people would take better care of there cars,oil change every 3-4,000 miles,check air in tires,grease,suspension,clean battery connections ect,they would last longer.I've got over 100.000 on my Ford F 150 Lariat and it drives like new,but I'm a mechanic and I know what needs attention.So much for the old addage "mechanics drive cars in the worst condition".Well I've rambled enough hope this helps.    DANA

Dana, no offense intended. I’m sure you’re an honest and professional mechanic. This post was more to spur conversation than to make the ridiculous claim that all mechanics are corrupt.

However, even you have to admit to the possibility that out of the thousands of mechanics in this country, there may be a few bad apples. Some of them do take advantage of women and some of them will overcharge you if given the opportunity.

On the flip side, there was a mechanic I used to go to when I lived in Suffolk County who really took care of me. I’m now struggling to find one that measures up.


I guess I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been driving a Honda Accord for the last 11 years and it has 335K on it with very little done to it. Of course, Oil changes every 5,000 as that is a number I can remember thus do not miss a very important maintence. Timing Belt every 100K, important on a Honda if you want to drive it very long. When a timing belt goes out on one of them I guess it most likely will take the head with it - Bad news. The car has only left me stranded twice. Once when the fuel pump went out - an easy fix, which my brother replaced for me. And then when the Alternator went out. That one cost me a lot of money due to a bad mechanic. To change the alternator the transaxle had to be removed from the transmission. The mechanic didn’t get the transaxle back into the transmission right and it leaked out my transmission fluid. Thus it took out my transmission and cost me a rebuilt transmission to the tune of about $1,200. Other than putting about 1,000 to 1200 in it every 100K for timing belt change, clutch, water pump etc. That is all I’ve done to it. I just bought a Honda CR-V and hope for the same good luck. (Oh, at one point I had to have some of the sensors replaced around the carburetor.) I do think that a mechanic makes all the difference in the world, but I don’t think most of them are out to talk advantage of you. Maybe they just don’t know all they need to know. When you get one you trust – hang onto him. Have a good day.

The real poblem is with the mechanics that are good and honest are getting older and retiring or going for easier, less stressful jobs. The mechanic that my family used for 30 years was very good. He worked at a gas station, came to this job from a dealership to get away from the politics of a dealership. He left for one of those easier jobs at a machine shop. His co-worker mechanic is good too. But the gas station changed hands. Now you have to make an appointment to have any work done, you don’t know when your car is going to break down in advance. They don’t have weekend hours, both of us work so it is harder to leave it during the week.
So to make a long story longer. My wife’s car had a noise in the front end and needed brakes since they were grinding. I took it to the local Sears repair shop (1st error) so I could walk home while the car is fixed. The shop was filled with fresh grads from the local auto mechanic school. They replaced the brakes but could not find any other problems. We took the car for a short run to the store, took some back roads and some highway, when we got to a traffic light the right side has smoke coming up from the wheels. I thought it may have been the new fuzz on the pads burning off. It improved over the next week, since my wife does not drive a long distance to work. On the weekend we wanted to drive to the shore (300+ miles). It is on 70MPH roads, it heated up everything. Had to turn around and took it back to Sears. The pads disintegrated when they took things apart to look, the caliper was at fault. They replaced it for no charge since we had a 3 year warranty. the car still has a noise in the front end like bearings that are bad. I took it back to Sears, left it so they could take their time to find the problem. After work we stopped to see how far they got with the car, since they didn’t call at all. They said they had two mechanics drive the car to hear the problem and both heard nothing. I was upset, so the manager took it out with me. As soon as we moved a few feet he heard the noise. He took it in the service area and talked to the mechanics. They,after having the car for another day only found one problem. I had to take it to a transmission shop to get another problem fixed. They also found the other bearing problem and replaced that. So after fighting with the green apples at Sears and taking the car to another place it finally is ok. Also I want everyone that reads this to know that I know that the radio has to be turned off so mechanics can hear problems, IT WAS OFF. They still couldn’t hear the problem at Sears. I also was thinking about the Ron White story about taking vehicles to Sears for service. Listen to his problem, he makes fun if the people to get a laugh but it can be true sometimes. I could go on about car dealerships too, but that is for another time. Thanks for listening.

I know this to be true in at least one case…mine! I finally changed mechanics. There isn’t enough space to write about all of it. The other thing that happens is that independent mechanics working alone or with 1 other person can’t make enough money with time consuming jobs. They need volume. In my case, all 3 of us have older cars. The newest being 8 years old. Time is money. Mechanics don’t see an old car as an old person. They get in there, do there work fast and get out. I’ve had many return visits due to stripped plugs or broken hooziewhats because they just were not careful.

This is absolutely true. 20/20 did a show on this a few years back, and caught a bunch of these schmucks red-handed ripping women off. I’ve called on a price and had them quote a ridiculous sum, then had my hubby call back, and it’s often hundreds of dollars cheaper. It happens too often to be a coincidence, and there seem to be more like this than not, pathetically.

My mom, who is 67 years old, took her car in for an anti-freeze change, brought her own anti-freeze, and they still charged her 32.00. She noticed it looked like it was leaking when she went to leave and asked the guy about it. He siad it was just run-off from the engine. Snort

That was Friday, come Monday, it’s still leaking, so she takes it back. She’s informed it’ll take him two days to get back and correctly do the job he should’ve done right in the first place (I haven’t had a chance to talk to her to know whether he had the gall to try to charge twice for the same job, but it wouldn’t surprize me-it’s happened to her before). He also should’ve double-checked when my mom said it was leaking, before the car ever left the garage.

My mom is disabled, so it’s hard for her to get out anymore-I live across country from her, and this frustrates me no end-but she’s always maintained her own car. She can change out hoses, battery cables, and plugs, but she’s not able to stand for the length of time to do this stuff anymore.

People who take advantage of the elderly should be sent to a desert island ala ‘Escape From LA’ and left to rot, far away from USEFUL civilization.