DEN­NIS O’SULLIVAN

A Kitch­ener woman learns the hard way that fore­stalling an ex­pen­sive re­pair can mean an even more ex­pen­sive re­pair down the road.

Waterloo Region Record - - Wheels -

QUES­TION

Be­ing a widow, I am at the mercy of the garages that I have been us­ing lately. About six weeks ago, I had the brakes re­placed on my 2004 SUV. I paid just over five hun­dred dol­lars to have them re­placed and af­ter six weeks, they needed to be re­placed again ac­cord­ing to a garage down East when I went to visit my sis­ter. This time, I was charged six hun­dred and forty dol­lars. I told the garage down East that I just had the brakes re­placed and he told me that they did not put the cor­rect pads on and that was why they failed again. I came back to my garage in Kitch­ener and they would not do any­thing for me to­wards the cost of the brake work done by them. You helped a friend of mine get her money back about six months ago and I was hop­ing that you could look into my com­plaint for me. En­closed is my bill from down East. Mary from Kitch­ener

AN­SWER

I am hop­ing that your ques­tion is just a misun­der­stand­ing about how brakes work be­cause when I called your garage in Kitch­ener, they told me that they told you at the time that your ve­hi­cle’s park­ing brake was stick­ing and should be re­paired. You ap­par­ently told the garage that you never use the park­ing brake and that you could not at that time af­ford to have it re­paired. Even af­ter I re­quested the bill from you for the first garage, you never did send it to me but you did send a par­tially blacked out in­voice from the garage down East so I emailed them for the com­plete in­voice. What was blacked out on your in­voice that you sent to me was: ”rear brakes seized, re­place rear brakes and free up emer­gency brake ca­bles.” They also re­placed both rear brake flex lines be­cause of the heat gen­er­ated by the park­ing brake not re­leas­ing. With an au­to­mo­bile, we some­times can­not af­ford not to have the re­pairs done that are needed or we end up be­ing in a sit­u­a­tion like yours where the costs of not do­ing the proper re­pairs can some­times dou­ble the cost.

QUES­TION

The driver’s power seat on my 2007 Buick is in the up­ward po­si­tion and will not go down. My grand­daugh­ters were play­ing with the car seat and one of them put the seat up to its high­est level. The seat mo­tor sounds like it is try­ing to move the seat but it will not move. I spoke to a me­chan­i­cal friend of mine and he told me that it is most likely that the seat mo­tor needs to be re­placed. I think that I have only ad­justed the seat once since I pur­chased the car and do not want to pur­chase an ex­pen­sive mo­tor that I will never use again. Do you have any idea why a mo­tor that was hardly used would go that quickly? Any idea would be ap­pre­ci­ated. Tom from Wa­ter­down

AN­SWER

Be­fore you spend any money on the seat mo­tor, look un­der the seat to make sure that one of the grand­daugh­ters did not ac­ci­dently put some type of toy un­der the seat, which could be re­strict­ing the down­ward move­ment of the seat. If there is noth­ing un­der the seat and you do not want to spend money on some­thing that you say that you will never use then you can get your me­chan­i­cal friend to me­chan­i­cally wind down the seat to where you want it to be.

A HAPPY AND UN­HAPPY READER

I want to thank you for get­ting me my eighty dol­lars back from the ban­dits who ripped me off but I was very dis­ap­pointed that you did not use my ques­tion in your col­umn to ex­pose them. The pub­lic has a right to know about garages that are get­ting away with rip­ping peo­ple off and the lame gov­ern­ment is do­ing noth­ing about it. I am happy for the money but dis­ap­pointed about you not ex­pos­ing the garage. Dan from Troy

MY COM­MENT

That is not what you told me in your email af­ter I spoke to the garage. This is the email that I sent to you af­ter I spoke to the garage:

“Hi Dan, I spoke to the garage and they are telling me that it was your tin­ker­ing with the car that caused the prob­lem with the re­pair but if you would just go away and stop bad­mouthing them, they would give you back your eighty dol­lars. They also re­quested that I not put your foul mouth com­plaint in the pa­per. What would you pre­fer that I do – ex­pose them or get your money back?” Den­nis

Your email to me: “Ob­vi­ously I want my money back but I will never step foot in their garage again.”

Thanks Dan.

Den­nis O’Sullivan can be reached by email at: den­nis.osul­li­van@co­geco.ca or by reg­u­lar mail at Box 10019 Wi­nona, ON, L8E 5R1. Be sure to men­tion where you re­side when writ­ing to Den­nis.

DEN­NIS O’SULLIVAN

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