ReScore Reviews™ (1)
Water Assy. & Valve Cover Gasket replacement: (Friday, September 8, 2017)
We took our 2004 Toyota Camry LE (103,800 miles approximately) to Bothell Way Garage for repair after having fixed an appointment with Bob Nelson on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 8:00 AM. When we arrived, Brent took the keys and said that the job will be done around mid-day and the estimate would be the same as spoken, i.e., $360 “out-the-door” before a 15% first time customer discount. He noted that the labor charge would be $200. We requested he check the water pump assembly and valve cover gasket for any leaks and then if he is convinced, proceed to do the repairs.
The services done at BWG (Bothell Way Garage):
A. Valve Cover Gasket was leaking and so was replaced.
B. Water pump assembly replaced since there was a minor leak in the weep hole. No puddle ever under the car.
C. Serpentine belt NOT replaced.
The technician who serviced my car was Terry Fox (I do not know if he is an ASE Certified Technician: - could not find his certification displayed on the wall of the BWG shop).
As I said before, initial estimate given by Bob over the phone was $360 “out-the-door”. Since we were first time customers he said he would give a discount of 15% on top of $360 – which should have been around $306 “out-the -door”. However, he billed us $343.18 – that is $37.18 extra which was mainly due to the labor charge of $240 (instead of the quoted $200). While an increased price of parts would’ve been understandable, the labor charge should have matched the initial quote.
Anyway, I received a call from him at 2:55 PM on September 8, 2017 that the job was done and my car was “good to go”. After we paid the bill, my wife and I had a few questions for him on our other Honda Civic Car and the Camry that was serviced. Then we were on our way– supposedly glad that it was done albeit $37.18 more than the original quote.
Our nightmare started as soon as my wife drove a block or two and found that the car was shaking quite a bit and the check engine light was on. So she turned around and came back to the shop and asked for the mechanic who worked on our car - with me following her in my Civic. Turns out that the mechanic thought he might have crossed some wiring in the solenoid or maybe the spark plug is to blame. After diagnosing with the OBD-II scan, he said that the O2 sensor was bad.
Air/Fuel Ratio Sensor replacement: (Friday, September 8, 2017)
I reminded him and Bob that the car had never had any sensor problems in 14 years – and that it was fine when we got in for service. He said he does not know why it went bad- and said if you want to fix it will cost $329.99 for the sensor- else if you come back on Monday it would cost you $277. I’m not sure why it would’ve been cheaper to do the work on Monday. Anyway, we did not want to drive the car with the check engine light on. I requested him that he do the fix today. He did show me the sensor location and I figured it to be upstream A/F ratio sensor located on Bank1, Sensor #1 in front of the catalytic converter. However, he never bothered to share the diagnostic code with me. I figured the code is P0031 DTC.
On browsing the internet, I found that the part was an Air/Fuel Ratio Sensor. The original part was made by Denso. From Toyotaparts.com and Amazon.com the part was priced at $113.99 (234-9041) Anyway, he ordered a DENSO 234-9041 A/F ratio sensor for $329.99 and was kind enough not to charge labor on it and said that since it is your first time in the shop today, 15% discount would apply. So the final cost came to $309.12 for the A/F sensor – far more than the part would cost even without any (presumed) bulk discount.
The total cost for us turned out to be: ($343.18 + $309.12) = $652.30 :(
I suspect that the Air/Fuel ratio sensor was unwittingly damaged by the mechanic and that I had to pay for it. I also feel disappointed that the serpentine belt was not replaced after another garage and the dealer said it was old and cracked. In a way, I am sad and upset at myself being taken for a ride – even though I was designing and analyzing cars for years together.
Last but not the least, we got swayed by the reviews in Surecritic.com, Google.com & Yelp.com which recommended 94%. We believe it is some kind of “bot” that does the reviews. Maybe?
Or, maybe it was our bad luck to choose this garage over other choices we had. :(
Learnt the hard way – :(
I would give an overall 2 star to this shop.
Bijoy Saraf, I can deal with someone saying thing that are negative about me or the company that I run if they are based on opinions, perceptions or even perspectives that are often based on one's lack of knowledge about cars or what it takes to run a business, But when someone types out lies about us here @ Bothell Way Garage. That is something that have a very difficult time with. In my response I will show lies that you are claiming, including one that doesn't even make sense because it does nothing to support the stand you are taking in attempting to trash talk us and our integrity.
My first clue that I would be in for a rough ride with you was that you and your wife contacted me more than 6 different times via email and phone calls in order to asked questions about prices, parts suppliers, warranty and procedures. It was over the top. I answered the questions everytime except when I started to receive emails with questions already answered multiple other times. The fact that you were at the dealership and another shop, yet never had any work done and you were still calling me to get a price for work that they told you that your car needed was my clue that you trust nobody. The fact that you settled on us tells me that we quoted you the best price that you could find.
Now the first lie that your are telling is that I quoted you $360 out the door and with our 1st time customer discount it would be $306 "out the door". That is a complete lie. I will tell you why that is a verifiable lie. I never ever, ever tell people prices over the phone including tax and shop fees. The tax rate changes over time and it is multiplied by the parts and labor charges. There are 2 other fees included on every invoice and those are a hazardous material disposal fee and a shop supplies fee. Both of those are very standard fees charged by auto repair shops and thay too are charged at a percentage of the parts and labor charges. So with that any intelligent person can see why I would never attempt to calculate all of that in my head. When someone calls in asking for an over the phone quote I never know if they will show up or if this is a complete waste of my time. So I write down on a piece of scratch paper the price of parts (round up to the nearest dollar) and the labor charges. I add them up and then say "the price will be XXX plus tax and if you have never been here we do have a 1st time customer discount of 15% off up to $100 dollars off. So with that discount your price will be XXX plus tax". The price I gave to your wife when she called in was for the water pump, antifreeze, valve cover gasket and labor and I quote her $360 plus tax and with the 1st time discount it would come to about $306 plus tax. (Do the math, it figures). When she asked if we would be replacing the serpentine belt, I told her that it would be removed already while replacing the water pump, if we saw any reason to replace it we would do so and only charge for the part, since it was already off. But if there was nothing wrong with it we would not replace it. She seemed satified with that approach. If you are not then maybe you two should communicate a little better. As for the labor charge portion of the bill being $200 that is both irrelevent and another lie. The labor charged for the water pump replacement was $140 and the valve cover gasket replacement was $100. The remaining $119.83 was for the water pump ($68.95), antifreeze (20.93) and valve cover gasket (29.95). These numbers total up to $359.83 plus tax and with the 1st time customer discount that brought you total to $305.86 plus tax. I don't even know what you are trying to accomplish by saying that the labor side of the bill was higher than you were quoted when the overall bill was what you were quoted.
Now the fact that the dealership and another shop told you that your serpentine belt was dry and cracked and needed to be replaced, and we removed the belt, inspected it and found no cracks or any other defects with it doesn't make us the bad guys. It makes us the 1 of 3 shops that told you the truth and didn't try to sell you something you didn't need. And you complain about that? I am dumbfounded by this. You do realize that selling you a belt benefits us right? You know more parts equal more money?
Now you slide your stupid comment in there about the technician that performed the services on your car saying that you don't know if he is ASE certified. First of all that is completely irrelevant. There are many technicians who don't take the time to go take those tests but are more than qualified and plenty of test takers who can pass tests but fail in the "real world". Terry is nearly 50 years old and has work on car for a living most of his adult life and many years ago let his certifications expire without choosing to renew them. He was injured years ago and took a break from auto repair, so the certifications were'nt that important to keep up on. Terry was hired he from one of the well known local auto dealers and he is a great addition to our team. I would confidently say that Terry know more and has even forgotten more about cars then you do or will ever know.
As for your alleged nightmare, you forgot to mention that before you left the property and after paying your bill, you and your wife went out and opened up the hood to inspect the engine compartment. And your wife came back and told me that we did not put enough antifreeze in it. I followed her to the car and she should me the overflow bottle and said that it was low. I pointed out to her that there is a low and full mark on the overflow bottle and the antifreeze level was just a touch above full. She then said that it was full to the top of the bottle before and I informed her that it wa way overfull before then and that it is good now. She said ok to that. This whole exchange front the 1st phone call to the pickup of the vehicle I could tell that there is a high probability that this could be a bad experience for BWG.
Terry test drove the vehicle after the repair and drove it approximately 1.5miles, it ran fine and the check engine light never came on. You say that after driving a block or two "the check engine light came on and the car was shaking quite a bit". So then your wife came back and asked for the machanic who worked on your car. That's the lie that doesn't make sense. I saw you and her walk up to the waiting room and so I got down from the fork lift that I was operating and asked you what was happening. You said that the check engine light was on. At that point I yelled across the shop to Terry and said "the check engine light is on in the Camry, go check it out". When Tery greeted you he was perplexed by the situation, wondering how the repairs that he did could have caused the symptom. So he then wondered if the removal of the ignition coils in order to remove the valve cover could have something to do with it. He was basically thinking outloud. When he pulled it back in the shop the check engine light was on but it was no shaking as you described. I brought you out to the shop and showed you where the coils are located and why they were removed. I also discovered that his work was flawless. He then scanned the car's computer and found a code that if I remember correctly was a p2195 (not the p0031 that you guessed from your internet research). We determined that your upstream air/fuel ratio sensor had failed. This sensor is mounted in the exhaust manifold and is exposed to temperatures of 350-500 degrees fahrenheit daily and the failure of these sensors is a common thing. You yourself said that it is 14 years old. I understand that coincidences are not fun or convenient, but they are real and nobody is to blame for them. When you told me that the sensor wasn't bad upon arrival for repairs I agreed with you and I stated that it wasn't defective after the repair or after Terry test drove it either. But electronics do fail and ofter times they fail without warning (especiallly when they are 14 years old). When you were in the shop I showed you where Terry worked on your car and where the sensor was located. It was nowhere near the valve cover gasket or the water pump. There were no signs of damage to the sensor. So for you to say that you suspect the sensor was unwittingly damaged by the mechanic and that you had to pay for it is false. I can still dig it out of the trash and you can take it somewhere and have it tested. It failed internally and there is nothing we could do to make that happen.
And for the last lie that I found in your review, You say that you don't know why the sensor would have been cheaper on Monday the 11th than it was to do it on Friday the 8th. I spoke to you in plain and clear english and I told you that I could get the sensor from a supplier that late in the day and it would cost you $322.98 plus tax but if you wanted to wait until Monday, i could get it from another supplier and it would cost you $276.95 plus tax. I was very clear on that. You decided to authorize the repair on Friday. I then removed the old one and then you showed me your research on your phone that you found the part cheaper from an online source. My response to you was that I could find a steak online cheaper then the one I could buy from the restaurant across the street from us. I then said that I don't concern myself with what you can find online and that I am not trying to computer with online suppliers. And that I am competing with the local auto repair shops neighboring us and that our prices are very competetive in our industry. To that you "ok". It is obvious to me that you know nothing about running a business, the expenses involved or the profit margins needed to stay in business in order to provive services to individuals like yourself who can't fix their own vehicles.
Here at BWG we do offer our new customers a 1st time discount of 15% off up to $100 off and 10% referral discount up to $100 off for refering a new customer to us. These are discounts that we graciously offer. No other shops near by offer this and we do not have to do this. When I priced everything out to you and your wife over the phone and you agreed to the price, you then came in to pay the bill and tried to haggle the price down even further. I understand that in your culture it is normal to haggle over prices (even after you agreed to them) and who knows even try to barter for services with livestock or something. But here in America we treat handle ourselves with more respect for others.
And lastly, that IDIOTIC claim that our online reviews are obtained by some kind of "bot" is ludicrous. Every one of those other reviews are just as real and orhganic as yours is. At BWG we have developed a great clientele base of wonderful people who are a pleaure to work with. And since you do not fit into that group, We will definitely be willing to warranty the repairs that were performed on your vehicle if there was a failure of our work or the parts installed. Other than that we don't want your cars here in the future. Sincerely and as humble as I can be considering, Bob (425)949-7627
Darrin I see you took time to fill out a review. Unfortunately you made no attempt to contact me to discuss your disappointment. I can understand being disappointed when things don't go as you had hoped. And as for you having the opinion that our charges were too expensive, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. When it comes to out charges I don't believe that you would have found anyone to do the repairs that we did for a lower price. We replaced your transmission output seal (because it was leaking transmission fluid) for $127, we replaced your rear brake wheel cylinders (because they were leaking brake fluid) for $140, we replaced the reverse light switch (because it had gear oil from the transmission leaking out of the switch) for $99 and a power steering fluid flush for $97. All of these charges were presented to you before we did any work. You authorized the work and never once mention price being an issue. The labor and part charge you are referring to is for the reverse light switch. I told you that the oil was leking through the body of the switch and that we also noticed that the reverse light did not work. I then suggested that we replace the defective switch to fix the oil leak and that we would keep our fingers crossed that maybe that would also get the reverse lights to work and if they still did not work then we would have to spend some time diagnosing that. After the switch replacement the lights still did not work and then you declined to have the diagnosis done. When you look at our charges and then consider that we also gave you a 1st time customer discount of $84.42 plus tax, my opinion is that you are completey wrong about the charges. As for the coolant hose detaching from the radiator, that is an unfortunate thing. But when we do the inspection on vehicles we put a pressure tester on the cooling syetm and pump the pressure up to 15-20psi. If the system holds pressure and there are no leaks, then we conclude that the cooling system is in good condition at that time. Your cooling system held pressure for 20 minutes and there were no leaks. When you bring us a 50 year old car and say that you want to drive it to California, we are definitely looking it over for any obvious signs of a potential failure and we are in the business of finding problems and then selling you on the fix for the problems. I sorry our crystal ball was broken on Aug 18th and we were unable to predict a possible hose clamp that would fail. So with that said, I am sorry that you were displeased with the service that you received here. But with Your unwillingness to contact me or respond to my attempt to contact you, I am certainly glad that you found a shop that you are "very satisfied with".
Hey Mike thanks for the kind words and for taking time to write them out. We really do appreciate it and I'm glad that your car had so little wrong with it and we were able to help you sooner than expected. Sincerely, Bob.