|I am 23 years old, and I drive a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier. I am a server at a restaurant. Apparently, America's Service Station could easily tell I didn't know a whole lot about cars, with me wearing a sport jacket and reading a book.|
My car was brought into the garage to get a free oil change which I had a coupon for. So, everything was going smoothly, until the front manager (I wish I had remembered his name...he had a short, dark buzz cut, wore a dark leather jacket, and glasses. He was skinny and kind of a shorter white guy, too) walks back into the room I'm reading in, and starts pacing around, like I'm going to be interrogated by a homicide detective playing "good-cop, bad-cop."
He says slowly and dreadfully, "Okay, man, you've got some SERIOUS problems with your vehicle." It was only me and him in the room. I felt a sales pitch coming. He explains to me (and later puts in the report) that:
1. I had a coolant leak,
2. That my car didn't even start when he was trying to pull it into the garage (my car has been starting fine since I've owned it, besides a select couple of times when we had freezing weather, which is an obvious contribution to a car not starting),
3. That A/C dye was running down the back of the A/C compressor, which was a sign of the A/C compressor or the A/C lines leaking,
4. That I had an oil leak, possibly a rear main seal failure,
5. And that my oil light was on upon bringing the vehicle into the shop (Duh!? I needed an oil change).
All in all, he said he would have to at least pressurize my system to see where the coolant leak was coming from, and charged me 50 dollars. So I paid it. The mechanic fixed the leak in the coolant hose "for free" after finding where the leak came from. It's not free if I had to pay 50 bucks, but the front manager acted like he donated his kidney to me.
As for the other "SERIOUS problems," he said it was going to cost 1,000 dollars to fix the oil leak, and another 1,000 dollars to fix the A/C issue. He said it with such concern that it almost got me lured in to spend the money. But it struck me odd, because my car had been running perfectly fine for 6 months. Coolant was always normal, and so was the oil.
Well, I paid my 50 bucks, got my oil change, and got the hell out of there, because I didn't know what to do. The guy I bought the 1997 Cavalier from, well, he's an airplane mechanic, and he knows the car better than anyone, because he drove it for years and fixed it up himself. He charged me 50 bucks parts and labor to get my car in ship shape, and said I'm good to go. I can't believe America's Service Station does this kind of crap to people. It's just like that big conspiracy with Just Brakes.
My recommendation is to NEVER visit America's Service Station again, unless you have those handy "Free Oil Change" coupons. Warning: Just DO NOT FALL for the sales pitch. They will do anything to get what they can out of your wallet, because that's our precious capitalism at work. Just simply say, "I'll take it to my mechanic that I go to." If they say anything, simply repeat, "I'll take it to my mechanic that I go to." If they persist, then say, "I'll take it to my mechanic that I go to." Don't give America's Service Station a chance to sway you. If you can't repeat the above phrase with confidence while not reaching for your wallet in distress, DO NOT show your face in America's Service Station.
America's Service Station puts the "ASS" in Auto Repair!!! I give it a two thumbs down. Way down.