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1991 Corolla DLX 4AFE, 1994 Camry LE 5SFE, 1995 Avalon XLS 1MZFE, 2004 Sienna XLE/LTD, 2011 Camry LE
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Okay, so here's the deal, you take your beloved car into a repair shop because something has gone wrong with it. You would like to know what exactly has gone wrong, and how much it will cost to fix it. The mechanic takes it into the shop, throws it up on the rack and does his 98-point "safety inspection." We did this with every single car that came into our Firestone shop in Aurora, Colorado back in the early 1980's. We didn't do this necessarily out of any concern for our customer's safety, we were looking for things that needed or should be repaired or replaced. The reason for this "thorough inspection" was purely to generate up-sales.

You are literally walking into the lion's den when you take your car to a garage for repair. Hate to say it, but women were especially vulnerable to the up-sale because a majority of them know little to nothing about their cars. We had one lady come in one morning fraught with despair, her engine was not acting normally and her husband had just deployed overseas with the Air Force. I checked the car in and did a preliminary check and determined that it was a minor issue. Before I could start my repair, the senior mechanic with over 20+ years at Firestone stepped in, had me step aside, and said he'd take care of it. Well I went back to other work and after a few hours I looked over to the bay her car was in and he had her entire engine pulled out! Firestone had sold her a rebuilt engine!! I was shocked, I went over to the woman, who was waiting in the customer lounge, pulled her aside and told her that she had just been ripped off. I was so angry. She confided that she was also pregnant with their first child and her husband would not be home for 3 months.

You see, I had just gotten out of the Navy as a jet engine mechanic and was horrified to see how the automotive industry (at least back in the 1970's and 1980's) were nothing more than predators, especially with women or anyone else who seemed to be uninformed about all things cars. She said she already talked to the bank and got a loan to cover the engine replacement. I gave her my number and told her to tell her husband what happened when he returned from overseas. And just like clockwork, about 90 days later I hear a bunch of shouting up at the service desk and there is that lady and her husband. Long strory short, The "senior mechanic" was fired on the spot, the money was refunded to the couple and everything worked out for them.

After the initial incident with the engine, I had the service manager come in and tell us to start squirting oil on people's shock absorbers so that we could upsell those high profit items as well. I was disgusted and told him I would not do that. He said I wouldn't be seeing many cars in my bay then, jerk! The final straw came when a former NFL player for the Denver Broncos (backup quarterback) brought his Mazda RX-7 in right before closing one night, and my service manager says 'we're gonna hit pay dirt, it's Norris Weese! I was once again appalled that this was how this industry was working. I pulled his car down off the rack, drove it around to the customer parking lot, took the keys in to Mr Weese and told him not to trust this shop, they're out to rip you off. I took my uniform shirt off, threw it at the SM and quit right there and have never looked back. And have never worked for a Service Garage since. So the reason for this long diatribe is that there are shops that still operate with this strategy. It's not fair at all to the customer, but it's how some of these shops stay alive. I could only imagine what the profit margins are nowadays, it seems to me it would be worse. But the customers nowadays educated themselves about their vehicles, and rightly so. A friend of mine spent years getting his ASE certification only to work for less than 3 years at a major Toyota dealer here in Kansas City. He said some of that mentality still exists in the automotive repair industry and he was having none of it either.

My advice to you is ask friends/family/people for references of mechanics that they trust and have been patronizing for a long time. The worst case scenario for someone like you, is that these repair shops predators can almost smell the blood of a 'newbie' shopping around for repairs, and very few of them will be 100% honest, sad to say. They are in the business of making money and they've refined their deed to an art here in 2022.

I will aslo add a link for financial guru, Dave Ramsey to help you strategize this car repair, is it even worth it, should I buy another car, can I borrow a car while I fix or replace this one, etc. And full disclaimer, I have absolutely zero connection to Dave Ramsey, but I have benefitted from his wisdom. Best of luck to you and as always, Caveat emptor - "let the buyer beware."

D. Ramsey Trusted Providers:


Budgeting for Car Repair Costs
 

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I always considered a new female customer as a great opportunity to establish a professional relationship that could last decades.
My shop offered a "pre purchase" inspection that cost an hours labor, started at $26 30 years ago. We made a list of everything we observed and I took the time to explain what we recommended and with with a reasonable time estimation of life expectancy. Inspection fee applied to any future repairs within reasonable amount of time.
Women talk about these experiences, while men don't want to tell others about when they got shafted by an unscrupulous tech.
My best example was;
Regular customer comes in for front brake job, of course when bleeding the system the original master cylinder collapses and can not be bled, car can not leave in it's current condition, master MUST be replaced, not a part of the original estimate (or you would never get that job).
She could NOT afford that repair.
I took the master out of my own car and installed it for labor only, which she could afford. Over the next few years she sent me at least 20 new customers. Told her to pay me when she could. Modified my bleeding procedure to reduce the chances of another situation like this one.
Another customer and his absolutely gorgeous daughter had restored a 77 280Z. Tons of respect for both father and daughter. Put the car on my lift in the back of the shop, AND THE DAMNED WATER PUMP DECIDED TO FAIL CATASTROPHICALLY, LIKE FLUSHING A TOILET.
I was so mad I told the father, "it just had to happen when it was on the lift in my shop."
His response will stay with me until my last breath.
"I am so glad it happened here instead of on some deserted part of the interstate on her way to college and she disappears and I never see her again."
It's amazing how your emotions can change from absolute depression to absolute joy when someone who TRUSTS YOU, says something like that.
I live about 200 miles south of the OP, Maryland is the lowest part of the rust belt. Neither of my older cars have the issues described but then they came from Florida and they are basically rust free even at 21 years and 84k miles and 192k miles. The higher mileage car Has failed baffles inside the muffler that rattle if you shake the tailpipe.
RECOMMENDATIONS.
Look at the oil pan yourself or with a trusted friend or family member.
Description of rusted with seeping oil, THROUGH THE RUST by original inspection should be easily confirmable.
TRUST BUT VERIFY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Get a second opinion on the exhaust leak, then decide who to trust, to the extent you can trust anyone.
I never lied or cheated anyone intentionally, it was NOT my nature and never will be. I looked you in the eye, told you what I knew was a fact and never worried about covering my ass, NEVER HAD TO.
 

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How do you tell someone their car is a turd and they should sell it. I have no problem to show customers their problems and I’ll even show them the old parts. For me mechanics take a right set of mind and sometimes it’s best that your not around. Not that I’m hiding anything, you would just annoy me.
I have a turd! But I am driving it until the wheels fall off or it catches on fire, literally :poop:
 
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This is a great reply. I am living and learning. I didn't come with knowing my car inside and out but I TRY and I do listen! But, imo, when everything the mechanic is doing is normal operating procedure, and I OWN THE CAR and have maintained it for almost two decades, yes, I ought to be able to watch as he does the inspection. That was my major concern here, he barred me from doing that.
That may not be his choice.

Depending on where you are and what insurance company he has, a mechanic or employee must first inspect the vehicle before they can bring back someone to view it. This is so the mechanic can spot in advance anything that's about to fall off the vehicle and keep the owner/driver well out of the way when bringing them in to see the vehicle. Laugh all you want, many a dufuss owner who never maintained their vehicle has sued many a mechanic for getting hit in the head by sh*t that fell of their car. It's not just exhaust. People who never greased ball-joints in tie-rod ends have been hit be steering linkages. Hell, I've seen entire front wheels fall off once the vehicle was put in the air.

People will ignore sh*t well past the point of sanity. I've seen a woman with three little bitty kids bring a car in "because the brakes were making noise and vibrating a little."


You see those vertical bars between the two surfaces?

The surfaces were gone. So were the surfaces and backing plate of the pads. The only way the vehicle was stopping was the plunger for the caliper itself was pushing out and hitting those vertical bars.

She got her keys back from the mechanic and drove off with three little bitty kids in the car.
She had ignored this problem well beyond the point of sanity.

Water pumps just fail. I've installed quite a few of them on my Jeeps over the years. The parts store brand knock-off pumps fail fast.

If you drive through a lot of salt, a rusted oil pan is pretty ordinary as well. This is why car washes in regions that use salt have the option to wash the undercarriage. It gets the salt off your frame and oil pan.

Your undercarriage starts out all shiny and grand.

Okay, that's not a Camry, but it looks cool and helps to make the point.

This is also why Camry has an optional undercarriage protector.


You still need to wash, but this stops little bits of gravel and whatever from bouncing up and dinging through the paint/rust protection coating. If you don't have that, your oil pan gets hit by all of that stuff. Your car can look shiny and new on top and look like this underneath.


Ford cars were notorious for having the frame snap while people were driving down the road. I don't know why, but people who owned Ford cars back in the day would never pay to have the undercarriage washed and the frame would brake going down the road. My brother was riding in one coming home from Junior High basketball practice one day. The frame dug into the road and spun them around into the ditch.

Personally, I replace batteries at six years of age even if they seem perfect. The cheaper ones only have a 36 month warranty and the better ones 60 month. If you are buying Interstate brand that 36 means it may last three, but no more than six months. Suckiest batteries ever made!

Brakes are something I never skimp on. Having said that, I put the rears on my Avalon myself this past summer. Didn't replace rotors.

At the risk of sounding sexist or just showing my age, this is why many women either date a mechanic or become really good friends with a dude that is mechanically inclined.

Does your Camry have a fan blade mounted on the water pump?

I'm asking because some of the newer vehicles have all electric fans. There is just a pulley and belt on the water pump.

Yes, many of the store-brand remanned water pumps are junk, but the thing people always overlooked was having the fan balanced. If your water pump has a fan mounted to it and the blades have become out of balanced, it will knock a water pump out in under 30K miles. You won't hear anything and you won't notice anything, but there will be too much vibration for the water pump to survive.

There is usually a fan clutch too. Theoretically the fan clutch is supposed to take the hit and fail, allowing the water pump to live. The trouble is that people are deaf and dumb. They turn the stereo up too loud and don't notice the noise coming from under the hood or the fact the fan is always spinning.

Feel free to take your vehicle to another mechanic for a second opinion.

If that exhaust leak is in the engine compartment or near the driver's seat, get it fixed yesterday! It's winter now. You can pass out from carbon monoxide and get in a bad accident, or you can just die from it.

 

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1991 Corolla DLX 4AFE, 1994 Camry LE 5SFE, 1995 Avalon XLS 1MZFE, 2004 Sienna XLE/LTD, 2011 Camry LE
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so yea, you get all that ?
Hey, we all have mothers, wives, sisters, nieces, etc that we hate to see get f#^ked by some jerk mechanic or shop that’s out for blood & as much cash as they can extract from her purse! We’ve all been in that situation. And since we’re passionate about cars, we have a primal instinct to protect! That’s all!
 

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The mechanic takes it into the shop, throws it up on the rack and does his 98-point "safety inspection." We did this with every single car that came into our Firestone shop in Aurora, Colorado back in the early 1980's. We didn't do this necessarily out of any concern for our customer's safety, we were looking for things that needed or should be repaired or replaced. The reason for this "thorough inspection" was purely to generate up-sales.
Firestone, the entire chain, is notorious for exactly what you describe. It doesn't matter what city or state you go to a Firestone repair center, they try to screw you.

There was one around the Fox Valley Mall area of Illinois where I stopped for an oil change (only place open at the time and I didn't feel like driving 2 hours to the family farm to do it myself). They had some woman's car in the first bay pointing to a groove in the rotor telling her

You can see where the rivet has been cutting in.

In the 1980s and into the 1990s came with a "turning groove." This was a pre-cut groove that indicated if you could still turn the rotor or it needed replacement. If the groove wasn't there, your rotor was wore out. If turning the rotor to remove some damage was going to remove that groove the rotor could not be turned.

I looked at the pads he took off. They were glued! Not a rivet on them!

Just another day at Firestone.
 

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Hey, we all have mothers, wives, sisters, nieces, etc that we hate to see get f#^ked by some jerk mechanic or shop that’s out for blood & as much cash as they can extract from her purse! We’ve all been in that situation. And since we’re passionate about cars, we have a primal instinct to protect! That’s all!
In this particular case, while the price may be a bit high to some, I don't think she is getting screwed.

Taking to another place that will let her look will verify the oil pan easy enough.

Water pumps are designed to leak out the weep hole when they are failing.

Most people want to believe "That oil and antifreeze in the parking spot I just pulled out of is from another vehicle." You can't really believe that when you pay for an assigned parking spot so it is only your vehicle parking there.

If her undercarriage isn't rusted bad I would even go so far as to recommend she take the vehicle to a place that does undercoating. She did say she wanted to keep it for 10 years. That will seal it up and help it last.

If you can get flakes of rust larger than 1/4 inch in size to come off with just your finger . . . fugettaboutit. It's gonna be a rust bucket no matter what. Just ride it out for a few years.
 

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I own a 2003 CAMRY LE 75,112 miles. I bought new from Toyota. I have taken good care of this investment. At a recent oil change I was told of two issues:
I took it for a oil change and mechanic I’ve been to for many years who is probably 65 yrs old said:
2 ISSUES:
  1. FRONT FLEX PIPE IS LEAKING. I BELIEVE THIS WILL FALL OFF WHEN DRIVING IF NOT REPAIRED (PER SIMCA MECHANIC). THIS PIPE HAS TO DO WITH THE EXHAUST.
  2. ENGINE OIL PAN IS RUSTY & SWEATING OIL & NEEDS TO BE REPLACED.
I wanted to get a 2nd opinion and took it to another local mechanic, MMechanic that the neighborhood listserv posts had good things to say by a handful of neighbors.
I had always INTENDED TO KEEP CAR FOR 10+ YEARS.

I told the reception man I wanted to be in the back when the mechanic owner looked at these 2 issues so we could discuss them better. Reception man said I could only come back After mechanic/owner did his look/overview of my car. WAS THAT A MISTAKE leaving owner/mechanic alone with my car, a place I've never been before? Could he have done damage to my Coolant System Repair (WATER PUMP) thereby creating a leak in my car? Again, first mechanic never mentioned this. Not sure it was wise to have left my car in his hands/out of my sight without being back there the whole time.

When MMechanic owner allowed me in back to look at my car and discuss it was a bit amazing. He starts up with a Scare orientation, telling me that my car is very bad ALL OVER due to the environment taking a big toll and rusting and corrosion is everywhere. As you can see from the below written estimate, MMechanic found a number of other issues that NO ONE has ever said are issues. I’ve had such little issues w/ this car and I don’t have much experience with mechanics. First off the Customer Comments Recommendations he wrote at the start of his estimate that you can see below is a lie. I only went there w/ two known issues as I've stated above. So, he has decided to LIE in his estimate to me, which entirely negates him from ever touching my life again.
But, I need to learn from this bad experience to avoid these types in the future!
He alleges
WATER PUMP has a small leak and this is real bad.

Description Price QTY HRS Subtotal
1 Remove and replace Engine Water Pump -Includes: The removal of
component and all necessary components for access.
2.1 $189.00
2 OEM Water Pump and gasket. $122.19 1 $122.19
3 Extend Life Coolant $25.00 1 $25.00
Tax (6%): $8.83 Total: $345.02

He also says the battery is about to die as it was installed 2013 per a label I did see this label he pointed out on my car battery top corner though I don't ever recall seeing that before yesterday.

HOPE YOU CAN PLEASE SHARE THOUGHTS / RECOMMENDATIONS.
MMechanic seemed like a ‘polished’ sales guy and after reflecting on him I have solid concerns on all that he said. I'm not going back.

Here is MMechanic full quote.
Customer Comments Recommendations

Would like a quote for an oil pan replacement and front
flex pipe replacement up to the catalytic converter. Car has
a myriad of issues going on, will need new brakes up to
5,000 miles left, water pump needs to be replaced. Also
the tail end of the exhaust has a significant amount of rust
particularly where it connects to the exhaust exit pipes.
We can also repair the current exhaust system you have,
instead of replacing the entire component. Battery is old
dates 11/13, makes this battery 9 years old! It will also
need front brakes in about 5,000 miles, Engine Water
pump has a small coolant leak.

Engine Repair (Oil pan)

Description Price QTY HRS Subtotal
1 Remove and replace Engine Oil pan and gasket. Includes: The
removal of component and all necessary components for access,
time to add fluid.
4 $360.00

2 OES OIL PAN ASSY - NEW $137.66 1 $137.66

3 OIL PAN GASKET $18.78 1 $18.78

4 TOYOTA OIL PAN BOLT $2.95 10 $29.50

Tax (6%): $11.16 Total: $557.10

Exhaust Repair/ Flex Pipe


Description Price QTY HRS Subtotal
1 Remove and replace Front Exhaust Pipe Assembly complete
section. Includes: The removal of component and all necessary
components for access.

2 $180.00

2 EXHAUST PIPE WITH INTEGRATED FLEX PIPE AND CATALYTIC

CONVERTER ASSY -NEW

$809.91 1 $809.91

3 OES EXHAUST PIPE GASKET AND HARDWARE KIT FRONT AND

REAR

$45.98 1 $45.98
Tax (6%): $2.76 Total: $1,038.65

Coolant System Repair (TOYOTA WATER PUMP)


Description Price QTY HRS Subtotal
1 Remove and replace Engine Water Pump -Includes: The removal of
component and all necessary components for access.
2.1 $189.00
2 OEM Water Pump and gasket. $122.19 1 $122.19
3 Extend Life Coolant $25.00 1 $25.00
Tax (6%): $8.83 Total: $345.02


Created: 12/31/2021

12/31/2021 MMechanics

Page 1 of 3

Battery Replacement

Description Price QTY HRS Subtotal
1 Load test, Remove and replace battery, clean terminals. Includes:
The removal of component and all necessary components for
access, and saving Computers memory information.

0.35 $31.50
2 S35 Series 550 CCA EXIDE Battery -New (Two years warranty) $164.89 1 $164.89
Tax (6%): $9.89 Total: $206.28

Remove and Replace Front brake pads and brake Rotors, service calipers.


Description Price QTY HRS Subtotal
1 Remove and Replace Front brake pads and brake Rotors, service
calipers.
2 $180.00
2 Premium Front Brake Rotor -zing coated $67.95 2 $135.90
3 Premium Front Brake Pad Set -Ceramics $70.45 1 $70.45
Tax (6%): $12.38 Total: $398.73

Manufacturer Special Policy Adjustment Programs

Federal law requires manufacturers to furnish the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) with bulletins describing any defects in their vehicles. You
may obtain copies of these bulletins either from the manufacturer or N.H.T.S.A. In
addition, certain consumer publications or organizations publish this information,
which may be available for a fee or for free. NOTICE: Under certain circumstances, the
repair facility may not be responsible for damage to the customer’s vehicle while it is
on the facility’s premises. You should ask the management about the extent of its
responsibility and its insurance coverage.

CUSTOMER'S RIGHTS

1. You are entitled to a written estimate upon request if repairs will exceed $25.00.
Do you want a written estimate? Yes No

2. You may not be charged an amount more than 10% above an estimate without your
consent.

Parts ................................................. $1,560.26


Labor .................................................... $940.50

Subtotal ...................................... $2,500.76

Tax ................................................... $45.02


Grand Total ..................................... $2,545.78

Paid To Date ........................................ ($0.00)


3. You are entitled to the return of any replaced parts except those that must be returned to the manufacturer under a warranty agreement. If you do not
want the parts, Initial here:

4. Repairs not originally authorized by you will not be charged to you without your consent.

I hereby authorize the repair work listed you and your employees may operate the above vehicle for purposes of testing, inspection or delivery.

Signature

Notes

12/31/2021
Below is a link to the quote you requested from MMechanics. Please review and let us know if you have any questions.


12/31/2021 MMechanics

Page 2 of 3


File: Quote_4896_-Engine_Repair__Oil_pan__and_4_More-__-_2003_Toyota_Camry_LE.pdf

12/31/2021 MMechanics
Page 3 of 3
Hi, A couple comments for you. I own a 2006 Camry XLE 2.4L 4cyl., with 234,000 mi.

1. My last two shops send me a detailed report via email or link in phone text, that include high quality pictures of a potential issue, with arrows to identify the specific area of concern. You could then show a report like that to others for another opinion.It also includes a car system check box summary with green, yellow or red indicators to indicate areas in good condition, areas of concern and items needing service now. This includes electrical, battery and starting system tests. What you have gotten from two shops are reasonable estimates on issues that need to be addressed at some point. The question is when. Don't go for a second opinion to someone who won't give you an extensive and complete car report. Consider going for a third opinion.

2.If your regular mechanic lists a problem ask for a picture of the issue. An exhaust leak should make the car noisier. This can also be a safety issue if the exhaust is getting into the passenger area.

3. If you look at your Toyota regular maintenance schedule it will show mileage and time for some items. Yours may also include a description of normal car use and hard car use for maintenance schedule purposes. If your car has only 75,000 miles that is great from a mileage standpoint, but not time. Engine oil still need to be changed twice a year. other fluids quality and level checked. Rust still occurs a lot if the car is outside. As non-obvious time example is that any rubber on a car is considered old after 10 years, some rubber types do not operate under high temperatures, like toyota door seals so they last longer (especially it they are garage kept). Tires are old after 6 years. Water pumps usually have a rubber seal, along with water hoses. My first water pump went out at 8 years and 140,000 miles. An 8 year old battery is an old battery. I'm on my 3rd battery and 2nd alternator. My exhaust is starting make a little more noise,but the mechanic hasn't flagged it yet. It seems 4 cylinder engine exhausts last longer than bigger engines.
 

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Hey, we all have mothers, wives, sisters, nieces, etc that we hate to see get f#^ked by some jerk mechanic or shop that’s out for blood & as much cash as they can extract from her purse! We’ve all been in that situation. And since we’re passionate about cars, we have a primal instinct to protect! That’s all!
I dont giva damn
 

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And since we’re passionate about cars, we have a primal instinct to protect! That’s all!
I certainly don't feel "a primal instinct to protect" complete strangers. I do feel an obligation to present accurate information and to educate, so that those complete strangers can protect themselves.

There is a huge difference. Protecting yourself is something that every individual is obligated to learn and that others should never take on as a primary role. It's paternalistic, at best, and smothering, at worst.

It's not unlike the approach I take in my professional life as a computer tech. I present my clients with "best practices" so that they are informed. But whether they choose to follow them is not up to me, nor do I care (in any meaningful direct sense) whether they do or not. I have met my obligation to make them informed. And after that the choice(s) is (are) theirs, not mine, to make.
 
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I took my non-Toyota pickup to a transmission shop recently, because my regular mechanic doesn't do specialty work like tranny rebuilds. He was recommended by my regular mechanic, so I felt VERY secure in using him. However, when I was there discussing my tranny issues, he mentioned he's going to LOOK OVER the ENTIRE vehicle---so he doesn't let money "Fly out of my shop"---so it rather surprised me how GREEDY that sounded. WHY would he search out other issues than the transmission, if he Knows I keep up with regular maintenance from my own mechanic ? So, if you take your car to three different shops---you WILL get three different opinions---or three different ways to get screwed, perhaps. I don't know why your FIRST mechanic didn't spot the issues of the second one, but I know my regular shop gives me Leeway on needed repairs ( "you can hold off on brakes for a while b/c we know how much you drive" type of deal )---but walking into a NEW shop they will throw the whole kit & kaboodle at you all at once b/c you may never come Back to them. You wanted a "second opinion" on your repairs, but instead got the FULL shebang inspection from the second shop ( they didn't want to have $$$$ FLY out of the shop---kinda like a Spider doesn't want to let go of the moth stuck in the web ). Maybe there were safety worries from the second shop, too---what if you were a State Inspector checking up on their practices ? TV NEWS stations regularly take cars to shops to see if they are honest/Prudent to catch the weaselly ones who try to Rip you off...the second shop may just be trying to save their hides from being sued b/c they didn't point out EVERY little thing wrong. The second shop MAY actually turn out to be a Better shop than the first---I've run across that experience when searching for a second opinion, too. Eventually, every part on your car will need repair, cars are horribly expensive, nobody likes to spend money on their cars, tho. I despise it ! Maybe a THIRD opinion is warranted in your case, would be interesting what They come up with. As for being allowed to watch mechanics work---that'll never happen---not only for all the reasons already given, but because they're HUMAN & make mistakes...they DO NOT want you to see that. They do let you come back to see what they found ( sometimes )---but will you UNDERSTAND what you're seeing ? A green drop ( or a pink one for Toyota ) hanging off your water pump means it's leaking, but did the shop put it there in the first place ? You won't know.
 

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They do let you come back to see what they found ( sometimes )---but will you UNDERSTAND what you're seeing?
And that is the crux of the matter, and not just in regard to mechanics and automobile repair.

We hire professionals in all sorts of fields to do things for us that need doing about which we have anywhere from almost full knowledge to none at all. If we're doing so because we possess no real competence, then what in the world do we think we could gain (at least if dealing with a dishonest practitioner, as opposed to an honest one attempting to educate) by "seeing what they found?"

Most of the time you stare at it and say, "Oh," or, "Uh huh," while having zero appreciation for what that is or what it means, other than what you're being told.

There is no way to protect yourself when you are completely ignorant other than by doing your homework about the options available in your area for a given profession and determining which have proven trustworthy to other people you know. If you can't do that, and sometimes you really can't (though that's rare), then you have to accept that it's a roll of the dice.

To believe that seeing something you don't understand is a way of securing yourself against being cheated is foolish. A more false sense of security I cannot imagine.
 

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man, all i wanted diagnosed with this weird pesky rattle going on in my truck that popped up one day a few years ago
the well-experienced master Toyota ASE diagnosis of this weird rattle was so terribly wrong, i believed their diagnosis and continued to ride it out
it took two years for it to finally break :(
luckily nothing else was broken when it did break, just needed a new 600$ part
but it could have damaged the radiator, fan shroud, etc. and left me stranded on the road 500 miles away
 

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Tony's Custom Exhaust
550 Crain Hwy N, Glen Burnie, MD 21061
Phone: (410) 760-5108
best place in Maryland to get the exhaust fixed, they will cut the flex pipe and weld a new one. they do it while you wait
I had a custom muffler shop replace the flex pipe section on my '95 Avalon. FAR cheaper than replacing the entire pipe section with OEM Toyota parts.
 

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Flex pipe might be only original exhaust part on my '96 Corolla other than the front downpipe
But I am unclear still what flex pipe even looks like!!
 

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Flex pipe might be only original exhaust part on my '96 Corolla other than the front downpipe
But I am unclear still what flex pipe even looks like!!
Google it. It is just lots of woven metal straps allowing flex, if that makes sense.
 
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