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State Street, Eagle, Idaho

Perhaps my letter to the owner of Eagle Auto Repair, Eagle, Idaho says it best:

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Eagle Auto Repair,
347 E State Street,
Eagle, ID 83616

Attn: John Rinker, re invoice: 18045

Mr. Rinker / ‘Alvaro’.

I felt it important to put into writing the consequences of your recent repair work on my Ford Club Wagon XLT, and would like a reciprocal response in writing. Please respond to *********@******.***.

On August 1st, 2007, I brought my van in for rear brake and air conditioning work. I thought the quotes to be on the high side, but decided to go ahead anyway just as long as the job was done right, as I would be carrying paying passengers on trips to the Palouse and Canadian Rockies.

You may recall that the repairs took more than a day longer than promised, close to two days, and that when I picked up the van I had to jump start it myself as the battery was flat. There were also black grease marks on the driver’s door handle and seat upholstery.

Three days after the repairs I lost my brakes due to brake fluid spurting from a rear joint which you told me hadn’t been tightened sufficiently. Fair enough, but I expressed concern that if the fluid had got onto the rear shoes they’d be rendered useless. Existing problem # 1: The rear brake cable, when engaged, doesn’t stop the van from rolling forwards or backwards. Prior to your repair to the offside rear brakes it worked normally.

When I picked up the van it wouldn’t start as it had been left running for some considerable time, “checking the air conditioning efficiency”, and I had to wait while it was fueled up. This also meant that the ignition had been left on for some considerable time too, and has probably shortened the life of some components.

I then left to pick up clients in Washington State for a tour of the Palouse. On approach to Spokane a rear brake compression pipe popped out and I had a $242.04 repair at Bonanza Ford, Four Lakes, WA, and my clients were inconvenienced with a 4 hour wait while the work was done.

Then existing problem number two: the air conditioning system ran out of Freon and I had to take it in for a recharge. At the time it was assumed that an insufficient amount had been placed in the system by Eagle Auto Repair, but within 4 days it had leaked out again. Prior to your ‘repair’ it would take at least a year to leak out.

The recharge cost $73.25 at Colfax Grange Auto Center, Colfax, WA, and another hour of my own time. One cannot drive on the dirt Palouse roads with the windows open, so air is essential. On the day in question it was 95 f., and it was so unbearable I had to stop chauffeuring my clients about and return them to their hotel. I’ll leave you to guess the impact this had on my clients and their future business with me. They have been traveling with me since 1991, and any future loss of earnings because of the brake and air repairs while on their trip could run potentially run into thousands of dollars.

Then on to the Canadian Rockies, and within a few days the Freon has leaked out again. So now I have a new set of clients, and more potential future loss of income because my van ‘is not up to standard’. I am also out of pocket by $800 plus on the air repair alone, and am much worse off than before I took the van in for repair at your garage.

Not only this, but I have had the added inconvenience of being dropped off at your garage while the repairs are carried out, plus loss of time. So far twice, and now another occasion if we both agree that you should finish the work you started. This also costs in time for my wife dropping me off and picking me up, plus mileage. That is also more time without a vehicle.

I would now like to know how you plan on reacting to this situation you have placed me in. Perhaps we can agree that you resume proper repairs as long as they are done 100% right, and as long as A] there is no brake fluid on the rear shoes, and B] that the air conditioning system is 100% air tight, and also functions 100%. I suggest you place a dye in the system so that it can be monitored properly, and that I be able to return in a few days for a pressure check to see if there has been any significant further loss.

If you decline to put right the poor workmanship displayed so far I will have the work done elsewhere, and add the cost to those in time and inconvenience etcetera, potential loss of earnings, plus the time it has taken to compose this letter, and seek re-imbursement for all of it through the courts.

You also have the option of a full refund, and I would get the work done elsewhere.

You will have my continued cooperation, but I will require a response on 559-8248 by 6 pm Wednesday, September 5th, followed up with a response in writing as to your intentions. I would like the work completed 100% satisfactorily by Friday the 7th of September. This would also entail my return the following week to check on the amount of Freon remaining in the system.

Sincerely . . . .

Next came a call from 'Alvaro' who told me that he would order the parts for the brakes and issue a refund for the expenses incurred because Eagle Auto's poor workmanship.

My question is, how do they know what parts to order if they haven't taken a second look at the van?

OK, so I drop off the van and pick it up the following day. By the way, they'll only refund the cost of the air conditioning work now. Nice eh?

I notice right away that is there is next to NO travel in the brake pedal. Mmmm, is this a good thing I ask myself?  The answer was no because I've worked in garages, and used to do all my own brake work back in the 70's and 80's.

Anyway, as I'm heading to Wyoming in a week I run the van to a garage I can TRUST on Fairview Avenue in Boise, Boise Clutch [Update: This branch of Boise Clutch is no longer in business]. They do a full service, and I also ask them to check the brakes. What they find is that Eagle Auto Repair have deliberately tightened the front brake pads so that they are are binding on the front rotors. Any mechanic will tell you that what the causes is a build up of heat which warps the rotors, wears them down, and takes the brake pads down to the metal in a very short time. That is what had happened.

So, I spend another $350 getting that put right and the van is running fine again.

Having found this page you can see the evidence for yourselves, and like me can take consolation in the fact that exposing Eagle Auto Repair for who they are in this manner will continually remove money from their pockets.

I received threatening emails from Eagle Auto Repair's 'representatives', but was inclined to laugh those off.

It's significant that among the Google reviews of Eagle Auto Repair that there is a comment thus . . . "Told me I needed things replaced that really didn't need to be replaced."

I'm not surprised to read this as it is exactly what I was thinking when they called me with a quote.  For more go here.

You decide.

Eagle Auto Repair, 347 E State Street, Eagle, ID 83616
Eagle Auto Repair, Eagle, Idaho, review
Failed repairs
List of repairs that don't need doing

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