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Well-known member
Jan 6, 2001
Pottstown, Pa.
I have replaced every single componant ( using 6 different mechanics in the last year) EXCEPT ONE. The Line between the master cylinder(which was replaced 3 times) and the proportioning valve. :r
The last mechanic replaced the master cylinder and the prop.valve and I still lost my pedal, right to the floor. When he checked on it again he found a slight crack in the line that connects the two. I don't know why he didn't catch it the first time. :mad
But now my brakes work great it took almost a year to get to this point. I would have replaced my brakes sooner but the previous owner said they were new brakes all around and i took his word for it. :( oh well, Live and Learn I guess.
I hear you man, when i bought my vette i had all the brakes done, and i had to get it done like 3 times, after spending tons of money on brakes i decided i would do my own repairs from now on.

I think mechanics sometimes just fool around with you knowing you will come back so they can make more money. Especially on a vette.
...and sometimes...

...they think they can do an incomplete job and slip it past you because you're a girl!

78 needed a tune up, and I'd purchased some Splitfire plugs that I wanted installed at that time. They did the job, but I didn't see any difference with the splitfire's like I thought I would. "Oh, well...waste of money." I thought.
WELL, when the engine went to the big junkyard in the sky, my mechanic (new family member thru Sis) did the R&R on the 78, he found only 5 splitfire plugs, the other 3 were OLD! He bagged them up and I took them, with my receipt, to the shop that did the installation....
When I left, I was satisfied, but I'm sure they weren't happy. Especially the mechanic who performed the installation!
Of course, the unistalled splitfires were the most difficult to access...but I'd have much preferred spending a little more time or money for them to do it correctly. Not say they did it when they didn't.
The mechanics who do this, make an owner distrust all mechanics.

That's Incredible, Silver

I think this is the norm. Mechanics ripping off people. it's almost a gimme. almost every time I had my Vette serviced or repaired it seemed like somethig else goes wrong with it within hours of picking her up. I feel as though they loosen things up while they are repairing something else and you have to bring it back to them and they tell you that you need somethig like upper and lower balljoints or you have a loose bracket on your muffler that caused it to come loose from the headers etc. etc. I am not a mechanic so I am at the mercy of all mechanics and am still looking for that one honest one that will advise me of failing parts while fixing an existing problem. I am glad to hear that you were able to expose the mechanic who tried to rip you off and even then I bet the owner didn't do anything about it. He probably does the same thing. Vette owners are easy prey. I will be a lot wiser in the future.
Joe V. STW
after that particular fiasco...

...I stopped taking 78 to 'chain' type garages. I made an emergency stop one day in a little town about 15 miles N of us and found a 'country-farmer-garage' who helped me out and wouldn't accept payment. I asked about taking my business to them, and they said sure, it would be nice to work on something sleek and fast looking, instead of the harvesters!

Granted, this is not a 'normal' mechanic situation...but it worked for me, and the 5 years we continued to live in that area before moving out of state.

Pickett's in Williams, CA would let me sit and watch what they were doing and gladly answered my questions. They did the small stuff...secondary parts/hoses, and also the large stuff...rear end and bushings/bearings. Most times I waited there or at the nearby restaurant while they did the repairs...and one day when I had a problem, they drove the 15 miles to my house to fix it in my driveway!

I would bake cookies and bring watermelons, according to season, for everyone there. I appreciated the honest work they did on my Vette. I miss them, but now Hubby will have time to do the work himself and I don't really need an outside mechanic now!

Not everyone is like this

Hi there,
If I may comment on this topic.
Yes, I am a mechanic, and this is not going to be hateful.
Yes, I work on Corvette, although I specialize in c4c5, I service everything, from my 64 Convertible customer, to my 82 Cross coupe customer.
Yes, I am employed by a Chevrolet dealer.
Yes, this industry is very tough to find someone reliable, and there are alot of people who dont care about how they charge the customer, or repair the vehicle.
While every industry has its bad apples, not all are bad. Do I judge lawyers based on 1 horrible experience? This is not fair, nor is it to do this to mechanics.
I can say that for the most part, we all take very seriously our work. I know, just a most of the rest of us do, that everytime I service a car, I have the customers life in my hands. EVERYTIME.
There is no question, we cannot take chances, nor are we able to speculate on anything. Whereas we all, everyone of us, make mistakes, not installing components is ILLEGAL.
You can take control, as customers, by requesting the parts that were taken out of the vehicle, or at least, to see them before you leave the shop.
Another way, is follow word of mouth. Contact your local Corvette club to check out who is used, and is the most reliable.
While noone can please everyone, and there will undoubtedly be at least one bad comment, you are looking for the best percentage.
Please understand, this is not an excuse for shoddy workmanship, or fraud of not installing parts. This is simply to explain that not all are like this.
Best to all, c4c5
C4C5, thanks for the reminder

The reminder that not everyone is bad. I imagine the age and previous care of some of these vehicles plays a much larger part towards maintenance than we owners think, at least as far as things going wrong mechanically. My beef was the shop that knowingly did not install my parts. My brother-in-law who did the R&R on the engine...I trust him implicitly! But then I know how anal he can be about every nut and bolt being installed corrrectly!;) (a good thing!)

In every calling, you will find the rarity: the person who loves, lives & breathes their job, a few people who excell, most who are average and some who just barely slide by. Unfortunately, we seem to gravitate to many of the "just-barely-slide-by's" too often. Cheaper may be cheaper, but it ain't better!

You are also correct in pointing out that even a good shop cannot please all of its customers all of the time, and may generate some negative feedback...but account for the shop's overall impression from customers.

Very good points you made, C4C5. Thanks for reminding me to open my eyes!

What C4C5 said...........

First, I want to say that I am NOT a mechanic. I am a "Restoration Specialist" (don't that sound cool). I have had many of the same dealings with shops and customers. Contary to popular believe, the customer is not always right, especially when it comes to Corvettes. How many of you read books and magazines about your daily driver, you know, you Taruas, or your Malibu, or what ever. I would suspect very few, on the other hand how many read every article about a Corvette? Most of you, Right? I have had a few customers that "knew" everthing there is about a Corvette, what every number and daub of paint meant. But, the one thing they didn't know was "Lefty loosly, righty tighty", 1/2 inch drive from 1/4 inch drive, etc. I have had more trouble with Corvette Brakes then any other componant on a Corvette, and I have no clue as to how many of them I have put on. I always get them to work, eventually, they are a pain. A few good points: Always when possible take your Corvette to a Corvette Shop, usually the smaller the better,(he's hungrier). If there is no Corvette shop in your area, bring it to MO, er, I mean take it to a "Chevrolet" dealer. Now their hourly rate will be a bit more, but at least they have, at one time are another, seen the bottom side of a Corvette. Not all mechanics or "Corvette Restoration Specilists" are out to rip people off (I do believe that some of the chain store are though) Most love the cars as much as the owners do...............Steve
I apologise if I Over Generalized

I am sorry if I have offended you, I have been following your posts since you came aboard and have admired your knowledge of corvettes and how you have help several CAC members with your expertise. I only wished that you were closer to where I live and were able to work on my Vette. It has been a very frustrating year for me trying to straighten out my Brake Problem.
I purchased my Vette knowing full well that the brakes would be an issue and had to be repaired. The first mechanic I went to was refered to me by a good friend and when I made an appointment with him I was impressed by all the Certificates hanging on his wall of all his technical achievments and i ascertained that my car was in good hands in addition his father worked as a Chevrolet Mechanic for 25 years and was very familiar with mid-year Vette brakes. Instead of diognosing my perticular problem He just replaced the Master cylinder and the Booster, Bled the system, then called me to pick up the car. When I picked it up there were two gouges in my door which they denied they put there. and my brakes faded to nothing less then two miles from their shop. I called them on my cell and they told me to bring it back. I got it back to them, they said they didn't tighten something up, rebled the system, tested it and on the way home the brakes went again. cost me 375.00 and still no brakes. This was just the beginning of my search for a quality mechanic. If you want a detail of all the mechanics and what I went through I would probably bog down Robs server. The last guy to work on my brakes finally found the problem after I have replaced every component in the system and I mean every one. And you know something I did get an education a very expensive one but the weird thing is now that I have brakes that finally work I am satisfied, happy, estatic, a little poorer but wiser, and now on to other things I been putting off. So you see I may have over generalized and I lumped all mechanics in my comments, and I know that is not true. I just wish there were more mechanics out there like you. Please accept my apology.
What I said was out of frustration.
Joe V.
No apology needed

Hi there again,
I thank you all for your kind words, however, being that I have been on your end of the stick, so to speak, I can relate.
I know it was not intentionally directed my way, however, I know in my own case. I have to look at things from a different point of view, to be the best at what I do.
Case in point, I was doing a diagnosis on another forum, and I was politely corrected by Chick, who is also on this forum. I needed this, and I have since learned so much from her, that I can tell you I am a better mechanic because of her tenacity, and insight. I can only hope that one day, I too, can be more like her, in serving Corvette.
The point is that open minds are the best way to learn, for I have learned so much this way, Best to all, and I remain, c4c5specialist
I am also a tech with similar credits as c4c5 specialist ASE w/L1 l olds master tech and gmc master tech do a lot of corvette work ask lemompeel no complaints there I am sure also I am not perfect and will correct my errors at my expense but old cars do have there problems and corvettes may have more than most and many people have been there before me with bad repairs it is a very tough business and you will never make every one happy when you do rear end work and some one blames you for screwing up there radio what do you say just another opinion please don't group us all together we are not all the same
Auto Shops

I've found that it's best to stay away from the "We just do brakes" or "clutches" type shops. They seemed to be interested in making money. My dad is the kind of guy that just likes to save a buck (read "Cheap"). He took his truck to a brakes only shop where the young kid managed to sever his brake warning light sensor wire. After taking it back, they could not figure it out or fix it. He finally took it to my mom's mechanic. They found the problem in about 20 minutes had it fixed in an hour. Goes to show that you cannot replace a true mechanic with a guy who only knows how to take off brake pads and put them back on. There's things that need to be checked to watch out for future problems on just about everything you do to a car. I've always used the shop my mom goes to for a couple of reasons. Number one on my list is I'd rather have it fixed right than fixed twice. And the other reason is customer service. I know the owner and the manager (father and son shop). They are a small shop but their name is so good, they are never short on business. I live about 15 minutes from the shop. They picked up my Z28 and dropped off the rental car that got me to work for three days. I trust them and I doubt I'll ever use anyone else. Besides as long as they keep treating my mom good, I'll keep liking them...

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