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32 Reviews & Complaints

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A\C Performance Check is NOT "FREE"
Posted by Gautam on 06/13/2010
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- As per the advertisement of free A\C performance check, I took my (2002 model) car to one of the centers as my car's A\C was blowing hot air. After initial checkup they said, they need to apply dye to check if there is any leak in AC system. After some time they told me there is a leak which can not be fixed and I need to get my Compressor replaced. They provided an estimation of $1000 (Compressor cost, labour charge etc). I asked if R134a with leak seal mechanism will work and their answer was no. That day without any profit I had to pay $133.99. When I asked about the same they said at least with this amount the leak was identified. I said that's what the purpose of this FREE A\C Checkup should have been. I was totally disappointed.
I obviously had to give a thought before spending such a huge amount. Also, their diagnosis did not appear realistic to me. I went for diagnosis to a different car care center, and they iidentified no leak and it was only the cost of 3 cans of Freon (R134a) and nominal labour charge. My car's A\C is working fine now.
I wanted to bring this into notice of common innocent people to be cautious while opting for such free services. What could have been done within $50 could not be done in $133 and a $1000 was estimated on top of that. Please be aware!
     
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Posted by fast327 on 2010-06-13:
More than likely you DO have a leak in your system. The true test will be if the unit continues to cool properly. The addition of 3 cans of freon is significant.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-13:
Meineke is a scam in that department. I went and asked them to just refill the freon. They said they couldn't even touch it until they checked for leaks. I explained that I don't have any leaks, it's just been a few years since I had it recharged, and it was going empty. They WOULD NOT refill it. It's a scam to try and sucker in poor saps to have their compressors replaced. I'm sure there will be responses touting insurance liabilities and so forth to help substantiate Meineke's position on this subject, but sometimes a rose is still a rose by any other name.
Posted by Skye on 2010-06-13:
I myself, am always leary of places like this. I always think that when they offer some type of free service check, they are going to damage something on my vehicle, then tell me that I need it repaired. But that's just me. It's always good to get recommendations from friends and co-workers on what mechanic they use. Word of mouth is best.

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-13:
Exactly.
Posted by yoke on 2010-06-13:
It is "free" if you have them fix what they say is wrong with the vehicle. If you do not get it fixed by them they charge you for the inspection. Pep Boys does the same thing. It is wrong and deceiving.
Posted by Skye on 2010-06-13:
Good mechanics are out there. Years ago, when I needed the timing chain replaced on my car, the dealer wanted $600.00 to do the job. I asked around, and someone recommended this little rinky dink mom & pop auto shop. I went in, and the mechanic, also the owner, told me he would charge me $149.00. I used him for years before moving. Never a problem with him or any work he did to my car. My entire family started to go to him. He was old school and on the up and up. He always said he would not get rich by ripping people off, because in the end, he would have to answer to someone else, and the mere fact he had a conscience. Good guy. Never had to worry he would take advantage of people, especially females, who are always the targets in auto shops.
Posted by gautam on 2010-06-13:
I agree with Skye. This time one such kind mechanic saved my money and got me out of worries.
Posted by whoa people on 2013-10-06:
yes 99% of places will try to get some money out of you, they dont stay in business by doing favors. Also, research auto A/C on your own, online.. you'll find out that A/C doesn't need to be "topped off" if there is no leak to begin with. It's a sealed system like your fridge. It's not like replacing wiper fluid periodically because it runs low.. The internet is your friend, try researching and you wont feel like the world is out to get you all the time
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Destroyed wife's engine & lied about installing rebuilt engine!
Posted by Reactorman on 03/30/2014
WOODBURY, NEW JERSEY -- On 1/28/14 I took my wife's 2003 Toyota Camry to the Meineke located in Woodbury, NJ for an oil change. For the scheduling and payment, I dealt with an individual by the name of "Will". After payment, I drove back to our apartment and right before I parked, I noticed the "Check Engine" light had come on and there was a slight "tapping" sound coming from the engine.

I told my wife about it and she said it would be best to go back to the Meineke to have them check it. About 200ft. before the Meineke there was a red light. I stopped and the car began to violently shake and the "tapping" sound quickly became a "loud knocking" sound. I pulled in and spoke to "Will" and told him what was going on. He went to pull her car into one of the bays and the car died out. He asked a few of the mechanics there to help him push the car into the bay so he could inspect it.

Once on the lift, he called my wife and I into the shop area and told us that they had installed a "defective" oil filter and that her engine was blown! My wife became extremely upset and began to take an asthma attack and I had to try my best to calm her down because she did not have her inhaler on her. "Will" told me to tell her that they will "do the right thing" and replace her engine free of charge. My wife and I insisted that at the very least, they must install a "rebuilt" engine with a warranty. He said he was not sure if he could do that.

Once we went back to our apartment, my wife called Meineke Corporate and told them what had happened and demanded that they install a "rebuilt" engine with a warranty. She spoke to a CSR by the name of "Ellias". He said that her request was extremely reasonable and that he would contact the Woodbury Meineke and tell him to honor the request. "Ellias" called my wife back and told her they would install a "rebuilt" engine with a warranty.

About 2 weeks later, the Woodbury Meineke called us and said that her car was ready. Once there, we spoke to someone named "Steve" and he said that he personally took care of everything and had ordered a "rebuilt" engine from a company called "ITC". He said that if we had any problems whatsoever, to take her car back to Meineke and her would personally take care of it. About 5 days later, the "Check Engine" light came on again.

We took it back to Meineke and "Steve" said that he would take a look at it. He called us up and said that there was just a simple "communication" problem between the catalytic converter and the engine and all he had to do was "reset the soft light" and everything would be fine. He asked if he could keep the car for a few days to test drive it to make sure that the "Check Engine" light would not come back on and that everything else was ok. My wife agreed and we picked her car up 3 days later.

Everything seemed fine with the car...at first. 3 weeks afterwards; on my wife's birthday no less; the "Check Engine" light went off again. We took it back to the Woodbury Meineke to find out that they now have a new owner, new management, and all new mechanics. No one that was working there now was there when we had taken the car for the initial oil change or when we brought the car back after the "rebuilt" engine was installed.

The new manager; "Jim"; had no idea what we had gone through, but we explained everything to him. He said he would inspect the car to see what the problem was. He called my wife and told her that she would need a new catalytic converter. My wife and I were sure that the "rebuilt" engine had something to do with the catalytic converter going bad.

My wife called Meineke Corporate and asked to speak to "Ellias". She was told that "Ellias" no longer works there and spoke to an extremely rude CSR that would not let my wife explain anything or get a word in edgewise. My wife told the CSR everything that had happened to her car and that she was sure that the "rebuilt" engine was the cause of the catalytic converter going bad. The CSR told my wife that her warranty was only on her engine and that there was no way that would have made the catalytic converter go bad.

My wife had became extremely frustrated with this CSR and told her that we would contact a lawyer. The CSR told my wife that if she did that, she would "erase all records of all of her phone calls and complaints!" The next day; "Jim"; the new manager of the Woodbury Meineke; called my wife. He said he wanted to try to find out any information he could about the "rebuilt" engine that was installed. He told my wife that it was not a "rebuilt" engine. He said that it was a "used engine from a junkyard"!!!

My wife and I have gone through so much since the economy went down the drain. We both lost our jobs, we lost our home, and have gone through bankruptcy. I am back to work now, but my wife is still unemployed and needed her car to look for a job because I can not afford everything. We are in an apartment now and are falling back further and further in debt. We don't know what to do now. We can not afford a lawyer unless we can find a pro-bono lawyer or possibly a lawyer that would handle our case on a contingency basis and add all of their charges and fees to the total amount my wife and I are seeking.

We gave Meineke one shot to "do the right thing" and they did not and lied to us! The only way I can see them doing "the right thing" at this point in time would be to cut my wife a check for the entire amount that she has paid to Toyota. I have heard that the best we could hope for would be "Blue Book" value, but we will not be able to get a car as reliable as her's was with that value. Besides, none of this would have ever happened if they just recognized the defective oil filter BEFORE they put it on.

Are they any lawyers that would be willing to take on this case as described earlier? Either by pro-bono or on a contingency basis? Someone.....anyone?
     
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Brought Car in to Investigate Squeaking Noise in Steering.
Posted by Tslow1 on 03/11/2014
FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- As an MEINEKE EX-CUSTOMER we experienced the following at your facility on Holiday Lane.
On previous services like oil changes and other minor problems we had satisfactory service, except for following:
My wife is the primary driver of this car and noticed a squeaking noise in the steering. I was at home so they told her the brakes had to be checked.Then I received a call from the manager who said the car needed new Brakes (It had only 24,979 miles )and also: said technician found Power Steering Fluid and Brake Fluid dirty and needed change. I trusted the Mgr and gave the OK. We were charged $387.87. When I checked by previous invoices I Found that Meineke changed the Power steering Flush on 6/5/13 at ( 22,524 miles . I'm now thinking we really didn't need brakes. We no longer can trust Meineke and will take our cars another car care facility. The Chevy charges more but at least we can depend on the work. OH YES! The Impala still has the squeaking noise and is getting worse. I'm taking it to Chevy tomorrow. In conclusion I can't say that all your Managers are untrusty. There are 2 technicians that we like and trust, they are Chris and Eric. Thank you. A. Slowikowski
     
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Oil Change
Posted by Taprieya.24 on 09/29/2013
CATONSVILLE, MARYLAND -- I went to Meineke Thursday at 5:45 and the sign said they close at 7, so I thought I had enough time to get a oil change. Gut the guy that's the manager told me otherwise. He said we are not doing oil changes, we about to close. I said to him 7 o'clock y'all close, he said well we are closing at 6:30. That's what the owner wants and we closing at 6:30. So I said well it's enough time. He told me to come tomorrow around this time and I will try to fit you in.

So I went back Saturday around 3:30, same guy was there and now he said they stop doing oil change a few hours ago. I was mad and left. I never heard of such thing. They closed at 6 and there was only 2 cars there with 4 men. Never again.
     
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Posted by BigAl on 2013-09-30:
I bet your car was rather new. Here is a little secret I will let you in on. Meineke and many other repair shops that do oil changes do them for 1 reason only. They want to find something wrong with your car. These places make very little if anything on an oil change. They use oil changes as a way to inspect your car for added sales. Many of the things they deem to be in need of repair are not true. I bet if you have had an older car they would have found time for you.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-10-01:
I agree 100% with BigAl.
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Stay Away From Meineke on Frank Lloyd Wright, Violent Owner
Posted by Lkford1 on 05/25/2013
SCOTTSDALE -- 8650 Frank Lloyd Wright Scottsdale AZ 85260

OWNER threatened to punch me in face after I asked for my keys back.. Was told my car would take an 1.5 hours, after that amount of time vehicle hadn't moved from the parking lot. So I asked for my keys back and owner said no! I told him I was going to call the police and his response was "I'm going to punch you in the face." I had to call the Scottsdale police to get my keys.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-05-25:
Needless to say, this isn't white glove service.
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Wheel Almost Fell Off After Bearing Replaced
Posted by Nitacater on 04/03/2013
Wheel almost fell. Manager let car leave shop in unsafe condition
     
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Posted by saj80 on 2013-04-04:
Manager probably didn't know, but he should be informed so he can follow up with the mechanic who did the repair. Don't blame you for being upset.
Posted by nitacater on 2013-04-08:
Thank you,I deffintly believe from actions of manager that there is evidence of deceipt related specifically to actions of manager.I hope your right somebody else might not be as lucky.



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What u don't know could kill u
Posted by Becauseihavetohaveone4u on 08/29/2012
FREDERICK, MARYLAND -- Since 2006 I have managed and worked intermittently as a technician for Meineke, store #728 in Frederick, Md. In my opinion I have been dismissed from that shop because I would not let unethical, unsafe and uneducated repairs continue and I repeatedly pointed them out to the owner and current manager. On a daily basis I have witnessed them selling rotors, brake pads and calipers that my 20 years’ of experience suggest do not need to be replaced. Commonly, brake pads with as much as 7/32 of an inch left on the pads are replaced. Depending on a person’s driving habits, it is common knowledge in the industry that pads with as little as 4/32 of an inch could last up to a year, yet, I have seen this shop tell customers they need to replace their pads. Regarding replacing rotors, I have seen them recommend replacing rotors that in my opinion don’t need to be replaced. I suggest if you’re ever sold a rotor, make sure you ask for the old part and let the mechanic know you plan to take the rotor to a safety inspector to be sure they are necessary. Typically, rotors aren’t necessary to replace just because your pads need to be replaced. I believe that because the shop isn’t making as much money doing honest brake jobs, they are selling parts that aren’t necessary.

I have also witnessed the owner and manager do what I believe to be illegal safety inspections. They give safety certificates to people without looking at the car and put the cash in their pockets rather than putting the money through the shop. They have been putting unsafe cars that don't meet minimum safety requirements on the road to drive next to you or your children.
In my opinion because the store owner is so limited in his mechanical knowledge, many repairs go misdiagnosed costing the customer more money or worse, jeopardizing their safety and those on the road with them. I have personally witnessed mistakes, such as leaving steering couplers loose, which is a mistake that could kill someone, happen.

If you need an inexpensive exhaust repair I would completely recommend them. But, any exhaust part that needs to be replaced should be compared to another shop like your local tire store etc. No doubt there will be no savings for the customer going through Meinke. It’s also important to note that they increase the cost of any part they buy for the customer by as much as 300%.

After I began to speak out about the extensive misconduct of the mechanics and manager and owner of the shop, the work environment became hostile and I was eventually ousted on bad terms. I felt I had to report them to the local state trooper and hopefully they will never be able to do a safety inspection again. Also, be aware that the Better Business Bureau gives them a D minus rating as of August 2012, on a scale of A thru F. To see that information go to www.bbb.org.

I wonder if corporate gets paid for bogus inspections or all the work done under the table?
     
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Posted by BigAl on 2012-08-30:
A lot of people will dismiss your review as coming from a disgruntled former employee. To an extent this may be true but what the consumer should realize is that the vast majority of these national chains are nothing but high priced con artists. They advertise low pricing and then they misrepresent what repairs need to be done. Find yourself a local mechanic and have him (or her) do your auto repairs and maintenance.
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Rip Off at Meineke in El Cajon Ca
Posted by County4 on 06/11/2012
EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA -- I recently spent over $1500 at the El Cajon, Ca to have my air conditioner fixed and a wheel alignment to fix the shaking my car did when going down hills, well the air does not work and the shakiness still exists. I took my car back to Meineke and was charged $147 to be told that my car needed braces, shocks, struts also the Air Conditioner filter is dirty.

He also said the car needs a tune up and oil change which he forgot he did a month and a half ago. He now wants $1489. I took the car home and was told he would take the $147. off the bill when I return to have the work done. Stay away from this guy, his name is Sasha. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else.
     
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Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-06-11:
When I took my car for a tune-up at one time, my mechanic asked me why. He said tune ups does nothing for cars anymore. They used to do tune ups in older cars but now that everything is pretty much electronics or whatever, tune ups are a thing of the past and doesn't have anything to do with improving the car's performance. I told him I see coupons all the time for tune ups and he said tune ups now a days is just a way to fix something that isn't even a problem and it's like a healthy person going to the doctor for medication that isn't needed for anything nor prevent anything. He said any garage that offers to do a tune up is ripping people off unless they have a pretty old car.
Posted by MRM on 2012-06-11:
But DB, I thought tune ups is for preventative maintenance. My mother has a 1998 Dodge Caravan, and I would do tune ups such as changing air filter, oil change, and other stuff as preventative maintenance.

I respectfully disagree with your mechanic.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-06-11:
That's what he said, it's like a healthy person going to a doctor for medication they don't need. We all get oil changes and spark plugs checked, etc...One machanic told me it would be over $300 for a tune up, WITH his coupon, that's why I took it to my own mechanic. My own mechanic could have charged me up for one, but instead told me tune ups are a thing of the past and it would not make my car run any better than it already was.
Posted by BigAl on 2012-06-11:
I have to side with DBs mechanic on this one. To MRM you are including things that do not constitute a tuneup. Air filters and oil changes comes under maintenance.It would take a whole chapter to list why tuneups are not valid anymore and I would do it but nobody would read it. lol Short answer--computers have eliminated the need for tuneups to be considered mandatory maintenance. If your car has a problem get it fixed. Tuneups for the sake of preventing future problems are indeed a thing of the past.
Posted by BigAl on 2012-06-11:
I forgot to mention never get work done at Meineke. I could write a book on that.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-06-11:
:p @ Mr. Mike...but, I still love you!!!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-06-11:
I agree Big Al...never get an oil change at a place that specializes in oil changes...never get a brake job done in a place that specializes in brake jobs, never buy accoressories from those places either (Wiper blades, especially) they will charge you up just for thier 'speicality'...I take my car to a family run Mom and Pop place that never advertises, they've been in business for years and all of their business are through word of mouth from happy customers...that's better than any advertising a place can pay for.
Posted by MRM on 2012-06-11:
BigAl and DebtorBasher, thanks for the enlightenment, as I learn something interesting.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-06-11:
Anytime Mr. Mike...and if you ever need any BBQ tips, you know where to find me!!!
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2012-06-11:
Any more, a tune up on a modern, computerized car, involves just replacing the spark plugs...usually that time comes if your "check engine" light comes on, and gives off a code meaning a "misfire". Platinum tipped spark plugs can last for more than 100,000 miles. Used to be, on old fashioned, carburetor-equipped cars with breaker point ignitions, a tune-up involved replacing the spark plugs and wires, the rotor, points, and distributor cap, and adjusting the carburetor and ignition timing. Now, the computer pretty much does everything, but spark plugs still can wear out.
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Great service
Posted by Austin11055 on 04/27/2012
Great Service. Wonderful folks.
     
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Posted by Alain on 2012-04-29:
Thanks.
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THE BEST
Posted by Thomasss58 on 03/23/2012
I've been coming to Meineke in Mt. Prospect for a few years now, and I've never had a bad experience here. They do wonderful work, and don't do unnecessary work, or over charge. I highly recommend them to anyone.
     
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Posted by Alain on 2012-03-25:
It's nice to see a better review of this Meineke location than the previous one (2010) here and certainly an improvement over the D rating they had on another website.
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