GREENWOOD, INDIANA -- I bought a very low mileage 2003 Ford Taurus from a local dealer a couple of weeks ago. After driving it for a few days, I noticed a chirping sound coming from under the hood, sometimes louder than other times. I researched this on the internet, and found the culprit to be most likely the cam synchronizer. A couple of days later, the check engine light came on. I went to Autozone to have them read the code. It was P1131, and the guy told me that may be a tune up would take care of it. So, I called around and made an appointment at Meineke.
After dropping it off and waiting a few hours on Saturday, I called them back. He told me that he needed me to come back to the shop to talk about my car. When I got there, he told me that the cam BEARINGS were going out, that it would cost about 2500 to fix because he'd have to take the top off of the engine, that he wouldn't touch it, and that I should take it back to the dealer, since I'd only had it one week. (There is a lemon law, he stated.) After letting it sit all weekend, I drove my husband's van to work. He took it to the service department at the dealer that morning.
Later that afternoon, they called me and told me that there was a service bulletin on the cam synchronizer assembly, and that they would split the cost of the repair with me. I authorized the work, and picked up my car the next day. My total cost: $148.30. It's been running perfectly ever since. I should have known better. The lady that was paying when I dropped my car off at Meineke had just been hit with a bill over $2000. I hope that she has better luck than most and doesn't have to take it back.
READING, PENNSYLVANIA -- We made an appt. to have our car inspected at the business. Also, we had received a quote from them to fix another issue in the car. The total to have the car inspected and fixed was around $500. Within two days the issue that was supposed to be fixed started to act up again. I went back and talked to them about it and they agreed to take it in and look at it since it was under warranty. Before I had a chance to go in, the car overheated and died on the highway. We had the car towed to Meineke since we had an appt. there in a few days.
Until we had the car inspected there have never been any major issues with the car. It ran great and was very reliable. Once the car was towed there we waited for them to look at it. The came back and told us the heads blew. To make a very long story short. They misquoted us on numerous occasions, gave us the run around on the progress on our cars. Kept insisting that our car had additional problems to it that need to be fix and once we got the car back some of the features we had before no longer worked. They told us that they never worked -- We had a "new" engine replaced in the car.
The total amount of money was over $3000! We are having issues with the new engine and it's still under warranty. When we called and asked about it they told us the warranty doesn't cover damages to the engine, just if the engine fails/dies in those 60 days. They won't honor the warranty that they have given us. They said it's free to look at but if any repairs need to be done it would cost us! Why if it's under warranty? They also would not fully honor a coupon we had, they gave us some lame excuse. The work was over $2500 and the coupon was for $50! They only honored $30 of it!
I have tried to contact headquarters but they referred my complaints back the shop we were having issues with. This shop needs to be reprimanded and/or shut down for their lack of business ethics. I have already contacted the BBB and am consulting a lawyer to seek legal advice on this matter. Any other suggestions would be great.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- Contact Us. "At Meineke Car Care Centers we know that our customers are our most important asset! Our goal is to keep every customer happy and satisfied, and we want to hear from you! If you would like to tell us about your visit to a Meineke Car Care Center, please fill out the form below." BEEN THERE, DONE THAT AND STILL NO RESPONSE FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE REGARDING MY MESSAGE, see message below.
I am writing to express concern and disappointment with Meineke on 7290 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN. On Friday, July 17th, I had my oil and power steering fluid changed at Meineke, went home and parked my car in the garage. On Saturday evening, July 18th, I noticed a small leak in my garage, so I left a message at Meineke first thing Monday morning to advise of “a” leak and that I'd be in around 5 PM to have looked at.
On Monday, July 18th @ 5 PM, I arrived at Meineke as planned. What we discovered was a pinhole size leak coming from the “lower radiator hose of my 1998 Honda CRV” and had been driving around in this condition. Initially, I was quoted $275.00 for parts and labor to repair. Oddly enough, I was advised Meineke could fix immediately. As I declined, the price dropped drastically down to $160-ish by cutting out the unnecessary flush. I still declined, and Meineke sent me on my way, not even offering to fill up my leaking radiator.
Instead, I went to the nearest AutoZone to find this “lower radiator hose.” To my surprise, “lower radiator hose was not in stock for a 1998 Honda CRV.” I ordered Monday evening and it is expected to arrive by Wednesday. Meanwhile, I'm still driving in my 1998 Honda CRV with a pinhole size leak. To make matters worse, I contacted another Meineke store and asked for a quote to repair. The quote was “significantly less” and the part would require “special order.” I was also advised that “there are too many makes and models to carry every hose.”
My questions is, how is it possible for Meineke on Washington St. to have a lower radiator hose available to repair my 1998 Honda CRV at 5 PM on a Monday afternoon when the problem was just diagnosed? I've been a loyal customer of Meineke for years and have had very few issues with them in the past; however, I'd appreciate it very much, if someone from Meineke would be able to respond.
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 cannot be fixed and I need to get my Compressor replaced. They provided an estimation of $1000 (Compressor cost, labor 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 identified no leak and it was only the cost of 3 cans of Freon (R134a) and nominal labor 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!
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 **. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else.
MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS -- I have a 2001 Honda Civic and it has about 140k miles on it. I needed my brakes done, struts replaced, oil change, and transmission fluid changed. When I arrived, they immediately came and asked me if I needed help, then proceeded to give me a form to fill out. They then told me it would take more than 30 minutes so I went to lunch. When I came back, my car was done and as I drove it off, everything sounded perfect. The brakes didn't squeak anymore and my car didn't sound like it was going to die. I'm very pleased with this place and will definitely be coming back!
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- I have spent about a year in dealing with Meineke's incompetence. I finally had my case arbitrated by the BBB of Kansas City and won. This vehicle was brought in originally for an oil change and possible leak. After two visits, the second one being a “comeback”, Meineke still failed to change the engine oil and filter. Meineke “allegedly” found numerous leaks in the power steering system, including the power steering pump, hoses and the rack and pinion. The “alleged” replaced rack and pinion leaked and had a torn boot among many other concerns.
Meineke utilizes a “shade-tree” mechanic approach to diagnose concerns in order to maximize customer repairs, resulting in fraudulent price-gouging of parts and labor. Meineke fabricates phantom parts and labor cost in order to justify their invoices. Meineke did offer to make repairs under warranty, but the facts are that this vehicle has been back to Meineke twice at a cost of over $3,260 and continues to leak even more each time returned. I had absolutely no confidence that Meineke's “mechanic” could perform repairs a third time.
This complaint was based on Meineke's (1) failure to perform basic diagnostic procedures and basic repairs (2) price-gouging of parts and labor (3) incompetence over safety and (4) their lack of principle and integrity towards the customer. Instead of going into details here, check out my videos on YouTube, just search for “Meineke rip-off” and leave a comment. Let's stand up against incompetence and being ripped-off. Thank you.
EL PASO, TEXAS -- The Meineke located at 1500 Redd Road in El Paso, Texas is the absolute worst place to take your car for service of any kind. Buyer beware!!! My wife took her Ford Focus into the shop to get the transmission fluid changed. She was told that the service would cost $95 over the phone. When she arrived to the shop and the price was changed to $75 per hour plus parts with an estimated amount of $130 for the service. I told her go ahead and get it done. After the service was done, the total amount to have the transmission fluid changed came to approximately $250.
I went in to speak to the owner about the high price. He charged $135 for labor, told my wife that only synthetic transmission fluid could be used (very expensive) in the 2005 Ford Focus which came to $87.48 and the filter that was replaced cost $33.88. When I asked him how the price jumped from $130 to around $250 he said that it was all explained to my wife and started to walk away. This owner is extremely unprofessional and you will never know what the final bill is until the service is completed and the invoice is printed.
The shop is extremely clean, but there are absolutely no customers there, so the shop is empty as well. What else are his employees going to do but clean the shop? I cannot tell you how frustrated I am at this owner named **. He takes advantage of customers that do not know any better and has absolutely no remorse about it.
SOUTHAMPTON NY -- I brought my nineties Honda to Meineke in Southampton for a rear brake service estimate. I figured I probably needed drums too so I was willing to pay up to $200. Their estimate was for $304, which breaks down as follows: Labor $95, drums $118 (2 x $59), shoes $50 and $41 for a hardware kit. (Total Parts $209). Even allowing for a decent markup, the parts prices sounded high to me so I decided not to have the work done before getting a parts quote from my local CarQuest. CarQuest's quote was drums $41.14 (2 x $20.57), shoes $18 and $12.75 for a hardware kit (Total $71.89).
In the course of doing some online research I learned that CarQuest has a national contract with Meineke, so given that there's almost nothing but CarQuests out here on the east end of LI, I think it's safe to assume that's who Meineke called for their quote, and even if Meineke's discount is only 10% that works out to a 323% markup (209 / (71.89 *. 90) = 3.23)! CAVEAT EMPTOR!