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Free Check Engine Light Diagnostic
Posted by Nbaycaligirl on 09/30/2008
SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA -- Midas has an ad that plays on the radio station I listen to every morning, stating they offer a free check engine light diagnostic test. The ad states "if your check engine light comes on, don't wait...take it to Midas for a free check engine light diagnostic..."

So one day my car's engine light comes on and of course I call up Midas to set up an appointment. I specifically say I am interested in making an appointment for the free engine light diagnostic test. The guy answering the phone puts me on hold and then another guy gets on the phone to set up the appointment date and time.

I get to Midas on our pre-arranged scheduled time and start filling out the paperwork. The guy behind the counter, states the diagnostic test costs $105. I told him "No, I wanted the free engine light diagnostic test that you advertise on the radio"

stated "We don't have such an advertisement. You must be mistaken with another company. Midas doesn't advertise anything like that"

I argue with him again that it WAS a Midas advertisement and that this was the reason I called Midas up first...because THEY were the ones that advertise on my radio station.

He then stated I was welcome to take my car and go find another place to have the engine diagnostic done, but that I wouldn't find anywhere else that would do it for free so I might as well just have it done there.

I decided to go ahead and have the diagnostic test done there, because I knew he was right. I would have to pay for the test anywhere else I went, and the fact that I had my ride waiting for me outside while I left my car, I felt pressured into agreeing to the $105 fee.

Once I was back home however, I looked up the Midas online customer service email and explained the situation. I asked that I be reimbursed for the $105 fee when the ad clearly stated it was free.

I waited a week and got no response. I emailed again, and still no response. It has been months since this ordeal happened. Funny thing is Midas is STILL advertising the same thing on the radio station. I hear it almost daily! I wish I had a way to record the advertisement and even attempted to get in touch with the radio station, but just couldn't find anyone who could help me out.

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Posted by shakenbake on 2008-09-30:
Most local auto parts stores will pull check engine light codes for free.
Posted by cherpep on 2008-09-30:
Does the advertising also state "at participating stores"? Perhaps that store is not participating in the promotion.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-30:
cherpep is right, not all stores have to participate. When they refused to honor the add, that should have been the cue to walk out. Parts stores like Advance and Autozone will check the codes for free. Those adds are a way for repair centers to bring in customers so the place can upsell service. At least you didn't make the mistake of taking up Cottman on their "free" check engine light service. They'd probably have tried to sell you a rebuilt transmission.
Posted by nbaycaligirl on 2008-09-30:
I dont recall the advertisement saying anything about participating Midas shops, but you are right Cherpep and Trixta...they may not have been a participating shop.
But then I am a bit miffed at the fact that when I had called to set up the appointment to take my car in, I specifically told them over the phone that I wanted the free engine light diagnostic test. It should have been THEN that they inform me they dont offer that. Not wait until I come in for the appointment itself.
Posted by donadame on 2008-11-02:
I agree with that. They should've told you over the phone that they don't participate. Sometimes I wonder if they would treat a man who called differently?

As stated above, Autozone, Advanced Auto Parts, etc. will do the diagnostic check free.
Posted by Openmindguy on 2009-06-15:
I understand that if they advertise it, they should honor it. Once you were informed of a charge, if you werent happy with that, you should have left. Most auto stores will read codes, not diagnose, an engine light--there is a difference. Do you think that these stores aren't trying to sell you a part based on what the code says? But seriously, how do you expect anyone to work for free? Mechanics have big money into tools, computers, and training to be able to properly diagnose an engine light. How do they make a living diagnosing your light for free, with no obligation on your end? Open your own auto repair facility and see how profitable it is doing things for free.
Posted by bchtony on 2010-11-20:
It's actually the way Midas does the business. They usually get you in the shop with something like low oil change price, but in most cases you will spend much more than expected, they can easily tell you that something something is wrong with your car (but you will never know the truth). You may find that their labor cost is reasonable but remember their parts are much much more expensive than other places. I also doubt the skills of their technicians as per my personal experiences.
Posted by SHAME ON MIDAS on 2012-01-22:
So you know even when they say it free. and you let them do the work. they add the diagnostic in to the price of the labor and you dont know. heads up all auto zones do the check for free and then still take it to a mom and pops repair shop remember you will pay a lot at midas any midas
Posted by Rosey on 2013-06-01:
If they said free, it should be free. But, free stuff is usually worth what you pay for it, which is nothing.

My experience is DO NOT go to Midas for engine work. They are not experienced enough. I was charged $700 to diagnose an engine light problem and it was not the problem.
I chose to go elsewhere (thank goodness). The $2000 repair they offered was not my problem and by the way that part was never replaced, but I went to real mechanics that diagnosed (for only $100) and fixed the problem. We're running fine now.

Oil change fine--but real engine work NO!
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They burnt my engine
Posted by Ashu2001 on 01/18/2006
MURRAY, UTAH -- I got my Honda Civic serviced by Midas this saturday. It was a basic maintenance service which includes oil/lube change, air/oil filter
change, tire rotation check, visual brack check and some courtsey checks. Within 24 hrs. and less than 20 miles on my odometer after the service the car broke down on sunday. I got it towed to Firestone. They charged
me $115 and diagnosed that the engine is failed becoz of no oil. Midas people forgot to put the oil or oil got drained. After lots of arguments Midas has taken the responsibility but replacing my original 57K
miles run engine with a re-manufactured engine. They will provide warranty for parts and labor for 1 yr or 12K miles but within Salt Lake city.
I want a brand new engine at original Honda dealer becoz i hav lost trust in Midas. But Midas is not listening even after escalating this issue
at the corporate headquaters.They haven't even provided me the rental car. Please tell me what to do?
Details abt the garrage where service was performed.
Midas 6180 S State St. Murray UT 84107. Franchise owner at Salt Lake city is least bothered abt Midas brand name and not willing to listen.
Invoice no. is 746795 and estimate # is 060114009 and it was performed on 14th Jan, 2006 at 2:27 pm.
Please tell me what are my consumer rights and what i can do?
Resale value of my car is coming down like anything?
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Posted by miketech on 2006-01-19:
I think you are lucky to get the rebuilt engine. I've heard of this happening before, it's not rare and usually all the people get is mad. I don't think Midas can do engine replacements so they will probably have to send it somewhere. See if yo can have a say where. I'd say to have the Honda dealership replace the motor would be something they wouldn't consider. A used one similar to yours would probably be cheaper than the dealer replacing the motor.
Posted by yoke on 2006-01-19:
Getting a rebuilt engine sounds pretty fair to me. Expecting them to give you a new engine for an engine that has 57k miles sounds a little unreasonable.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-19:
Yeah, that little flashing light on your dash means something. I think you OWE them!
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-19:
First thing you should do is get spell check. After that you could file a suit in small claims court, but in reality I believe Midas is already being fair in this matter. Good Luck
Posted by Slimjim on 2006-01-19:
I was thinking what yoke said. A fresh rebuilt engine may increase your car's value over one with almost 60k on it.
Posted by Ms.Consumer on 2006-01-20:
Midas = Crooks
Posted by SchwarzerWind on 2006-05-21:
"Stop complaining due to your negligence!"

Blame the customer and not the tech who forgot to put the oil back in the car, eh?

That sounds about like the great customer service that happens these days. Did it ever occur to you that people take their cars to places like this because they either lack the technical knowledge or ability to perform this maintainance theirselves?

As such, when the company being PAID to do labor causes something like this, that company is to blame. Would you open your mouth and say something like what you said earlier to some little old lady who didn't even know how to pop her hood, after Midas blew her engine up?

I know they're called idiot lights, but alot of people who don't know squat about cars don't know the difference between a Red engine light, an orange one or one not lit at all. It's just a tool that they use to accomplish their daily lives, and they pay auto shops to do what they don't know how.

Why should I even have to explain this? It's basic common sense.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-11-20:
bchtony - i take it you have a personal issue with midas... which explains why you've pasted the exact same quote on multiple threads?

and some old ones too. dang. over 4 years old this one is.
Posted by cong hoang on 2011-07-09:
I make misstake 2 time at Midas Auto service for
35 years, I know better then that, they cost me
$33.65 for the Electronic test, they want to repair some thing like around $350.00, I declined
then I went to AUTO ZONE, they do same thing with
no cost, I realy thank midas very much, I tell my
self never happen again in my life, thank you also
Posted by cong hoang on 2011-07-09:
We have to many place to go ! why you go over their, I never been their for 35 years, let you
know that, thank you
Posted by Curtis Nichols on 2013-12-07:
I had my engine ruined by midas too. Timing belt adjusted to tight. Two days later the timing belt fell off water pump. Take bad reviews serious. I am sorry for not taking time to study if the businesses that I deal with are A- holes or not. Because I tried small claims court. Owners of corporations need have helped mechanic repair the car. I nearly needed to prove the owner harrassed me by how he ran his business. The owners usually live miles out of that town even out of the country. The legal profession is a profession in itself.
My advise. Their are lots of businesses that know how to not piss people off. Rumors account for something.
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Midas Business Model
Posted by Atkaparking on 11/20/2008
After reading these experiences, I felt compelled to add my own insights. I've been a ASE certified mechanic for most of my adult life, from Arizona to Alaska to Spain. I also spent a few months working at a Midas. While there are some excellent techs employed at Midas there are also a lot of kids, 19 to 23 or so, who make 11-15 dollars an hour. We had one who test drove a customer's Porsche and spun it sideways into a snow bank. The shop paid to fix it, but the car was uncrashed when brought in.

Midas specializes in undercar, brakes and suspension, because it is more lucrative than engine or transmission diagnostics. Brake work in shops is viewed as gravy--quick, easy money. Therefore, Midas can hire guys without a lot of experience and still make profits. A chain has a monthly goal ($) and towards the end of the month the pressure to meet that goal extends from corporate office to franchise owner to foreman to mechanic. Guys are told they must increase the amount they're billing each month or face a pay cut. Calipers are the easiest thing to add to a ticket, and rarely need replacing.

Another scam is the GM brake hardware kits--a set of rubber dust boots and o-rings for the brake caliper bolts. Midas pays around 2.00 for these and lists them at 24.99. Those lifetime brake pads? Be ready to have your rotors resurfaced every time you go in for your free replacements--that's about 80$ a visit, plus after 3-4 visits your rotors will be too thin and have to be replaced. Don't want to do that? You'll get your brake pads in a box. While there are some fine techs at Midas, the business model is flawed, focusing on the ledger line. It is not a business run by competent automotive professionals, but by corporate penny pinchers. Find a honest, independent and competent shop and stick with them through thick and thin.

Every shop and mechanic makes mistakes, but what I saw in Midas leads me to question their honesty and motives and that is not a dynamic that should exist with any repair shop.
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Posted by Ponie on 2008-11-20:
Good review. However, I question one of the comments made: '...the business model is flawed, focusing on the ledger line.' Isn't this, after all, the goal of any business? I know what you mean about meeting goals. Years ago when working in the health care/insurance/investments industry, I had to push others near month end only because the higher ups told me I had to crack the whip to meet their pie in the sky goals.
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Got The Midas Touch During A Oil Change
Posted by I got the midas touch on 06/30/2008
On 12 June 2008 I took my wife’s 2001 Firebird into Midas for them to check a noise / rattle coming from the rear of her car. Was advised it was the inter baffle of the muffler that was bad. Gave them the go ahead to replace the muffler and to do an oil service (change oil and filter) since the car was there.

I returned about an hour later and the car was still on the lift. The manager told me the car was all done but they lost power to the lift and could not lower the lift. Was asked if I could leave the car over night that they will give me a ride home. Left the car and had my wife pick me up.

While looking at the car on the lift I then noticed 2 burn holes in the exhaust pipes and asked them to fix it. Was told they would have to redo the muffler.

On 13 June 2008 I called the shop (spoke with the Manager) and asked them if the 2001 Firebird was finished and off of the rack was told yes to come and pick it up.

Midas drove the car out of the shop and parked it outside with no oil in it, left the keys in the ignition and the windows down.

My wife and I, came in picked up the car when the wife was driving the car the LOW OIL LIGHT CAME ON, My wife called me as I was still at Midas paying for the car. Told the shift manager at the time about the low oil light.

She returned and we had discovered the engine had NO OIL in it. The Midas Tech added 4 and 1/2 quarts of oil to the car. Both I and the shift manager watched the tech add the oil. (She drove the car about 3 miles in stop and go traffic for about 15 minutes)?

I than had the shop Manager to Note how much oil was added on A statement from Midas. At no time did the Midas put the car on the lift and remove the drain plug to see what amount of oil was in the car. Also no oil showed on the dipstick. (so the statement on Midas page D is false and I made the rewrite the page see page E. The drain all the oil out of the car when it was on the lift and never added oil to the engine until after the car was driven by Midas and my wife)

(I later found out that the Midas shop had told their insurance company that the car had 2 qts of oil in it. Found this out when talking with Mr Hurst. I then said No they drained all the oil out of the car via the drain plug in the bottom of the oil pan ) and the shop manager and the tech and myself were there when he added 4 and ½ qts of oil. I even have a statement from the shop saying how much oil they added. At first they tried to give me a statement saying they added oil but I rejected that one and said No you put down how much oil you added. Shop also tried to give me a statement / invoice dated almost a year ago from 2007 again made them use the correct date.)

After numerous calls to the shop and the regional manager over the course of about one week. I was contacted by the insurance company of Midas and was told nothing can or will be done until I pay for the car / engine to be inspected. (was told by Mr Hurst we do not pay for what if’s or inspections) But my claim is on file P961033041 and if anything happens to the engine we could reopen the claim.

Midas did not pay for the engine to be inspected. Or give me a letter saying they will cover the repairs if the engine should fail because they failed to put oil in it.

Still trying to get Midas to pay for the repairs today is the 30th of June.

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Midas Charged Me for Parts They Did Not Replace.
Posted by Rsum75 on 03/17/2014
WICHITA, KANSAS -- My car had overheated due to coolant leaking out because a coupler for the upper radiator hose had broken. I took the car to Midas explained the problem to the guy at the counter who seemed only mildly interested. I had them look the car over and they agreed that the radiator hoses needed to be changed along with some other work. I got all the work done to the tune of 1300 dollars. 2 days later I'm taking my girlfriend to work when the car starts to overheat. Lo and behold if the hose in question isn't rigged up just like me and buddy had rigged in order to get the car to Midas. There is no way they changed that hose!!! I may not be explaining this right but the way the thing is broken anyone that would have tried to change that hose would have noticed the broken coupler upon trying to connect it on that end. Which makes me wonder what else did they charge me for and not do?
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Poor Services
Posted by Jerryma21 on 03/07/2014
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -- After sending in the rebate, I got a card saying, Missing Purchase Date. How many people do they send them to. I sent a copy of the register slip that has the date on it. The phone number on the card is NO good # 877 266 6483. You can not get anyone on the phone. If you call the Staples 800 number they put you on hold No one picks up . When they close the 200 stores they should take the people to answer their phones.

You can get help when your in their stores but if you have to call Staples HQ you get a runaround .
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Posted by Paul on 2014-03-09:
In my experience, these companies are good about processing rebate claims that are ~complete~. OTOH, they will always reject a claim that is missing anything. Do you have a photocopy of what you sent, and was the date on it?

Staples rebates are processed by a company called Parago. Amending rebate claims is possible as shown at:
Good luck.

ps The phone number you are using appears to be correct for rebate help. I would continue trying it, and if you can't get someone, try contacting Staples corporate to complain.
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Very Honest and Knowledgeable
Posted by Photomanusa on 02/28/2014
I have a 2001 Ford Mustang and I had several issues. Needed brakes, tires and ball joints. The manager Ronnie, a very well spoken and nice guy, took care of my problem one by one.

First he fixed the ball joints because of money issues, then two weeks later the brakes and a month later the tires. He gave me the best service and price.

Since then my whole apartment complex goes there.
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Was Taken Advantage of and Overcharged
Posted by Mattroberts on 01/03/2014
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Midas told me the tension belt was "off" and needed to be replaced for $420, and that I needed a new water pump, that anti-freeze was leaking onto the belt for $380. I called another mechanic to get a second opinion and he told me he could do all that for $300. When I called Midas back to tell them not to do anything to my car, they said they had already "torn it apart" and would cost $280 to put it back together without fixing anything. As you can imagine, I was beyond angry. I will never go back to Midas again.

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Midas Touch Broke My Door Handle!
Posted by Agarana84 on 12/16/2013
WEST PALM BEACH AND LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA -- I took my vehicle in for an inspection regarding the engine. I was not able to get out of my car when I arrived home because my door handle was broken. I know that it was not broken and was working well when I handed them my keys. What's upsetting is that they pretended like nothing happened and did not even mention it when they handed me my key. I called and talked to the store manager Matt at the West Palm Beach location (and later with another Matt –Lake Worth location manager). It took them a week to find the part and when they finally did, they wanted to charge me for labor! I am very upset for the fact that I was expected to pay for something that "Midas touch" broke. This is definitely not the type of service that I appreciate. I have never been a Midas customer before and never will be again!
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Posted by Mspencer2979 on 12/07/2013
Replaced wrong axle. Fixed their mistake and when asked what they would discount for my inconvenience and time waiting, they told me I got a much better repair for my price, because they fixed both axles. The only reason both axles got fixed is because they messed up and removed the wrong axle to begin with. Mechanic came out to intimidate me.
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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-12-09:
They are right you, got both axles done for the price of one. I'd be happy with that. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
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