San Jose Auto Service of Waukegan Complaint - San Jose Auto Service Is The Worst Service Shop In Lake County

Review by mozcar2 on 2008-06-15
WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS -- I have a Nissan sports car and after hearing a noise from the left front end I asked San Jose Auto Service to look at it. I have a shop who works on cars like this, but I did not have the time to drive two hours to that shop. I had a bad feeling about this place so I told them what I thought the problem was (upper control arm) and that in the past I have had front end damage because the car is very low to the ground and if they are not careful when putting it on the lift, it will scratch the bumper. I gave them my keys and within 5-10 minutes they told me the problem was a bad ball joint. I asked the price the price of the job and was quoted $500.

As I do with any service over $100 I called two other shops to see if the quoted price was in line with the job, which they were. The other shops also said that ball joints on this type of car rarely go bad and people who don't know what they are doing will assume the problem is a ball joint when, in fact, it is the upper control arm. I went to the shop and let them know what I had learned from my phone calls. The tech. at San Jose assured me that the problem was the ball joint. I then told the service manager if the ball joint is not the problem, I would not pay for the service. He agreed and asked if I could being the car back later as he needed to order the correct part. They requested me to pre-pay $250.

I went outside to get some things from the car and just as I warned them about being careful with the lift, I found a large scratch on the bumper. I showed the scratch to the service manager and informed him that if the shop that paints my car could not fix the scratch without cost, then San Jose would need to pay for it. He promised me that he would make a special note for the Techs regarding their care while lifting the car. I was able to get the scratch repaired at no cost and I dropped the car off two days later. I was called the next day and was told the car was ready. I arrived at the shop, saw my car outside and put some pressure on the front end and still heard the same noise. I went in and asked why I was called when the car is obviously not fixed. They told me they had fixed it. I walked the service manager and Auto Tech to the car and repeated what I had done so they could hear the noise.

They asked if I had some time so that they could look at it. After some time passed, they told me the upper control arm was the problem and would fix it for what I had pre-paid. The part needed to be ordered and because they had no storage room, they asked if I could bring the car back when the part arrived. At this point, the owner got involved. He told me that he would personally take care this embarrassing problem from here on and I would not have to pay for their mistakes. As I went outside to drive the car home I noticed my ABS light was on and would not go off. I called the shop and they told me that that too would be looked at when I returned the car. San Jose called 2-3 days later to let me know the parts had arrived. I dropped the car off on 6/12/08 and received a call from the owner the next day. He said that the shop didn't have the equipment to fix the ABS problem and that he did not have to tell me that. I have no idea what that comment meant. The front end is okay but I have to take the car to a Nissan shop to fix the ABS problem. At this point, mad is not a strong enough word to describe my feelings, I just wanted to be done with this sham of a service shop. I agreed to come and pick up my car. The owner informed me that I had to pay the remaining balance of the bill. I told him, as I did before, that I would not pay for unnecessary work done on the car. He insists that I pay another $250 before I can pick up the car. I reminded him of the conversations we had had with the service manager about not paying for their mistakes and if he refused to release the car, then I would be forced to take him to court to which he replied that as soon as an additional $250 was paid then the car would be released.

At this point, I will take the following steps:
1) take the shop to court.
2) contact the BBB
3) post my experience on the Internet
4) send a copy of this letter to the City of
Waukegan Business Affairs.
Comments:2 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-06-16
Posted by samtheman on 2008-06-16:
You should have taken it to the shop that you trusted or to the dealership from the start. You knew the risk involved with taking it to this shop. I'm not sure why you're peeved about paying the other $250. Didn't they quote you $500 from the start, which was to replace the ball joint? They also replaced the upper swing arm, and from what I read, didn't request more money. So it looks like you got two jobs for the price of one and want to withhold money because they can't fix the ABS light problem. Maybe I'm not seeing the light here, but it looks like you got a decent deal. If the owner can't fix the light, what would you like him to do, guess at it?
Posted by MRM on 2008-06-16:
Sam, your definitely the man!

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