I dont think its common for them to intentionally break things....
...although I'm sure it may happen that something breaks / they may accidentally break something while trying to repair.
I dont think this has ever happened to me... i like to assume it hasn't because i dont want to assume an entire industry is that shady!
I think that's happened to me once... not an intentional breaking but a thing broke when they were trying to take it off so that they could access a different thing. My mechanics are awesome, though, so even though I was a little grumpy about it, I forked over my money. I've been going to them for about eight years and it's only happened once.
In general I think it's important to pick a mechanic based on personal recommendations and then use them exclusively so that you can build a relationship. I'm planning to bring mine cookies tomorrow when I take the car in to be fixed. Nothing like periodic cookies to make them give you random discounts.
I used to call and say "Hey, this is Noa Choc with the '02 Subaru Impreza TS" and they'd sound confused. I started bringing them cookies about once a year and now all I need to say is "Hey, this is Noa" and they're all "HI! How have you been?!"
I used to work in the repair department of one of the largest car dealerships on the West Coast, and never heard or saw anything of this sort. Instead, I saw a lot instances where mechanics did a great deal of extra work for no charge. At the new employee orientation, the HR woman said (and these were her exact words) "Never sell a customer something they don't need. We've been in business here for over sixty years largely due to a good reputation. Bad word-of-mouth can ruin us.
If you need a mechanic recommended by customers, you might try looking here: http://www.cartalk.com/mechanics-files/mechanic/all-states
This happened to me (hopefully not purposely) last time I brought my car in for repairs. When I got it back, the problem I brought it in for was fixed, but it now had a totally different (worse) problem. I called them and explained what happened, and asked what their policy is if something like this happens. The answer was pretty much 'it depends...'... so I was pretty irked. I brought it back in the next day, and while trying to be firm but not bitchy, I said something like 'I work for a landscaping company and if we are at a property doing work and we damage anything, we replace it on our cost....'
My method seemed to work and they fixed it for free... and quick!
I'm at a loss trying to think how you even began to think that automotive work and landscaping are comparable.
Sorta. A thing that could have broken while being repaired for something else was broken when the car got put back together. The mechanic fixed it since it was related to the original repair and only charged me for the part (at cost). Then again, I did tend to let them eat lunch for free.
I really doubt it's very common, except maybe in an area where one dealership really has a monopoly on the area. What I think is more common is adding on repairs that aren't completely necessary. Whenever my mechanic gives me a quote, I always ask what is 100% necessary that we do now, and what can wait -- the answer has never been that everything is needed now.
I don't think it has happened to us. But once when they did an oil change, they forgot to put the oil cap back on so oil sprayed everywhere. They put in 5 new quarts of oil, but did not clean the engine very well so we never went back there. So be sure to open the hood after they fix stuff.
A plumber came over to fix our toilet once and ended up breaking the whole thing. He replaced it.
One time I had to have my transmission replaced and when I got the car back, the driver's side window wouldn't close. I doubt they did it on purpose because it was such a minor thing and the repair I went in for was so expensive, but it was still really annoying. My dad ended up fixing it himself.
Carpet installers broke the toilet in our half bath, but they tried to get out of fixing it (they were subcontracting for Home Depot). I had a plumber out to look at it and he confirmed that they'd broken it by unscrewing and lifting it so they could cut the carpet hole, which he said was not necessary. It took me a lot of phone calls to get HD to pay the plumber to put in a new toilet, but the old one was beyond repair (they cracked porcelain).
I took my car in last summer to have the timing belt changed (routine maintenance, there was NOTHING wrong with my car), and they broke the tensioner while they were taking it off. That I could deal with, it happens, but then it 'wasn't running right' so they did some more looking and switched out the water pump because they thought it was 'making a noise.' Still wouldn't run properly. It was a faulty water pump. They put another one in and that fixed it. This took them four days. I tried to keep my calm through all of it, but I gave them enough attitude that they didn't charge labour and I paid cost for the parts.
I do understand that those three things typically go around the same time, but they gave me such a runaround as to why they weren't done with my car yet that I just lost any and all patience with them. Also, there was zero indication that my water pump was an issue before they had my car. Still cost me almost $800.
Four months prior to that I was having trouble with the transmission (or so I thought.) It seemed a little chuggy, so I took it in for them to check out. THREE TRANSMISSION FLUSHES LATER (at $200 a pop), they realize it was the gas cap. WHAT.
Of course, there was never an issue with things getting broken in the process before my warranty ran out. Those things happened literally within a month of me not having that coverage any more. I have a new mechanic now.
I should mention that the first transmission flush was before the problem started and was routine maintenance. The problem happened about six months after that. So three in six months. I was probably stupid to let them do it, but they made some claim or another that made sense at the time.
I have now hired my Dad as my backyard mechanic, and his guy does all the other work I need done that Dad can't handle.
yeah i heard it's better to have a man bring your car in for work or to buy a car cause they are less likely to get ripped off :/