PHOENIX — If you’re planning a road trip anytime soon, make sure anyone who is working on your car before you go is doing the job right.
I recently learned that the hard way.
My family and I started on our summer road trip to Yellowstone National Park on a Saturday a few weeks ago.
We were traveling north on I-17. We were eager to hit the road, so I decided to wait until we got to Flagstaff before stopping for a while to get an oil change. After all, the Tucson-based car repair chain where I normally take my car in Phoenix also has a location in Flagstaff.
I was wrong to assume the work there would be as good.
“It’s important to know that with a lot of the different franchise repair shops, there are different owners and different managers,” said Felicia Thompson of the Arizona Better Business Bureau. “Sometimes the work will result in a different result.”
She said being on a road trip is not the time to try out a shop that you’re not familiar with.
The mechanic in Flagstaff told us the oil change was complete and the car was ready for the long trip to Yellowstone. We paid the $51 bill and we were back on the road, unaware there was something wrong with the car.
When we reached Kanab, Utah, the oil pressure light came on.
I checked the dipstick and found the car was completely out of oil. We called Triple-A, which sent out a tow truck. The driver got under the car and said it appeared to him that the oil change had not been done properly and all of the oil had leaked out of the car. Because it was Saturday night, and everything in Kanab is closed on Sunday, we would not be able to have the car completely checked until his repair shop opened on Monday morning. Fortunately, we had already planned to spend the weekend with relatives in Kanab.
On Monday, the mechanic’s diagnosis was confirmed. It took $33 to pay to have everything “tightened up,” and a car diagnostic showed there were no other problems. We were able to continue our long-planned Yellowstone vacation.
I kept all of the repair receipts. On our way back to Phoenix, we returned to the shop in Flagstaff. I calmly explained all that had happened, presented the paperwork, and told the manager, “I don’t think I should have to pay for this.” He agreed. He apologized and reimbursed all expenses.
Thompson said I was right to insist the company that did the oil change pay for all of my repairs.
“We always advise… let the company know there’s an issue to see if they’re going to take care of it, and how they’ll take care of it, and then go from there,” she said.
In my case, the repair shop did make things right. We were staying with relatives, so we did not incur any hotel expenses in Kanab.
Thompson said things could get complicated if you try to get the mechanic to reimburse you for lodging.
She said if you’re not happy with the way a company treats you, call the Better Business Bureau.
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy