Complaint: Magic Mechanic Complaint Magic Mechanic (Larry K. Perry) 1432 Lee Road Orlando, FL 32810-5334 407-629-2661 FAX: 407-297-8050 [email protected] The purpose of my posting is to provide the facts of my experience and let you decide if you chose to patronize the Magic Mechanic. I am sure they have many happy customers I am just not one of them. I had been experiencing A/C problems with my 2004 Ford E-150 Econoline van. The dampers kept switching from air to defrost and the air flow was diminished. I also needed tires balanced and rotated and an alignment check. I had been hearing a dry bearing sound for a quick second on cold start up like maybe an alternator was going bad. My van has 140,000 problem free miles on it. I was trying to find a reliable mechanic to use when I passed the Magic Mechanic on Lee Road and remembered all the advertising and radio show talk about this establishment. I believe in 580 WDBO and have listened to it for many years. I stopped in and was pleased to see that the yard was full of cars and the waiting room was full of seemingly satisfied customers. Later I learned that these folks could quite possibly be ignorant or at the very least miss informed about what customer service is supposed to be. I live in Mount Dora and travel to Orlando for work and was willing to use a mechanic in Orlando if they were good and honest. So I visited the Magic Mechanic on Thursday and spoke to the service manager and told him all the concerns I had with my van and that my priority was to solve the damper problem with the A/C first. He stated he would need it in the shop and I would probably need to leave it. Could I bring it back on Monday? I said yes and that I would be in around 9am . When I dropped the car off at 9 on Monday he said that there were no loaner cars available they were all being used. I know that is part of their ad campaign and business model but I also know that you can not possibly have a car for every customer. He recommended I rent a car from Enterprise down the street. At that time he told me that there were so many cars in front of me that it may not be looked at until late that day or even the next morning. I reminded him that I brought the car in when he asked me to. Remember my A/C was not working so I agreed to leave it and go with the rental. I called Tuesday afternoon to check on things and was given the news that they still had 2 cars in front of me and that it would likely be Wednesday before they looked at it. I asked why it was taking so long to get a mechanic to look at, I was told he guessed it was taking longer to fix the cars than they expected. I called Wednesday afternoon around 4:30 and inquired about their progress since still no one had called me. I was told very spontaneously without seeming to checking with anyone or look at a shop record that the mechanic had left for the day without telling anyone what he found. I asked what was he working on, the same service manager I had always talked with said, I dont know. He promised to call me first thing in the morning. He called me on my cell as promised at 9:30am . He told me that they had checked things out and that I needed a timing chain and idler pulley. The cost would be $1682. I told him that before I spent over 1/3 the value of my 2004 van on repairs I would trade it in. I asked about the A/C and he said they had not gotten to it. He went on to say that would require us to take the dash apart to find out what the issue was. Duh! I could not believe the load of crap I was being told. I let them know that I would not be making those types of major repairs and that I would be by to pick up my van. He said when will you be by so we can have it buttoned up? I said I would be by after 11am . I stopped by and looked at the van out in the lot. It had been moved from its original location and looked ready to go so I proceeded to drop off my rental. I returned to the Magic Mechanic to pick up my van and pay the $85 diagnostic fee. The same service manager at the counter said something like, yeah with the cost of replacing a timing chain and tensioner pulley, too bad you did not take advantage of cash for clunkers. Inside I was boiling. I tried to call Larry Parry and the number I found for him on a complaint blog seemed to be busy all the time. Once I did get through and was told that he was busy and could not talk. After telling a friend of mine of the difficulties I had just experienced, I was directed to Palm Tire in Tavares. I drove there the next day and explained the same issues. I did add that someone had told me the timing chain and idler pulley needed to be replaced and that was the cause of the split second dry bearing sound. I left the van there and walked next door to the Ace Hardware and returned in 20 min. I was please to be told by the tech that he had fixed my A/C. He was able to quickly determine that a plastic Publix shopping bag had been sucked up into the return air inlet under the dash and was preventing the damper from working properly. He did not have to take the dash apart. I asked him what he thought about the whole timing chain issue. He said that on my engine there is not a tensioner pulley. Simply two sprockets on the end of the cam and crank shaft and a metal or plastic chain around them. In any event the chain and sprockets are internal to the engine under a metal cover in an oil environment and it is unlikely you would ever hear any noise. If it had a problem you would know it. Like your van would not run. He theorized that the dry bearing that I hear for a split second on cold start up could be a pulley on the serpentine belt or another belt driven device like the alternator or air pump etc. Any event noting life threatening and I have an appointment for next week to have him check out the rest of my concerns and balance, rotate and do an alignment check. He also said that sometimes a mechanic will assume that do to age and miles, a timing chain will be needing to be changed as a preventive measure and that the dry bearing sound would also be solved by replacing other various serpentine belt pulley items once it was all torn apart and could be closely looked at. Oh and by the way there was no charge for any of this at Palm Tire in Taveres. So in summary I can not say why the Magic Mechanic did not look at my A/C problem first as I asked. I do not know why they did not do the other routine maintenance items I asked for either. You would think that there must have been time in 4 days to do an alignment and balance and rotate 4 tires. I also do not know what lead up to such a massive miss-diagnosis of a problem that I only casually mentioned during my initial service consultation with the service manger. I will tell you my opinion and that is from my perspective it seems an awful lot like the time I was ripped off by AAMCO transmission as a young man with my first car. They diagnosed my car woes as a transmission that was about to fall apart and needed rebuilt ASAP. After I had it done and my Mom financed nearly $2500 the car still would not shift any differently than before. A friend of mine at the 76 station took one look at it and said you need a new modulator valve. $60 later the car worked beautifully. I was young and naive at the time and justified being ripped off by thinking that I was going to keep the car a while and it would likely need a new transmission one day anyhow. Regardless of whether there was any devious plan to rip anyone off or not, the poor service and lack of common courtesy I received was ridiculous. By the way the rental cost me $50 a day totaling $200 dollars for the entire event but the $85 miss-diagnosis fee I was charged cost Larry Perry a whole lot more.
Tags: Auto Repair Service
Address: 1432 Lee Road Orlando, Florida United States of America