Matt and Joanne’s Page

November 20, 2008

Bad mechanic = roadtrip nightmare

Filed under: Roadtrip — Tags: — joannestamplis @ 5:59 pm

Well, we are back in Oregon now. Unfortunately the road trip from Michigan to Oregon was full of bad experiences. Let’s start from beginning: our Honda does not start when we first got home after leaving it sitting for 2 months. We took it in to J&D Auto in Oak Park, Michigan because my father-in-law ‘recommended’ it. This is a decision we will soon regret.

Turns out the timing belt is old and need replacement. They also replaced the power steering and air-conditioner belt since they looked old (note, they replace 3 belts). Well, somehow to replace the timing belt took J&D 5 days to do. Once the car was fixed, we started our trip back to Oregon. We drove from Michigan>>Indiana>>Illinois>>Missouri>>Oklahoma>>Texas>>New Mexico>>Arizona>>Nevada>>California>>Oregon took us about 1 week.

Anyway, here’s the fun part: the car broke down in Texas and when we took it in to the Honda Service Center, we found out that the power steering and air-conditioner belt tore off and the nut holding the pulley fell off. Apparently it is too hard a job for a mechanic to tighten the nut. Good thing J&D decided to waranty this (they later tell me they were kind enough to do this without much questioning. Ah ha….I’m not sure what is there to question when the nut fell off!)
Delay to roadtrip = 3 hours.

When we get to Las Vegas, the car engine was making rattling noise again and when we took it into another Honda service center, they found out that the timing belt is loose, skipped 2 teeth apparently. When we called J&D, they refused to pay for the waranty because they said that there are no prove that they did something wrong and our car could possibly be having internal problem…ah ha….SO NO NUT FELL OFF = NO WARANTY. Well, once the car is fixed, we drove from Vegas to Oregon fine and has absolutely no issue at all.
Delay to trip = 8 hours.

Basically everything that the J&D Auto touched, we need someone else to redo the work. Needless to say, I never completely comprehend it when people said a bad mechanic can make your life miserable until we experienced it first hand. So, in the end, we paid the exact same job TWICE!!! If we would have taken it into a good mechanic in the first place, we would not waste so much money and time. Note to anybody reading this, NEVER EVER take your car into J&D Auto unless you want to have the job done again after 1000 miles.

And here are the costs we had to pay:
1. Timing belt + power steering + air cond belt at J&D = $549.52 (we paid $183.98 because our car waranty which was still valid at that time covered the rest)
2. Power steering + air cond belt at Texas = $231.50 (J&D covered this which according to them is out of good of their heart, ah ha…)
3. Timing belt at Vegas = $524.39 (This is the full cost we had to pay and nothing from J&D)
Total cost just to replace those freaking belts = $708.37 + 11 hrs delay
If we took the car in to a good mechanic in the first place, it would have just cost us $200 the most and we would not have all the stress and waste time fixing the car.


  1. If I were you, I’d send those jerk-offs at J&D a letter threatening legal action if they don’t honor their warranty (and compensate you). Scare them by indicating your intent to file a complaint with the Michigan Attorney General (,1607,7-164-17331-42077–,00.html). I hate businesses like J&D!

    Comment by Eric — November 21, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  2. Thanks Eric for the suggestion. Since neither of us are working now and have plenty of time, I might do that 🙂

    Comment by joannestamplis — November 21, 2008 @ 11:04 am

  3. DONE! I feel good as a responsible consumer. Thanks again for the suggestion Eric.

    Comment by joannestamplis — November 21, 2008 @ 11:37 am

  4. you go girl, fight for your rights!

    Comment by Lil — November 24, 2008 @ 4:53 am

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