Mechanics’ Hubris in Humble, Texas

Margaret L. writes in an all too typical complaint of car mechanics taking the elderly for a ride.

We’re not talking one of those fun ones with ponies and streamers, either.

The basic gist is that she got widely varying inspection estimates from three different auto shops.

Anyone know a good, honest mechanic in Humble, Texas?

She writes:

    “Took my car to “My Mechanic” 7432 1960 east, Humble Tx for an inspection, he failed it because he said the power steering pump was leaking, gave me an estimate $310.00 plus tax, took it for a second opinion to A&J Automotive also on 1960 east, they said there was no leak; So I took it to Kwik Kar lube and Tune, also on 1960 east, they did an inspection and the car passed with flying colors they said there was nothing wrong with the power steering pump; Went back to “My Mechanic” and confronted him, he accused the second opinion of wiping off the pump to make it look good, I told him he should refund my 39.50 he charged me, he refused.

    My next call was to the Texas Dept of Public Safety, I am currently waiting for them to call me back. To date I have spent $79.00 to have my vehicle inspected; This is outrageous, I am a Senior citizen on a fixed income.

    -Margaret Lloyd”

Comments

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  1. Paul D says:

    Check with the State Attorney General’s Office. Most OAGs have a Victims Advocacy Division whose staff can advise in such matters.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Ishy writes:

    “Um, what the hell? The lady said she paid $39.50 for a car inspection? State inspection fees in Texas are $12.50. She’s seriously getting ripped off!

    Just a thought…”

  3. christy says:

    Maybe try the Car Talk website (you know Car Talk on NPR?) and do a search within your area code with their Mechanics Files search. They have a customer review system similar to that for online shopping sites. You may be able to find someone with a better reputation there.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    Lauren writes:

    “In response to Ishy…

    Cars newer than 2 years old generally cost $12.50 to inspect. This is
    because they do not require emissions testing on newer cars. Anything older
    requres both inspection ($12.50) and emissions testing ($27 in the Houston
    area). I believe that this is only enforced in the metro areas of the bigger
    cities.”

  5. AcidReign says:

    …..They tried to pass vehicle inspection in my state a couple of years ago. It died in committee, as all similar past bills did! Passing even the most basic vehicle inspection law put two thirds of the state’s cars in violation! There’s a reason we have all those code-red ozone days…

    …..In Alabama, if it will actually roll, has a valid tag, has a single working headlight, tail light, and brake light, it’s legal, no matter how much toxic goo it drips, or how much smoke it belches!