Was the Job Really Done?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob,
Just about a week ago, I noticed that my coolant in my 1995 Corolla was not lime green anymore, but a dark, reddish brown. I looked through some auto repair manuals and found out that my car was due for a coolant flush.

I later took it to a lube shop and paid $40 for what they called a radiator flush. It's now been 2 days since the flush, and when I checked this morning, the coolant was again red-brown. I guess it was unwise that I didn't check it immediately after the lube guys were done, right at the shop. I trusted that they would do a good job.

I usually go to the local Jiffy Lube chain. Unfortunately, I lost trust in them because they charge too much, do halfway jobs, and would always recommend unnecessary maintenance. For example, they don't do a complete transmission fluid flush, where all the fluid is replaced. They only drain the pan and replace ~5 quarts. The last straw was when they charged me for a front and rear differential fluid replacement. I didn't know then that the job was bogus, since my car is front wheel drive.

I consulted with some car-savvy friends and they told me that it isn't enough to just flush the radiator...that the engine block, heater core, and reservoir also had to be flushed. Is this true? And if it is, then do you think I was ripped off by the shop? Do you think this sort of practice by lube shops is unethical? I don't know what I should do next. Thanks in advance.
Floyd S. of Arlington, VA

Your friends are correct in their assessment. As for any reprecussions that you might have, I think that you should speak with your localdistric attorney. There has been a lot of these problems lately, and honestly, I don't know what to do about it. I myself had been "ripped" by these guy! They say that they do something, then a few days later, I am under the car doing something else and I see that they did NOT DO IT! Case in point, I had my Taurus done, okay no problem your everyday average car.... I was checking the brakes and the suspension one Saturday about a week or so after I had it done... well, I noticed that they did NOT grease any fittings down there... I saw tie rods that were dry as a bone! Needless to say, I spoke to the manager, and he said that there is a new guy on the weekends... Well, I have been going there for a long time and did not notice anyone new. So, this is what I suggest, before you pay, check it out! If it does not look right, yell and scream and make a big scene. Then you just might get it for free or wind up in jail. But at least they will get the message.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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