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nathanbs nathanbs is offline
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Pasadena Air-cooled SCAMMERS!! Consumers beware!!

Dammit why does this crap happen to me? I took my 74 US carrera targa to a local repair shop called Pasadena Air-cooled. I had used them twice before with outstanding results. Fast, honest and skilled, what else could anyone ask for? This third time complete polar opposite experience that ended with police involvement and having to be extorted for double of what I had ever been warned of and agreed to just to remove my car from their possession.
I flat-bedded the car to them after talking to a guy named Curt over the phone who I had met and talked to during the previous repairs. Curt as I understood was the partner of Bill. Bill is who I entrusted with repairing my two previous cars. Bill is an awesome air-cooled Porsche mechanic. Bill has never answered the phone during any my previous transactions with Pasadena Air-cooled.
Upon receiving the car Curt asked me to text my wish list to him of which I did. Curt had a kid named Caleb, apparently a tech, call me and discuss my list with me after several weeks of anticipation, even though I was told to bring my car up right away. I asked Caleb where Bill was and Caleb informed me that Bill had left the company to work for the local Porsche dealer that is starting up a classics divisions. I was a bit confused and disappointed as I thought Bill was Pasadena Air-cooled or at least the wrench half of the business. Caleb informed me I was in good hands with him and that he would check my car out and let me know. No quotes warned or given yet. Got a call several days later approx to tell me that the oil leaks that I wanted them to look at could be all fixed with the exception of the one behind the crank pulley of which he told me was very minor. He told me 6-7 hours to perform the repairs and I should have a very clean and dry engine. I asked him to remind me of their rate of which he informed me was $135/hr. Some quick math gets me $800-1000. I asked about the fuel light and he said he would check out but didnít think it would be anything serious. Several more days later he calls me to tell me that it needs a new fuel sender and gave me part price of which I donít recall but was cheap nothing serious. I then asked about the leak down test that I requested as I want to sell the car and want to document the engineís condition for potential buyers. I had discussed this with Curt verbally prior to even towing the car to him and he assured me he could do a quick video of the leak down being performed as I wanted proof for buyers rather than just numbers on a piece of paper. Honestly I just wanted the car in the same picture frame as the test and in all honesty photos would have sufficed.
Fast forward to yesterday I get a call from Caleb after several missed promises on previously promised completion dates he says car is complete. I asked how much is it so I can bring a check? He said $3000. My exact words were ďare you f@wking serious!?Ē He offered to email the invoice to me. I agreed and told him I would come visit him to discuss in person. Well I went there this afternoon and felt that Caleb and I were relatively on the same page with the fact that I never agreed to, nor authorized a $500 video recording fee for the leak down test and that there was now an additional charge for $710 for a trans service related to a transmission noise that I was hearing while in reverse however I never was even told what they thought could be causing the noise or what it might cost to fix. Those two items total approx $1210 of unauthorized work. Thereís some confusion as apparently the quote for the leaks included a valve adjustment of which I was unaware of and donít feel was necessary but accounted for a huge portion of the leak repair labor costs. I authorized repairing leaks not a valve adjustment. I honestly thought the bill would be approx $1200-1500 and this is what I warned my business partner of as he is half owner of the car. I offered Caleb $1700 as a compromise and told him that I was not paying for the video and valve adjustment. It wasnít until later that I realized the trans service was also an unauthorized amount. Technically I only verbally authorized the repair of the oil leaks, leak down test and fuel sender totaling approx $1200 as originally expected. Caleb said he has to talk to Curt so Caleb called Curt to come over from around the corner where he has another business. Upon arrival Curt calmly looked at the repair invoice and read $3000 out loud and then turned to me and asked what amount I was willing to pay and I stated that I only authorized $1200 but was willing to pay $1700. At which point he said I needed to leave and come back when Iím ready to pay $3000. I told him to please show me the authorizations where I agreed to $3000. He said leave and I said Iím calling the police at which point he told me it was a civil matter and that he was going to liensale my car and now it is $3000 cash.(sounds like he has done this before) He then told me to leave as I was trespassing. He told me to go work some more and come back when I could afford to fix my car. I did call the police and of course one officer was a friend or client of his and they pretty much told me there was nothing that they could do. I contested that he had not a shred of paper with my name on it entitling him to any amount of money and that I wanted my car. They didnít budge. I asked if it was illegal if I took my car and they advised against it. I repeated if it was illegal and one officer stated she didnít know. Ultimately I had to pay $3000 cash to get my car out. I did not receive the $500 video despite paying for it nor any other documentation of a leak down test or itís results. Engine still leaks pretty much identically to how I brought it in. Oil level sender is now out which they claimed was discovered that way but why not ask if I wanted to fix it? Reverse still makes the same exact noise and now there is a noise during coasting in second gear that wasnít previously present.
What the hell just happened and what did I just pay for? Why the hell cant the police help in a situation like this where clearly laws and BAR regulations are not followed? What a crappy experience to say the least. Oh apparently Caleb is formerly of LA Porsche Dismantlers. Ill leave it at that for now.
Old 08-30-2018, 09:35 PM
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