Need small favor of someone in Northern VA.

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by thevirginiadude, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. thevirginiadude

    thevirginiadude Karting

    Apr 18, 2004
    Fairfax County, VA
    Need someone, in the fairfax VA area who knows these cars that can tell this guy he has an ignition problem ('78 308 gts). I was paid to rebuild and balance four carbs, replace the timing belts, and do nothing more. This car ran like a dog, before and after. One of the points was burned so bad on the rear distributer it had a lump on it. Now they expect me to fix the ignition problem or give them back at least half the money I got doing the non-ignition related work.

    This is the same guy who said Ferrari of washington is worthless. I am rather upset with them. I know my work that I was paid to do was completed 100% correctly. I need someone to verify that to get him off my back. He can take this thing to the Ferrari dealer from now on I won't save him more money.

    Anyone local able to give me a quck hand. I'm hardly wealthy but I will buy you a beer or two.
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  3. thevirginiadude

    thevirginiadude Karting

    Apr 18, 2004
    Fairfax County, VA
    Not looking for someone to do any work for free, just need to convince this owner the problem is in the ignition system and NOT what I had worked on. I want him out of my hair and out of my life now. He is ok, but his wife was extremely offensive to me.

    The car is for sale soon, but since I can't tell you what decade it was last touched by a Ferrari mechanic count on the worst. Low milage but seriously neglected maintenance. ANd a speedo that was not working the last time I drove it. May have been intermittant at least. But certainly wasn't working last week. My advice is stay away from it. The owner is a royal pain to deal with.

    All I did was rebuild carbs and balance them..( I have done many over t he years) and replace the timing belts and bearing (idler).

    car had seriously burned points and I suspect far more problems than just that.
  4. Capt

    Capt Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    North of Boston
    Full Name:
    Having done my fair share of computer consulting, I'm familiar with this mentality. "Well before you touched it, every thing was ok" or "it didn't do this before you worked on it" What I have learned to do is set clear expectations prior to doing any work. "look you see that?, what I'm about to do won't fix that, but it will fix this, that and the other thing, If you want that fixed, then it will require that I do X and it will cost Y"

    The problem is most people are uneducated about their computers and cars, they don't understand them and make assumption that all their problems are related to one thing when it may or may not be the case. I try very hard to avoid these problems by explaining exactly what I will do and what it will or will not fix. Unfortunatly you still get people that freak when they get a bill and a computer/car that is still broken (because they didn't want to fix the other problem that your pointed out). Not much you can do with them.

  5. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    That would seem to be to be a valid complaint -- provided the owner really did know what it was doing before it went "under the knife".

    An old problem may or may not be fixed by a given specific service, but a new problem which started at the time of a service ... well, I'm not an easy sell on "coincidences".

    In general, and without any specific association intended (lest any over-sensitive nerves reads more into it than intended):
    Good mechanics have to live with the paranoia imparted to the public by all the really bad mechanics that are bumbling about. When we have less experience with a mechanic, we put more emphasis on each detail (as there are less details to share the load). One valid minor problem can make a customer suspicious of all sorts of other problems - valid or not. The less experience we have with a mechanic, the more significant a minor issue appears.

    From my own experience, once a mechanic has told me something I know to be false (e.g. "that half gallon of air in the cooling system 'just happens'"), he'll have a hard time getting me to believe anything he tells me. "Oops" may be a four letter word, but when a wrench will acknowlege his real errors, I'm more inclined to believe him when he denies a false error.

    But to get back to the case at hand, it sounds like this 308 had been parked for a while, so the owner may only be aware of how it ran before it was put aside.

    Perhaps someone should remind him that these cars (like most machines) rot faster when idle than when they're run. Actually, it sounds like his wife was pushing him to "cash in" the car, and doesn't like him spending money on getting it ready to sell. (Life's a b1tch if you marry one. ;) )

    I suppose the conventional response on the 308 issue would be to tell him, "this isn't related to carbs, but I'll fix it at the discount price of (insert list price here)". Actually, from what I've seen, a lot of shops would insert a way-over-list price there. (And people will pay it. A local market labeled an inflated price, "New Lower Price". George Orwell is spinning in his grave.)

    Why, yes, I am a cynic. Why do you ask?

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