August 13, 2005

An Epic Struggle: Epilogue

Posted in General at 5:37 pm by Ian

After my mechanic kept my car for almost an entire week to do a simple smog check and having to do it twice because they didn’t bother to look at the paperwork and notice that it was for the wrong car, I was seriouly inclined not to use them again. This is, you’ll remember, is the same place that threw away my license plate holder, so I considered it their second strike. But they came so highly recommended that I was weak of resolve.

Saturday morning, I stopped for gas on the way out of town. I opened the fuel tank door to find my gas cap missing.

No. Fucking. Way. am I going back there.

Dear Google: This post is about Ayers Automotive in Santa Barbara, CA. It contains reviews of their crappy service and complete incompetence. A collection of posts about problems with them can be found at my Ayers Automotive page. Again, that’s Ayers Automotive of Santa Barbara, CA



  1. Liza said,

    They probably take all your stuff because they think you’re a celebrity…

  2. Evan said,

    Bad Carma?

  3. Dan said,

    Saturday morning on the way out of town, I stopped for gas on the way out of town.

    Do you work for the Department of Redundancy Department?

    Sorry… couldn’t resist… =P

  4. Ian said,

    Bah. I remember seeing that and thinking I’d have to fix it too.

    Oh well. Fixed now.

  5. Adam said,

    I love how your blog pingbacked itself there. I suppose that’s a “feature” in that it enables cross-referencing.

  6. Ian said,

    Yeah. I got the pingback email, and I thought: “Dude, somebody linked to my blog! I’m finally getting a more widespread readersh–oh.”

  7. Augie said,

    Dude; report them; burn the place down, or at least post their phone number so we can crank call them. 🙂

  8. Melissa said,

    I’ve had an equally enjoyable experience with Ayers myself. I took my car in there to get the cv joints replaced, and a new head gasket seal (thingy). I was told that the car would be ready (after dropping it off first thing Saturday morning) Monday afternoon to be driven home to Santa Cruz. As this was a three day weekend and my NORMAL mechanic doesn’t work on the weekends, I was happy at the thought of having my car fixed without having to be without it during the week.

    On Monday morning I got a call from Robert asking if I knew where the key to my wheel lock was, and I explained that yes, it should be in the right side pocket of the trunck, next to the jack. Robert says, “Oh, I’ve already looked and my guy both tore that trunck apart and didn’t find it.” Hmmm I think…it should be there..I tell him to check again and also to check the glove box.

    He calls back 15 mins later and says, “Yeah, its not here…we’re going to have to chisel your wheel locks off to do the repair work, gonna cost you an additional 60 bucks.

    Me- “Are you SURE its not in the trunk well? I’ve never put it anywhere else.”

    Robert – “Oh yeah, I even pulled the jack out and looked again. It’s not in there.”

    Me- “Ok, do what you have to do then.”


    So several hours later I get a call that the car is finally done and ready for pick up. I head down there and while waiting the 30+ mins it took them to get the paperwork ready I pop the trunk, shove my hand into the rear side well, and LOOOKEEE THERE! Its the WHEEL LOCK! EXACLTY WHERE I SAID IT WOULD BE!! Imagine that.

    I showed it to Robert who all but said that I must have put it there, but he ‘decides’ to not CHARGE ME for removing my lug nuts. Thanks Robert, you’re a prince.

    Then, he neglects to inform me that my mom will need a fax machine in order to pay for the repairs with her credit card (over the phone) until I am there to pick up the car. Mind you, it is 6pm, and WHO IN THE HELL HAS A FAX MACHINE AT THEIR HOUSE?!?!? Also, why did he wait until the time of pick up to tell me this, when I told him FRIDAY that the repairs would be covered by my mother on her credit card!?!?

    So, can’t get to a fax machine until Tuesday, thus not picking the car up until Tuesday morning.

    When I get there Tuesday morning (now missing a full day of classes due to his incompetence) Robert tells me that I’m lucky that I left my car there overnight because the axles that he put on are leaking very badly. (Lucky? You call that LUCKY?!!) Tells me that it’ll be an hour tops before he can get it fixed. An hour and a half later he calls me and tells me that its done, and I can come pick the car up.

    While picking it up, Robert wanders over to me and says “You know, I SHOULD be charging you labor for that repair but I’m not going to in an attempt to redeem myself.”

    Wait..let me get this straight, YOU fuck up MY car during YOUR repair, and you’re somehow doing me a FAVOR by not charging ME for it? no….no I don’t think so.

    Pick up the car, run away from Ayers as fast as I could.

    While getting on the freeway to head back to Santa Cruz, I notice that the car has an unbelievable amount of vibration in the front now. I call Robert, he swears that it can’t be anything that they’ve done.

    By the time I get home (4 hours drive) the check engine light has come on in my car.

    I take it in to my mechanic the next day, and they inform me that the valve cover gasket that Ayers “replaced” is leaking horribly and needs to be repaired and that one of the axles that Ayers put on the car is faulty and is causing the vibration that I”m feeling while driving the vehicle.

    I call Robert, explain these things to him, he accuses my mechanic of lying, and asks when I want to bring the car back to him to fix it.

    No no Robert, I don’t think you understand, I’d rather be shot in the face then have you touch my car again. 950 dollars later (after the initial 1200 in repairs at Ayers) what he broke is fixed.

    I’ve never in my life had such a poor experience with ANY business. And all I got was this stupid license plate frame that says “Santa Barbara”.

  9. Ian said,

    Thanks for sharing the story, Melissa. Hopefully some people will see this before they take their cars to Ayers.

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