I took my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am in to a facility in Draper to get the safety and emissions completed. Emissions passed, safety passed everything but the parking brake. I took it home and looked at the cable adjustments and the little lever that causes the parking brake to engage when the cable pulls tension. Couldn't figure out a solution. I gave up and searched the web for a reliable shop that was close. I found Reliable Auto Mechanics and their great reviews on Google. I call them up and spoke with Chris. They got me in quick, took it apart and inspected it and said they would do a clean and adjust service for $90. An hour later, he informs me that it will need a new hardware kit (missing one of the metal dowel rods that sits on the end of the lever) for a total of $228 installed (he kindly removed the $90 clean and adjust). It is a $22 kit (tinyurl.com/o93djsh) and they sold it to me for $56 (nothing like 150% markup!!). They get everything installed the next day. When I go to pick it up Troy tells me everything is installed and ready to go but still not holding - it will need a new parking brake cable (the old one was very rusty). He said it was a $45 (it's actually only $19.99) for the part and more for the extra labor. I told him I was comfortable installing the cable myself. Get home and install in 10 minutes. Pull the parking brake, still the car doesn't hold. I proceed to take everything apart, pull the caliper, remove the rotor and come to find out the hardware kit was installed incorrectly - the metal dowel rods (entire reason it wasn't working in the first place!) were not installed so when you pull tension on the cable, it still doesn't engage the shoes to the inside of the rotor. I looked a little closer and realized there wasn't even any tension on the shoes mating to the new hardware pieces that they actually installed. The shoes were LITERALLY BOUNCING AROUND... I've posted a video on YouTube to show you what I mean. Here is the link: youtube.com/watch?v=qwMy…. Thank God this was just my parking brake assembly and not my actual brakes or I could've been in a serious accident. At this point I was furious. I bring it back it and show Chris the video and he says they are going to make it right (granted I already paid $228 for this service). He then tries to tell me that there really isn't anything that holds tension on the shoe - he is wrong - you need to adjust the sprocket until the shoes touch enough to stay in place - even one of the mechanics (to remain un-named) looked at me square in the eye and said you are 100% correct. Chris orders a new kit and says they are picking up the tab on this one (after they already marked up the first one 150% - I essentially already paid for 2.5 kits). An hour later, the kit shows up and it takes them 1 hour to install it (although I was billed for 2 hours of labor - funny math there). I go outside to get in my car and leave and the check engine light is on - I had just passed emission 4 days prior and there was no light on when I came in. They cleared the code and sent me home. I asked for a portion of my money back for the labor. Chris explained this request was above his pay grade and he would need to talk to Phil. I demanded to speak to Phil and Chris tried to call him and no answer. Today, 9/3 is 4 days later and I still have not received a phone call from Phil. I get a call from Chris today and they offer me a free oil change - what a joke. Likely costs them $10-12 total for an oil change and at this point, I don't think I could even trust them to do that right. Worst shop I've ever been to in my life - I am 29 years old and have owned a car since 15-1/2 and have worked on multiple friend's cars. If you want to leave a shop not fearing for your life, I would not recommend this shop.
Chris - you left Ken Garff because you said you cared about the customers. If this is the case, it is seriously time for you to leave Reliable Auto Mechanics (especially Phil) behind and pursue another opportunity elsewhere.