October 18th I went to Pepboys because the check engine light was on and I needed to get it checked out. This was after going to Autozone who attempted to get the diagnostic code off my car to find the problem. They got several codes and said that I need to go to a mechanic to get it checked out. I looked up the reviews on Pepboys and they didn’t look good. It was Sunday though so I figured I would give you guys the benefit of the doubt and take my car there.
A diagnostic was run on the car and I was told that the Mass Air Sensor was bad. After the air sensor was replaced the light went off. Then on Monday Nov 9th at the check engine light came back on. At 4:30 pm I brought the car in with my receipt showing the previous repair. The car was brought back into the bay area and a diagnostic was done again on the car. The same code came back. The service manager Diego then got involved. The part was again replaced and the same code came on. At this point it is now around 6:00 pm and he said it will be another 45 minutes or so that they were going to put the first part back on because my car is now not idling correctly and the code still shows the Mass Air Sensor. At 7:20 pm the original replacement part was back on the car and it still showing the same code and still not idling correctly. It is now showing 4 codes including the mass air sensor. I was told it must be electrical. His electrical expert “Corn” would be in the next day and would pull the car in first thing and he will look at the car and find out if he can figure out what is wrong. As I spoke with the service manager he apologized for the time I have had to wait and that he still does not have an answer. I said well obviously the original repair on the 18th did not need to happen I said that I need to be refunded for the original repair. He said he had no problem doing that so if the new repair was 500.00 he would just charge the difference of 50.00. He said it’s also possible that they may not be able to figure out the problem and I may have to take it to a car dealership. He even offered to reimburse me for a rental car and offered to drive me home because the store closes at 8:00 pm. He said that someone would call me by around noon and knew I would be working with students because I am a school teacher and would leave a message to let me know the problem. I told him that I will call my mom and she could come and get me in 30 minutes.
The following day I never received the call. I call the store Tuesday at 3:00. An employee answered and I asked to speak with Diego. He was not there that day I was told. I asked about the status of the Mazda 5. He said that they have continued to replace the same part and still getting the same result…check engine light. Even a Mazda brand part was tried. I said that must not be the problem then if you still get that code (along with others) He said yes we now think it must be the PCM. I asked what does that mean? He said it must be the computer in your car. I will have to call Mazda to get a price on that part. I told him that Diego had agreed to refund the original repair because that is not what was needed. He said they would not of gotten the other codes if the part was not replaced. I find that odd because Autozone was also getting the same multiple codes on Oct 18th and that is why I went to Pepboys in the first place because they could not pin point the ACTUAL problem. They recommended to take it to a garage to get it checked there. He again said if that is what Diego said that they would do that and that he would go ahead and call Madza to get a price.
At this point I am feeling that they have no idea what is going on really and so I researched a bit online and found out that a PCM has to be done at the dealership because it has to be programmed IF that is even the real problem. Also, emissions are all covered under warranty if the car is under 80,000 miles which my car was.
I spoke with another service manager I know who works for Honda. He said NEVER take your car to PEP Boys unless it’s just an oil change. They are just guessing at the problem and they certainly own you a refund for the original repair that did not need to happen.
At that point I called Mazda who verified my car is still under warranty for emissions and they would have to run their own diagnostic that would cost. They have to verify for themselves what the problem is and not take Pep boys new diagnosis of a PCM
Why would a “qualified” mechanic say he was going to call and get a quote on a PCM if it needs to be done at a dealership? So many things wrong with this situation.
I call back at 4:00 and say that I would be having to figure out how to tow my car from their location to Mazda since my car is not drivable with the idle running high. He placed me on hold and came back and said that “Corn” had discovered a blown fuse and the car is now drivable. I told him that I still expected the refund of the repair to be honored, how would that take place? He said he would have to talk with Diego first since he was not at work that day it would be the following day and that he works 8-5. I asked him if he was going to Diego or did I need to? He said he would talk to him.
I then decide I still would feel better talking to him myself so I left my car there another day.
Yesterday after school I call at 4:30 pm and asked to speak to Diego. I am told he already had gone home for the day and that he worked 8-5 on the 12th (today).
I called today at 9:30 am and Diego answered. I asked him about the refund on the Mazda. He said he would not do the refund because he insisted that it needed to be done. I said then why did all the new parts not work and why does it still give that code? He said that it is now giving more codes (just like it did for free at Autozone btw). It also “could be” electrical. I even said I didn’t mind paying for the diagnostic charge (80.00). He said why would you offer to pay for that if you don’t think the original repair was needed? I told him I am trying to be fair unlike you guys are and a diagnostic would have been needed regardless of you identifying the problem or not. I told him that I disagreed the original repair was needed and I spoke with a qualified mechanic that works at a Honda dealership as a service manager and he also disagrees and thinks you guys are just guessing and only going off codes and not inspecting the actually part. I need to take my car to a qualified mechanic for my car and I will have to pay them another diagnostic charge. I then told him I wanted the contact information for the district manager. He said I’ll tell you what, If you can get Mazda to say the original repair did not need to be made, then I will refund the original repair. So I said you expect Mazda to be able to verify if the original repair needed to happen and if they do that you will fully refund the money of the original repair. He said yes I would feel better about going to my manager with that. I will even refund their diagnostic fee if they will say the original repair was not needed.
Questions I have, the original mass air sensor that was on my car on Oct 18th, do they still have it? Not likely! How is Mazda supposed to verify and state the repair was not necessary? Likely Mazda would not want to “formally” state anything to avoid legalities I’m sure. Why put it on Mazda instead of doing what is right for the consumer? I am attaching an article that I wished I had read before ever going into your store. A quote from the article “This is where time spent finding a quality shop will pay huge rewards. As with anything else, there are people who can quickly, professionally get the job done and there is everyone else.
Just because a shop is in the auto repair business does NOT mean they are qualified to diagnose problems”
I will be picking up my car this afternoon and not ever coming back. I will be taking my car to Mazda just like I should of done to begin with. I’ll ask them to verify the original repair needed to be done and they may or may not give an opinion but I seriously doubt they would be willing to “go on record” to call Pep boys and validate that. I will certainly try. I feel completely taken advantage of as a consumer, as a single mom, and as a woman. I trusted you and gave you the benefit of the doubt and was made several good faith promises that are now turned around on me to have “the burden of proof.” Shame on you Pepboys!
I’m not giving up without warning everyone I know to never take their car to Pep boys. I will certainly use social media as a platform as well. I am very disappointed in you!
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $450.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
Pep Boys Cons: Misdiagnosis and guessing at repair, Misdiagnosis.