Get a second opinion ...

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty

Saab 2001I have a 2001 Saab 9-5 Wagon with a little over 100,000 miles. Seems to run just fine as I change the oil regularly at 3-5,000 miles faithfully. My wife Monika took the car to Concord, NH a couple of months ago to a REALTOR meeting and when she just about got there she could here some scraping noise and when she got out of the car she could see there was a problem. She asked for some help and a few guys said that there was metal hanging from under the car near the muffler.

So, when Monika was leaving the meeting in Concord she stopped off at a garage and they told her she needed a new muffler and that the heat shields were rusted. They told her the muffler was so loose that it was ready to fall off at any moment. When Monika got home I noticed it was loose but it wasn't all that bad. I called my mechanic and he said a new muffler would cost around $850.00 to install and he would order one and call me when it came in. I still have not heard from him.

Of course I procrastinated getting this done and although I knew the muffler was loose it hadn't fallen off.

We are headed to Washington D.C. for our annual REALTOR conference the second week of May. So, after much prodding and insisting I finally took Monika's advice to get a second opinion and get the muffler checked out. I called Meineke Car Care Center in Plaistow, NH. I had them change the oil and I asked them to give me a price for a new muffler. They took me in at 10:00 this morning and by 10:40 I was on my way home.

Ernie checked me in and as he returned from the shop and mentioned I didn't need a muffler as it was just fine and not leaking and it only needed to be anchored as it was a little loose. It is stainless steel and does not rust. The heat shield's were rusted but not falling off. He welded the piece that was loose to the frame and changed the oil and I was all set to go. It cost me $20.00 to get the welding done.

It pays to listen to your wife and get a second opinion. I am pissed at the garage in Concord as they were definitely trying to take advantage of a women woman.


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Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty - Atkinson, NH
NH Real Estate Broker

You tell him BLR Guy...he always seems to forget that very important fact!

Of course it wasn't until I had friends reinforce my strong suggestion of a second opinion...that he finally decided it might really be wise.

May 02, 2008 11:54 AM #7
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Oooh, how I hate hearing things like this!  Nothing makes me madder than to find out a place like that tried to take advantage of me.  And it seems to be a frequent thing with cars.  When Bear takes my car somewhere, he gets a whole different explanation and a different price than I was told.  Why on earth does that seem to be an automatic thing sometimes????

Good for you Monika for insisting on that 2nd opinion.

May 02, 2008 12:03 PM #8
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
I agree on the woman thing, we know we don't know anything about cars. Good job, listening to the "boss".
May 02, 2008 12:13 PM #9
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
Yeah....people keep wanting to rip us off for car stuff.
May 02, 2008 12:43 PM #10
Linda Scanlan
A Fan of AR - Burleson, TX
Jay - it happens all the time. Even when we go look at cars to buy the sales people always defer to Mike. I guess I'm invisible. Good for you getting a second opinion. Aren't you glad that other muffler didn't come in??? Is that new green grass I see in your picture??
May 02, 2008 12:56 PM #11
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
You have a smart wife - so listen to her (Monika did not pay me to say this!)
May 02, 2008 01:23 PM #12
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

For those that know me they always know I listen to Monika. I was hesitant about taking it in originally because  it didn't seen to be that severe. She kept hounding me to get it looked at but I can be a little stubborn at times or I just procrastinate.

One thing I learned early in my real estate life was to treat both spouses the same as you never know who is the actual decision maker. I have come across husbands that have no clue and their spouses knows a lot more and they ask a lot more questions too. 

Linda, we finally are having some rain so green is sprouting all over. 

May 02, 2008 01:40 PM #13
Jay.. Sadly this happens to women a lot.. I always try to say something to make the mechanic think I know a whole lot more then I do..sometimes it even works
May 02, 2008 01:47 PM #14
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate

Hi Jay,

I'm so glad you listened to Monika, with all that you saved you should take her shopping! :) 

May 02, 2008 01:55 PM #15
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jay you got lucky my friend. I am always a little wary of some of these places. Sometimes they just try to manufacture ways to create repairs.

May 02, 2008 02:01 PM #16
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Suzanne, be nice.

George, I often wonder the same thing. It's a nice feeling to have a dependable mechanic.

May 02, 2008 02:57 PM #17
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent
Is it any wonder why nobody trusts car repairmen or car dealerships.  They think we're all a mark and their next windfall.
May 02, 2008 10:54 PM #19
Marlene Scheffer
Realty Station - Bremerton, WA
Realtor to Kitsap County, WA
Based on a recent health issue of mine, I am all about second opinions in all kinds of areas!
May 02, 2008 11:22 PM #20
Steve Scheer
Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers - Highlands Ranch, CO
Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate
My wife had had similar car issues as well - I tend to take care of that when I can now just for the money saving sake.  And you are right about what you said in your comment relating to real estate - you have to treat both spouses the same as if you don't it will come back to bite you.  Like it did for the first muffler guy.  
May 03, 2008 01:05 AM #21
Judy Tuscano
Prudential Verani Realty - Nottingham, NH
NH Real Estate Professional

Moni - This does not surprise me in the least. No matter how progressive we think mankind is - many men will still take advantage of women in whatever way they can especially when it comes to making money. Since your muffler is stainless steel and won't rust they may even have planned to take it off and re-sell it to the next sucker girl. We need to advocate for ourselves out there no matter if it makes men call us bwitches.

You should call that original shop and report this to the owner. Yes, throw the guy under the bus.

May 03, 2008 01:21 AM #22
Amie Varney
Prudential Verani Realty - Epping, NH
Jay - You can call our house anytime and pick Derek's brain about car repairs.
May 03, 2008 02:41 AM #23
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area

Judy... I think the guy was the manager/owner. I'm not sure but that was my impression.

Amie...Does Derek work on European cars? 

I do like Suzanne's suggestion of shopping. LOL...I like that idea very much.


May 03, 2008 03:29 AM #24
Mufflers, breaks and altinators are some of the biggest money makers for small garages.  Espcially for foreign cars.  Replacing an entire muffeer system is much easier than just certain parts, it really only takes about 30 minutes.  , I've heard the same stories from supposedly reputable shops too.  You need to find one garage that you can trust and always use them.  
May 03, 2008 03:30 AM #25
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
Jay this kind of stuff happens all the time. Getting a 2nd opinion is great advice. Having someone you can trust in the car business is very important.
May 03, 2008 07:01 AM #26
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Wow, I would report that 1st shop to the attorney general, sounds like they were trying to take advantage of you and your wife!

May 06, 2008 06:04 PM #27
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Jay McGillicuddy

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