Al’s Car Care of Boise Al’s Car Care 1645 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702 208-344-3800 Charged for work they didn’t do. Attempted to sell un-needed repairs. Boise Idaho!!. Last July my vehicle failed emissions at a local check station. The technician gave me a state-approved list of only three shops where I could get the needed emissions repairs completed. As an added bonus, I was told “if you spend $300 towards emission repairs, you can get a waiver if it doesn’t pass.. .but only if you take it to Al’s Car Care or the other two shops”. I went to Al’s Car Care, who charged me $200 to incorrectly diagnose my emissions issues. By contrast: Lithia Ford charges a flat $93 fee. Al’s Car Care still wanted another $400 ($600 total) just to tell me what was wrong with my car. Getting fed up with the lack of service from Al’s, I refused to have the exhaust manifold and catalytic converter replaced there, for the stated estimate of $1700. Al’s technician, in writing, stated that he had looked at the manifold, which he said was cracked, and leaking dangerous carbon monoxide into the cabin. He quoted a price of $700 for the part, and more than $600 in labor costs…just for the manifold. He also said that the converter was bad, which I had professionally installed a year prior. Which Al’s would be happy to replace for $400 in parts and $300 in labor. Even though the other place did the same work, parts included, for under $350. He “guaranteed” that the vehicle would pass emissions because the manifold was cracked, and interfering with the O2 sensor. He seemed like a slimy used car salesman, so I decided to tear into the engine myself to verify that the parts he said were bad, actually were. Unsurprisingly: they weren’t. I made a video of the “cracked manifold” (that wasn’t) here: youtu.be/RiXHPFLsiXc Also, the part that Al’s tried selling me for $700 is only $335 direct from the manufacturer. And two hours of labor instead of the four they tried charging me. After completing the repairs Al’s Car Care “guaranteed” would help the car pass emissions: it failed as badly as before Al’s Car Care touched it. That’s because the engine, with 300,000 miles, was leaking oil into the cylinders. Which Al’s Car Care incorrectly stated “won’t interfere with emissions”. Even though the primary reason for failing the test was “unburned hydrocarbons”. Al’s Car Care blamed a “defective carburetor” which they wanted another $1200 to replace. Even though they sell for $350 for a remanufactured OEM replacement through Summit Racing and take an average of three hours shop time to replace. Meanwhile, Al’s Car Care declared a broken EGR valve with a hole through the side of it as “good” and the technician said he “looked at it carefully”(just like when he claimed he saw “cracks” on a perfectly good exhaust manifold). I called Al’s Car Care four times, asking for a manager. All four times I was told “he just stepped out but will call you back when he returns”. Just like their poor quality of service: he failed to deliver on all four promises. I had the engine rebuilt by another shop for less money than Al’s Car Care wanted for replacing a perfectly fine exhaust manifold. I reused the carburetor and other parts Al’s Car Care said were “bad” and “MUST” be replaced. Not surprisingly: the vehicle now passes emissions with flying colors, for far cheaper than Al’s Car Care quoted me. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau for Al’s Car Care trying to scam me. While Al’s Car Care didn’t admit to scamming me: they did write the BBB and stated they would issue me a partial refund to settle the complaint. Just like every other promise Al’s Car Care has made: they failed to deliver on it.
This review (Al’s Car Care of Boise) was originally published at Skeptic Files.
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