Auto Repair - Calgary

2011 Auto Repair Investigation


Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu/ Honda CRV 2004

Canadian Tire Auto Service Center
388 Country Hills Blvd.
Calgary
403-226-9555
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $407.53
Replaced the battery and performed a $200 inspection for a total invoice of $407.53 The inspection form provided to the APA mystery shoppers indicated the battery was in Satisfactory condition; the notation was subsequently crossed out to indicate it was in Unsatisfactory condition. After the vehicle was returned, the original, nearly new, battery was reinstalled to continue the investigation. Excessive $22.14 charge for shop supplies.



Canadian Tire
3516 8th Avenue N.E.
Calgary
403-248-4166
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $507.48
Replaced the new battery and spark plugs for a total charge of $507.48, the highest repair bill paid by the APA in Calgary. Canadian Tire returned spark plugs from a different vehicle. The APA reinstalled the original battery to continue the investigation. The inspection form provided to the APA shopper indicates the spark plugs were in Satisfactory condition; it was subsequenty altered to indicate they were Unsatisfactory. Excessive $28.35 charge for shop supplies.



Canadian Tire
250 Shawville Way SE
Calgary
(403) 201-3377
Rating: PASS

Charge: $213.44
Corrected loose battery terminal. Basic Maintenance Check at $149.99. The only shop to mention an off-center steering wheel (incorrect), but did not try to sell a repair -- referred the APA shopper to a dealer. All other items checked are marked as Pass. Battery and allternator tested. Excessive $13.30 charge for shop supplies.



Canadian Tire,
9940 MacLeod Trail SE
Calgary
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $185.40
Did not identify the loose battery terminal. All items inspected checked off as satisfactory. Correctly identifies low pressure in one tire, but does not spot the nail in it. (subsequently repaired at APA expert’s facility). Excessive $14.58 charge for shop supplies.



Southwest Certigard
2703 14th Street SW
Calgary
(403) 228-4713
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $176.05
Shop did not identify the loose battery terminal. $49.95 inspection includes a road test, oil change and tire rotation in addition to a 40 point inspection. $110 to diagnose the intermittent no-start; invoice indicates "ALL STARTER AND BATTERY CONNECTIONS, AVR TEST BATTERY AND ALTERNATOR, ALL OK". Other repairs recommended included replacing the front wheel bearings ($920), and broken rear differential mounts $620. Counter person reported that the rear differential was very loose. APA did not approve the additional work. The right-front wheel bearing was noisy, and the Certigard recommendation was accepted. The differential mounts showed normal wear and their replacement was not indicated. Shop supplies $7.70.



Certigard, Silver Springs
5858 Silver Springs Boulevard NW
Calgary
(403) 247-6316
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $129.15
Shop did not identify the loose battery terminal. The intermittent no-start diagnosis was included in the inspection charge. "NO PROBLEMS FOUND". Written inspection form not provided. Low $2.00 charge for shop supplies.



Fountain Tire
4911 Northland Drive N.W.
Calgary
(403) 286-3386
Rating: PASS

Charge: $157.17
Tightened battery terminal. Battery "tested OK, alternator tested GOOD." Inspection includes tire and brake-wear measurements (nice touch). Excessive $9.79 charge for shop supplies.



Fountain Tire
7007 Macleod Trail South
Calgary
403-252-2228
Rating: PASS

Charge: $134.82
Tightened battery terminal. The mechanic diagnosed the no-start caused by a loose battery cable in less than 30 seconds after opening the hood. Invoice includes tire and brake-wear measurements (nice touch). Excessive $8.40 charge for shop supplies.



Fountain Tire, Calgary Northside
425 40th Avenue NE
(403) 276-8936
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $233.33
Installed a Legend 450 CCA battery. Examination of the engine compartment after the repair revealed that the cheaper Power battery had been installed, and invoiced at the higher price for the Legend. $5.18 for shop supplies. After learning of the results, the store replaced its battery testing machine and offered to refund the APA's repair bill.



CMP Classic Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC
1313 - 36th Street, N.E. Calgary
(403) 207-1020
Rating: PASS

Charge: $351.38
Tightened battery terminal. $160 for a complete vehicle inspection. Recommends a brake flush at $135; the brake fluid on the APA test car was new and the underhood camera revealed it was never checked during the inspection. Oil level not checked, only its condition (it was new). Charged $138 to diagnose the electrical system and tighten the loose battery terminal; this work was undertaken by a second mechanic who had no difficulty finding the problem, and performed a variety of additional tests on the engine management system. Excessive $36.65 for shop supplies.



Kal Tire
404 42nd Avenue SE
Calgary
(403) 243-0752
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $171.14
Replaced battery and tightened the loose terminal. APA reinstalled the original to continue the investigation. No charge for the inspection. The only KalTire shop that did not provide a written inspection report. No charge for shop supplies.



Kal Tire
6455 MacLeod Trail
Calgary
(403) 253-6502
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $103.95
Did not identify the loose battery cable. Brake fluid actually tested for humidity, not just visually for colour and level (nice touch). Printout provided for the battery and alternator. Battery printout indicates that the battery was good, but low on charge. The printout includes the possible fixes for low battery charge: "Check for causes of low charge: charging system, alternator belt, cables and connections, excessive power drains." No charge for shop supplies.



Kal Tire
3712 Edmonton Trail
Calgary
(403) 230-1051
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $355.57
Corrected loose battery terminal. Technician notes on the inspection form: "Battery loose…cable ends loose." Replaced ignition switch. Shop supplies identified as degreaser and antiseize billed at $5.00. Neither is required to replace the switch.



Midas Auto Service
624 16 Avenue NW
Calgary
(403) 284-1117
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $187.91
Replaced battery and provided a battery test printout that indicated “Cranking normal” and “Charging System Test Results No Problem”. Despite the clean bill of health, the readout on the Bosch test device indicates “Replace Battery”. Shop performed two inspections, the Midas Courtesy Check and the Brake System Evaluation at no charge, with brake and tire wear indicated. The battery test was also no charge. Excessive $10.13 charge for shop supplies.



Midas Auto Service
3378 32nd Street NE
Calgary
(403) 291-0134
Rating: PASS

Charge: $89.19
“Battery terminal tightened;" the battery test was included in the price of the general inspection. $4.99 for shop supplies.



Midas Auto Service
9623 MacLeod Trail SW
Calgary
(403) 259-4890
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $127.11
Did not identify the loose battery terminal. Shoppers were offered a pre-purchase inspection when they requested a thorough inspection; the inspection reports they were given were identical to the other two Midas shops visited in Calgary (one was free-of-charge and the other cost $89.19.) All items checked were marked OK. No charge for shop supplies.



Minit-Tune and Brake -Crowfoot
152 Crowfoot Gate NW
Calgary
(403) 239-8772
Rating: PASS

Charge: $180.72
Battery terminal tightened. Inspection includes an oil change and tire rotation, charged at $79.88. The $69 analysis of the charging and starting systems correctly identifies the loose connection. $6.13 for shop supplies.



Delta Auto Car and Repair
# 206, 255 28th Street N.E
Calgary
Tel: 403-569-0090
Rating: PASS

Charge: $30.00
"Tightened battery terminal". Shoppers were told the car was in good condition. No charge for shop supplies. Cheapest inspection with correct repair in Calgary.



Edmonton Trail Auto Pro
923 Edmonton Trail NE
Calgary
(403) 276-5340
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $193.32
Did not identify the loose terminal. The inspection included an oil change and tire rotation at $79.95. There was an additional charge of $95 to check the no-start problem. The shop recommended a new battery and alternator for a total estimate of $811.47. The APA mystery shopper did not approve the work. APA’s battery was returned improperly secured in the engine compartment (a potential hazard). $7.00 for shop supplies.

 

 Auto Repair - Toronto


2011 Auto Repair Investigation

Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu /2002 Honda CR-V sport utility

Active Green and Ross
186 The Queensway
Toronto
416-259-4584
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $404.28
Loose terminal identified and corrected. Shop performed unnecessary brake service, which included lubrication of the brakes, polishing the rotors and replacing the brake fluid. Inspection after the service revealed that the brake rotors had been polished on the outside only, and the master cylinder was overfilled. Anti-seize compound cleaned up as it had been applied too liberally by the shop and was not needed. 



Active Green and Ross
1964 Victoria Park
North York
416-510-2224
Rating: PASS

Charge: $40.44
Best outcome in Toronto. Loose terminal corrected and billed as 20 minutes of labour. The service writer reported new brakes and a new battery. “The brakes are brand new, front and back," and the "battery newer."



Active Green and Ross
2639 Dundas West


Rating: Inconclusive

Charge: $0.00
The service writer observed: “You were at one of our shops three days ago.” APA concluded the test car had been identified in the Active Green and Ross computer system. A new vehicle was introduced to continue the visits to other Active Green and Ross locations.  



Active Green and Ross
2151 Jane Street at Wilson
North York
416-244-5322
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $2427.00
Loose terminal identified and corrected. The shop replaced the oil and filter and checked the no-start for $155.86. They charged $2,271.14 to replace the spark plugs, air filter, four suspension struts and the starter. There was also an attempt to sell the APA mystery shopper an additional $200 of services to replace brake and transmission fluids, which the APA mystery shopper declined. All parts replaced were examined and determined not to require replacement, except for the air filter, a $22 item that was deemed an acceptable recommendation. The bill was the highest ever paid by the APA for unnecessary repairs in a repair investigation.



Canadian Tire
2681 The Danforth Avenue Toronto
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $79.08
Did not identify the loose terminal. Of the six Canadian Tire stores visited in Toronto and Calgary, this was the least expensive. All other items checked earn a pass (correct).



Canadian Tire
2625B Weston Road Toronto 416-247-3255
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $400.91
Identified and corrected loose terminal. Replaced battery. Invoiced for 110 point inspection at $195.30, but inspection form provided is identical to the one at Canadian Tire on Danforth. Service counter person explained the intermittent no-start: "You might have been getting the problem from the terminal being loose, but the battery was low.”



Midas
1654 O’Conner Dr.
Toronto
416-751-9462 
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $0.00
Did not identify the loose terminal. Power steering fluid given the green light along with the rest of the items on the inspection form. (There is no power steering fluid on the Malibu – it’s electric.) It was suggested the shopper go to a GM dealer to diagnose the intermittent starting problem. The air pressure readings on all four tires were noted (nice touch). 



Midas Auto Service
624 Saint Claire West.
Toronto
416-653-5570
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $0.00
Did not identify the loose terminal. Recommends replacing the air filter because it was “restricted”, also a “rad flush” and “transmission drain-fill.” (The coolant and the transmission fluids had been serviced). There was no pressure to undertake the work, and the mystery shopper did not authorize the work.



Certigard
354 Harbord St.
Toronto
416-532-4971
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $0.00
Did not identify the loose terminal. Tried to sell a rock-guard type product as suitable rustproofing. Rotated tires at no charge. 



Goodyear (AMA Tire and Service Centre)
3390 Bathurst
Toronto
416-789-7964
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $64.39
Did not identify the loose terminal.



Quality Auto
1137 Lawrence Ave West
North York
416-784-0205 
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $59.95
Did not identify the loose terminal. Correctly reported "ALL CHECKS OKAY" for the rest of the car. The invoice includes all the items checked and the percentage of brake wear (nice touch).  



A&A Auto
111Strachan Ave.
Toronto
416-703-3526
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $209.05
Replaced battery. Invoice also indicates that the cables were serviced.