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  1. #1
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    Default "Yo soy mechanico" How convenient

    So the wifey and kids and I were on our way through Puerto Plata towards Sosua in our '92 Montero bumper car, we we hear a 'pop'. At first, we thought someone hit us, but looking around didn't see anyone. The car seemed to drive on just fine. A few seconds later, a Dominican in a very nice SUV pulled up besides us and(my wife and I habla poco espanol) said "something, something, goma" I looked for a flat, nope, so we pulled over and so did he. He said he saw something under the car, and reached under and pulled out the steering arm. He showed it to me, and the threads were indeed missing. He offered to drive me to the parts store, so of course, I jumped in a strangers car and left my family on the side of the road. On the way there, he said 'yo so mechanico' and I started thinking hmmmm... We went to the parts store, his parts store, he went in and got the new part, and handed me a bill for RD$4500. We returned to the car, and his long skinny friend was there with a couple wrenches. The put the new part in within two minutes.

    And then!, the car wouldn't start. Not even a click, which has been happening to us every couple days. I have been assuming their was a ground wire off, but haven't been able to find the problem. We have an appointment with our mechanic in two days. Usually, I can wiggle some wires, hit the distributor with a wrench and get it started. Not this time... Convieniently, my new mechanico amigo knows and electrician who is only four houses down from where we are. He gets him, and after finding the problem, replacing a few wires, the car starts up and we are on our way. I shelled out a whopping $RD6500. I know I payed the gringo tax when I bought the part, and handed him another RD$2k because I had no smaller bills, so he could pay the electrician, and for his troubles.

    So, I am left with two theories. His skinny friend crawled under the car while I was at a stop light and sabotaged the car (I get that from reading too much DR1), or I was just lucky and Dominicans are just really nice helpful people.

    Even with the Gringo tax, a new problem and and old problem were fixed on the side of the road in less then an hour for less money than I would pay in the US for the tow truck back to the shop.

    Gracias mechanico dominicano!

  2. #2
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    Well...depending on what part it was, RD$4500 you may have overpaid or not. I remember one of the most expensive" front drive train parts was the lower control arm, at about 100 USD (4000 pesos). Other parts are usually less than 50 dollars, including wheel hubs. That is, imported form USA and bought on Amazon or Rockauto.

    Now, for electrical job, you overpaid waaaay too much, RD$6500 for diagnosing and repairing electrical problem?

    I had a serious ground problem and the taller in Santo Domingo specializing in Chrysler vehicles charged me 1000 pesos (about 1 hour work). A month ago I had a problem that the inner vents stopped blowing any air at all. It was some relay problem, which a local "electrician guru" diagnosed and repaired (patched) for a "whopping" 300 pesos (15-20 minute work).

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubio_higuey View Post
    Well...depending on what part it was, RD$4500 you may have overpaid or not. I remember one of the most expensive" front drive train parts was the lower control arm, at about 100 USD (4000 pesos). Other parts are usually less than 50 dollars, including wheel hubs. That is, imported form USA and bought on Amazon or Rockauto.

    Now, for electrical job, you overpaid waaaay too much, RD$6500 for diagnosing and repairing electrical problem?

    I had a serious ground problem and the taller in Santo Domingo specializing in Chrysler vehicles charged me 1000 pesos (about 1 hour work). A month ago I had a problem that the inner vents stopped blowing any air at all. It was some relay problem, which a local "electrician guru" diagnosed and repaired (patched) for a "whopping" 300 pesos (15-20 minute work).
    I gave them all a total of RD$6500, RD$4500 was for the steering arm and another RD$2000 for the electrical and 'convenience' charge. I wasn't too sure about the steering arm part either, it was new so it could be worth RD$4500. I just figured because it was a montero, a dime a dozen here, it wouldn't be that much. The electrical guy did just 'bypass' and put in a couple new wires, but I still think it was well worth it.

  5. #5
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    If I understand correctly, he handed over a 2000 pesos bill, porque no tenia menudo......not 6 500 pesos which was the grand total.....

    Scam or not, look on the bright side, the car's starting problem was resolved for just over 100€.
    They charged me 4 500 peos for a electronic key thingy at toyota ( the only place that u can get it done......).....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJS View Post
    That is absolutely possible. It was way too easy for him to remove the steering arm. It was my first thought, but we did here the bump. If so, they got me hook, line, and sinker. We are white as can be, and I had a screaming baby sitting in the car making us want to get going quicker! I guess there is a sucker born every min., yesterday may have been my min.

  7. #7
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    HAHAHAHAHA! Yup, I just went and looked under the front end of the car... No new parts, nothing shiny!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drSix View Post
    That is absolutely possible. It was way too easy for him to remove the steering arm. It was my first thought, but we did here the bump. If so, they got me hook, line, and sinker. We are white as can be, and I had a screaming baby sitting in the car making us want to get going quicker! I guess there is a sucker born every min., yesterday may have been my min.
    The bump was probably the scammers throwing something like a plastic bottle with water at your car, - you will hear the bump and suspect something is wrong. I doubt they removed anything - one guy would distract you and the other guy plant some old steering arm under your car to show you. The electrical problem - hard to say, perhaps you really did have a problem and the guy really did fix it but if all it was replace a few wires, it's a 500 pesos job max to me.

  9. #9
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    As the poster "rice & beans" would say "excitement at every corner".

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJS View Post
    The bump was probably the scammers throwing something like a plastic bottle with water at your car, - you will hear the bump and suspect something is wrong. I doubt they removed anything - one guy would distract you and the other guy plant some old steering arm under your car to show you. The electrical problem - hard to say, perhaps you really did have a problem and the guy really did fix it but if all it was replace a few wires, it's a 500 pesos job max to me.
    Yea, they really did fix the electrical problem. I guess I did get a little for my trouble, besides a lesson!

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