Speaking of cheap mechanic.

AZB

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2002
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The mechanic spent 2 days working on my car's front end suspension. left the car there at 3pm yesterday and he just brought me the car at 5:30pm today. I was there to inspect the work this afternoon (twice). all good work. Changed 2 shocks, changed all the bushing, in fact, sent out the bushing to be made (custom) to be stronger than the ones they had there, the brake pads in the front, cleaning the cylinders in brakes, changed the dust covers on a few places (drive shafts), changed to 2 ball joints, changed some more steering rods and connectors, did work in the rear wheels. It was a huge job that was time consuming. It was all due for many years on my small tercel. The labor for all that work was: 1200 pesos (like 35 dollars). the car was delivered to me in my office. I will pay the parts tomorrow, its a separate bill in the parts store. the owner is my friend too.
what a country.
AZB
 

FernieBee

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Feb 20, 2008
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Wow! I would venture to guess that job, here, in California, would have been ten times that much, just for the labor.
 

Skippy1

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sounds like a bargain to me.

Should last you at least another 10 months on these roads....if you're careful.
I never ceases to amaze me just how resourceful the mechanics here are I am sure they could repair just about any car given enough time and the right wrench.

Skippy
 

playacaribe2

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2004
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With that type.....

The mechanic spent 2 days working on my car's front end suspension. left the car there at 3pm yesterday and he just brought me the car at 5:30pm today. I was there to inspect the work this afternoon (twice). all good work. Changed 2 shocks, changed all the bushing, in fact, sent out the bushing to be made (custom) to be stronger than the ones they had there, the brake pads in the front, cleaning the cylinders in brakes, changed the dust covers on a few places (drive shafts), changed to 2 ball joints, changed some more steering rods and connectors, did work in the rear wheels. It was a huge job that was time consuming. It was all due for many years on my small tercel. The labor for all that work was: 1200 pesos (like 35 dollars). the car was delivered to me in my office. I will pay the parts tomorrow, its a separate bill in the parts store. the owner is my friend too.
what a country.
AZB
of front end work, don't forget to have an alignment. Also, if your front tires are old/worn, replace them before you get it aligned. And, I realize that with those crater size holes in the D.R. an alignment may not last long, but with the work you describe it is an absolute necessity.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
 

Adrian Bye

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I never ceases to amaze me just how resourceful the mechanics here are I am sure they could repair just about any car given enough time and the right wrench.
Yeah, along with some glue, sticky tape and some string. :)
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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They do a great job at fixing the more popular cars but I wouldn't take a newer BMW to a street mechanic. They just don't have the skills or sense of quality when it comes to repairs. Plus they don't have the right tools to do the job the right way.
 

AZB

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2002
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The work is simple, screwing in components and bolting them in etc. There is no rocket science involved in front end work. I was there to watch over the mechanic to see if he forgets to put in some bolts and may left over with a handful of screws and bolts. hahaha. This did not happen, thanks god.
Today i will buy new tires and get the car realigned. I should be all set for a few months, if not years.
AZB
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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They do a great job at fixing the more popular cars but I wouldn't take a newer BMW to a street mechanic. They just don't have the skills or sense of quality when it comes to repairs. Plus they don't have the right tools to do the job the right way.
I agree, do take your corollas, camrys and hondas but expensive cars like german or volvos. Stick to more organized shops or dealers.
AZB
 

AK74

On Vacation!
Jun 18, 2007
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Sosua/Cabarete/Puerto PLata

Probably not that cheap (non expensive) like the one in Santiago, but I can recommend a very solid and reasonable place in Sosua. Discovered them accidentally after having been taken big time on my Infinity by some other local shops.

They are located on a tiny side street away from eyes if you turn left from Pedro Clisante just before Europa Hotel and go all the way down. It will be on your left side. Big shop.

Russian owner and Russian mechanics.

Their advantages:

1. Manager/chief mechanic Sergei for many years had his shop in Russian Far East that is almost Japan and is very good with Japanese cars.

2. Unlike NA mechanics they do not "replace" a part right away, but first try to "repair" it if it will be cheaper.

3. They have very good connections to NA suppliers of used parts and usually get them delivered within 7-10 days. Sometime difference between OEM new parts and used part (high quality ) is huge. For instance starter for my Infinity is $380 OEM and $70 used one with warranty.

So, if the customer wants to save and willing to go for a used one - they can do it.

4. The owner is willing to invest in equipment and technology to keep improving quality of work.

5. Trying to earn their spot and good reputation in the market currently they offer very low prices.

In my opinion they defenitely are worth checking at least.

Just in recent days I witnessed them fixing correctly Mitsubishi Galant (alternator problem, ), Honda Element ( rear suspension), Toyota Echo (cooling and A/C). And exhaust system/ brake job on my Infinity.

Very hard working and responsible people. I can recommend them whole heart.
 

trabajadora

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Aug 29, 2007
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Thanks AK74 for that information about your recommendation for a good mechanic. This must be my lucky day. On Saturday afternoon, my husband ended up at the mercy of a POP robber (in terms of what he charged to fix our Honda CRV). It was only a minor part that needed replacing but it cost us a fortune. We already knew we need a catalytic converter (or so we've been told), so I'm going to tell my husband to go see this guy you've recommended. Thanks again for the tip. :bunny:
 

AK74

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Jun 18, 2007
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Thanks AK74 for that information about your recommendation for a good mechanic. This must be my lucky day. On Saturday afternoon, my husband ended up at the mercy of a POP robber (in terms of what he charged to fix our Honda CRV). It was only a minor part that needed replacing but it cost us a fortune. We already knew we need a catalytic converter (or so we've been told), so I'm going to tell my husband to go see this guy you've recommended. Thanks again for the tip. :bunny:
It is hard to discuss the problem on your vehicle without seeing it, but I doubt that it is catalitic.
The thing is that catalitic does not affect performance of your vehicle at all. The most you can experience because of it - "CHECK ENGINE" light. Also the vehicle with bad catalitic won`t pass inspection in USA. Too much CO2 in exhaust fumes.

That is it.

If you have any other problem besides "CE" light - it is not catalitic.

Talk to Sergei. He is still in the shop. He disassembles and assembles Hondas with his eyes closed.
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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It is hard to discuss the problem on your vehicle without seeing it, but I doubt that it is catalitic.
The thing is that catalitic does not affect performance of your vehicle at all. The most you can experience because of it - "CHECK ENGINE" light. Also the vehicle with bad catalitic won`t pass inspection in USA. Too much CO2 in exhaust fumes.

That is it.

If you have any other problem besides "CE" light - it is not catalitic.

Talk to Sergei. He is still in the shop. He disassembles and assembles Hondas with his eyes closed.
I beg to differ.
A blocked up catalytic filter will drastically reduce your performance and eventually blow your engine by overheating the valves.
 

AK74

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I beg to differ.
A blocked up catalytic filter will drastically reduce your performance and eventually blow your engine by overheating the valves.

Exactly! Like any other section of exhaust system. But normally it does not happen. More often catalitic or muffler just burn through and stop filtering exhaust gases properly.
 

Rocky

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Exactly! Like any other section of exhaust system. But normally it does not happen. More often catalitic or muffler just burn through and stop filtering exhaust gases properly.
Not in this country, they don't.
They get blocked up, specially back in the days when all we could get was leaded gasoline.
Even elsewhere, I have never heard of a catalytic filter burning through, but I sure have heard of them blocking up, as well as experienced it a few times.
 

trabajadora

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Well now, from both of your responses, I think that's even more reason to let Sergei take a look at it. My husband was told by some other mechanic that we needed to replace the catalytic converter as that was the reason why it burns sooooo darned much gas. It's like the gas just disappears into thin air. In addition to that symptom, the check engine light IS on and no matter what we've had done to the vehicle, it won't go off (a couple of different times after having it serviced, the light went off only to come back on a couple of days later). This has been going on with the light almost since we first purchased it 1-1/2 years ago. For sure I'm going to tell him that Sergei comes very highly recommended and that he is honest. You guys know how "some" guys are when their wife tries to steer them in a certain direction. They think they already know it all and that the "little woman" doesn't know what she's talking about. If he doesn't take this advise, then whatever he ends up paying out for possible false repairs, will be on him.
Thanks again. I truly appreciate the recommendation.
 

Rocky

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Well now, from both of your responses, I think that's even more reason to let Sergei take a look at it. My husband was told by some other mechanic that we needed to replace the catalytic converter as that was the reason why it burns sooooo darned much gas. It's like the gas just disappears into thin air. In addition to that symptom, the check engine light IS on and no matter what we've had done to the vehicle, it won't go off (a couple of different times after having it serviced, the light went off only to come back on a couple of days later). This has been going on with the light almost since we first purchased it 1-1/2 years ago. For sure I'm going to tell him that Sergei comes very highly recommended and that he is honest. You guys know how "some" guys are when their wife tries to steer them in a certain direction. They think they already know it all and that the "little woman" doesn't know what she's talking about. If he doesn't take this advise, then whatever he ends up paying out for possible false repairs, will be on him.
Thanks again. I truly appreciate the recommendation.
I don't happen to know Sergei or anything about his work, but I always go to a guy who does mufflers in Puerto Plata for that type of stuff.
Should you decide to do the same, contact me for exact directions.
 

AK74

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Jun 18, 2007
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Not in this country, they don't.
They get blocked up, specially back in the days when all we could get was leaded gasoline.
Even elsewhere, I have never heard of a catalytic filter burning through, but I sure have heard of them blocking up, as well as experienced it a few times.
Even with this, highly improbable for a newer vehicle like CR-V scenario, catalitic does not need to be replaced.
Enough just to cut it out and instal a straight pipe instead. Like all my customers successfully do who order used cars for countries without emission inspection.

For Dominican Republic catalitic convertor is not needed at all.

But anyway, communicating with a person this much professionally knowledgeable in auto repair business is a very great pleasure!
 

trabajadora

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Thanks Rocky, I will contact you after I get a chance to discuss this with the "mister". We just want someone who is honest, and knows what they're talking about and doing. I'm sick of being taken advantage of with car repairs. I'll talk to him tonight because we have to drive to Santo Domingo on Friday. At the moment I'm thinking about taking the Metro bus as it would save us some money because of the way this thing is drinking gas. But if we could get it looked at on Weds. or Thurs., at least we'd know if we're taking chances in driving it that far (in case nobody can get it ready in time).
 

Rocky

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Even with this, highly improbable for a newer vehicle like CR-V scenario, catalitic does not need to be replaced.
Enough just to cut it out and instal a straight pipe instead. Like all my customers successfully do who order used cars for countries without emission inspection.

For Dominican Republic catalitic convertor is not needed at all.

But anyway, communicating with a person this much professionally knowledgeable in auto repair business is a very great pleasure!
It is true that it's a fairly standard practice to just punch a hole through the catalytic filter and then weld it back on, but although it will increase the performance, assuming it was blocked up, it may come at a cost of an additional rumble/throaty exhaust type noise.
One might not care on an old junker, but when I did that on my Oldsmobile, I didn't drive 20 feet without returning to have a new filter put on.
It was just too noisy for my liking, at least for a luxury car.
Kids would probably love the sound.
 

playacaribe2

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Jan 9, 2004
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O2 sensor(s)

Well now, from both of your responses, I think that's even more reason to let Sergei take a look at it. My husband was told by some other mechanic that we needed to replace the catalytic converter as that was the reason why it burns sooooo darned much gas. It's like the gas just disappears into thin air. In addition to that symptom, the check engine light IS on and no matter what we've had done to the vehicle, it won't go off (a couple of different times after having it serviced, the light went off only to come back on a couple of days later). This has been going on with the light almost since we first purchased it 1-1/2 years ago. For sure I'm going to tell him that Sergei comes very highly recommended and that he is honest. You guys know how "some" guys are when their wife tries to steer them in a certain direction. They think they already know it all and that the "little woman" doesn't know what she's talking about. If he doesn't take this advise, then whatever he ends up paying out for possible false repairs, will be on him.
Thanks again. I truly appreciate the recommendation.
While the problem could be a catalytic converter (usually becomes problematic after 100,000 miles), my best guess from your post is that one of the O2 (Oxygen sensors) is bad. These can also cause a drop in gas mileage and generally speaking are much cheaper to replace than a catalytic converter. Find a mechanic who has a handheld scanner and ask to get a diagnostic test. Basically, they plug the scanner into your vehicles computer....and the scanner....well it scans for the reason the check engine light is on and then provides you with the results.

I brought one to the D.R (Santo Domingo) last year and if I had the 1000 pesos per diagnosis that the mechanicos charge, in one week through word of mouth I would have collected several hundred dollars. They come in very handy...especially in the D.R.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2