2007-10-30

Note to self : Avoid AAA cervice center at all cost

...and I do hope some AAA quality assurance person reads this.

AAA, which I am a member of, had a promotion--a 70-point (or something like that) free safety check at any of their car care centers in October. I thought it won't harm and I went to one close to work in Raleigh, NC. Used my lunch break for it. Got some takeout, brought the car in, and ate my food waiting.

I came in to pick it up, it's ready, and they have a report for me. Besides finding my b0rked wheel alignment and all tires A-Ok (that was before I noticed that tread wear and had the alignment fixed) they suggested to:
  • Flush coolant (which I just had changed together with the radiator less that 3000 miles ago, when my old radiator leaked);
  • Flush transmission fluid (also changed about 15,000 ago)
  • Change all belts (just changed them all 20 miles ago, should have another 40K in them)
  • Change brake rotors and pads (according to Harry the mechanic, my car's attending physician I should need new pads in about 7K, but rotors are fine)
  • and--get this--Throttle body and fuel injection system cleaning!
As supporting evidence for the latter they showed me a dark greasy smear on the work order and said, "Our mechanics just stick their finger in the throttle body and smear on the paper, and if it comes out dirty, you need a cleaning."

All this with a straight face. To an owner of a Miata without any symptoms of fuel delivery problems.

Findings: they overlooked existing problems with alignment and tread wear, but tried to sell me on unnecessary work.

Conclusion: avoid at all cost.