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Car repair in Sn'Orleans

Orleans Certigard - at the PetroCanada at Jeanne D'Arc and Fortune
That's my recommendation. Now, the story/rant. I live in a quiet, sleepy little burb, and have a Pontiac 2000 Sunfire. Cute little thing, stick shift - almost as fun as my Corvair was. But that's another story. At least Ralph Nader doesn't hate this one.

I bought the Sunfire used, but with some warranty left, so "had to" go to the dealer until the warranty was done. Because they imply if you go elsewhere, and that place doesn't use official Pontiac parts, or follow the official Pontiac maintenance schedule, and you have problems - well, they can't promise they'll honour the warranty. So you go to the dealer every few months -because they're always reminding you of yet another thing that has to be adjusted or filled or drained or flushed. I don't remember all those visits back to the dealer in "the old days" - seems we just changed the oil and drove. But I think this is their way to make even more cash after the sale.
So, you bring the car into the dealer, and they have a row of bays and dozens of technicians - but at a cost. Not only the hourly and parts charges - but they have de-personalized it all. You check in at a service desk, and try to explain (as maybe a not too car-savvy person) to the guy/gal behind the counter what's the problem. And they're not that savvy either - their job is just to have a basic knowledge of a car, and a good knowledge of the dealer's repair process and service intervals. Trying to describe the problem, especially those mystery "klunks", can be a challenge. No way will you see anyone that actually fixes cars. And then when you come back to pick it up - you're to show up at the cashier window. They are very pleasant as they swipe your debit card through, but they have no idea what repair was done. Rest assured it will be expensive, with only the best official parts. But hey - if there's a problem - just take more time off work, bring it back and we'll take a look at it again! I went through that for several visits - even having them repair the car, then leave it outside all afternoon one day for me to pick up - with the headlights on. Big apologies, of course they will recharge my flat battery for nothing. After I pushed for some compensation they offered a free oil change. NEXT time I came in, of course, which meant a chance for more extras added on. I'd have been happier if they brought out the bonehead that left the lights on, and told him to give me the $30 for an oil change.

I can be persistent at times, even when it means getting screwed over, but I finally gave up and looked for a local garage. And found a gem. It's a small garage, with just a few bays. Drop off or pickup the car and the owner is at the desk for you - and he knows cars. Describe a problem and he'll have an answer right away, or can check right away with one of the guys. And if you want - wait around and when the car's in there they'll show you the problem - and after what they fixed. Plus, if you're a regular customer, and drop by with a minor problem - sometimes it's fixed right away while you wait - at no charge.
So that's my story - and if you live around here - take your car to them!

Update - Guy Meranger and his Certigard haved moved to 1685 10th Line - still great.


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