These are the final days at the second shop. The stay ended relatively quickly, and there was plenty of progress--if you can call it that! You see, there were a few major concerns that weren’t addressed because of haste. And as we all know, haste really does make waste.
It really looks good from this angle. Attached is a new old-stock tailgate garnish with the original fake wood on it. This part really sets the car off--an essential detail that brings the rear to life. Oh, and check out that rear bumper. Finding that part alone is a story in itself.
When the car entered this shop it was a mad dash to get everything painted, assembled and ready to roll. Remember that the wagon was trapped at the first shop for 11 months, so I was eager to get it running and rolling. This was all well and good, but without knowing it then, the doors were not going to close properly with the weatherstrips attached.
This was to become a major annoyance because the car was painted anyway. The solution? Either cut the weatherstrips or redo some of the botched body repair, which meant burning through the paint. It was a tough decision as each choice was going to be costly. I wish I had known this before the body saw paint--again. The car looks good here, but a lot of this paint was going to be destroyed at the third shop.
More problems: exterior trim pieces that didn’t quite fit properly--the most annoying of which was the lopsided grille. It was agreed that a detail as important as this was going to get attention. Unfortunately, the problem was ignored. The shop owner kept saying that the grille was fine. Um, right. A grille like this is held in place at five different points (with brackets). Here, it is only held by one screw at the center. Had I not noticed this, the grille would have broken into two if I drove over a rough patch of road.
This is so wrong! How could this kind of alignment be okay? It really sucks that the wagon’s face looked stoned and sleepy. It was a big letdown when I kept seeing that nothing was being done about it--especially as I paid for the work.
How do I feel about the experience at the second shop? Well, there was good progress (like the immaculate paint, attachment of the glass, fabrication of parts for the rear garnish) but at the same time there were some bad things that happened also. It is hard to focus on the good things when there are big disappointments--especially when you are cheated.
When the above photo was taken my wagon was given a deadline to leave the shop. I couldn’t understand the rush because even if the car looks good from the outside, it was still very, very far from being completed. All of my payments were made on time, yet I was being kicked out--even if the job wasn’t done.
The task fell on me to bring my own mechanics to the venue to get the car running again. I wasn’t expecting this, but I agreed anyway. Many Saturdays were spent ferrying my guys to where the wagon was. This was fine because if nobody was going move a muscle, I had to. I was just desperate to bring my car home.
But something happened that proved to me that I should really watch my back. You see, I paid for a complete wiring job--which, to my understanding, included a brand-new harness. As I found out much, much later, my old harness was just wrapped in electrical tape. The internals of my starter and alternator were also supposed to be repaired, but they were just repainted.
I paid a very large amount for a completely new wiring harness, but all I got was some bits of plastic and few rolls of electrical tape wrapping my old harness. I couldn’t believe that the owner would do something like that even after brought snacks for his kids each time I visited the car, gave him presents during Christmas, and most importantly--kept up to date with all of my payments.
I owed the man nothing, and yet he managed to put one over me. I suppose in mind I believed that he could do no wrong. I was convinced that he would only do the right thing.
I’m glad that I kept a proper record of all my payments, and an entry in my journal signed by him that says that I paid for a brand-new electrical job. Guys, when dealing with people you don’t know, you must keep proper records, and have an eagle eye when it comes to details like this. Have proof of your transactions at all times, because if shit ever hits the fan, at least you have evidence that you did nothing wrong. Who knows what strangers are capable of doing.
This experience at the second shop was such a big disappointment. Na-isahan ako. But I had to remain positive. Instead of complaining, I decided to just save my energy and focus on getting the wagon finished. It was a hard lesson learned, and I swore to myself that nobody would ever get a chance to put one over me ever again.
I can’t stand it! I have to get that grille aligned ASAP!