Somewhat reluctantly I call the service manager at the local Goodwrench service center and I’m quickly booked in to get the speedometer correction gears installed. I’m not 100% sure they know how to do this job and they sound a little unsure when I quiz them. I console myself with the thought that this isn’t a reflection on the service center, it’s just a slightly unusual operation. I offer to bring in instructions on what needs doing, as well as the parts and they agree that will be useful, sounding somewhat relieved. I’m less so, as they didn’t admit not being sure until I pressed the issue. I’ve always thought it’s better to admit you’re not sure than barge ahead and screw things up.

So I take it in on the appointed day, my fiancée following in our regular car to ferry me on to my job. When I drop it off I’m informed that the service center is short staffed and they ‘might not be able to look at it that day but they hoped they would’. Here’s where I made my first mistake – I left the ‘vette with them.

Several calls later on that day and I finally establish that the car won’t be ready. They promise to keep it inside overnight, but it will be Tuesday before they can do the work. They also tell me that there is an oil leak on the car and I let them know that the oil pan bolts are known to work loose, so they might want to check them when it’s up on the lift.

Tuesday arrives and I hear nothing. Eventually mid afternoon I call to see where my car is. Guess what? They still have no one capable of installing the correction gears. They are sure they will be able to get to it on Wednesday though and again promise to keep it inside overnight. By now I am decidedly unhappy. I had no particular plans to use the car, but I had made an appointment in good faith and expected it to be kept. They could have just as easily told me to bring the car in on Wednesday, or any other day. I told them this when I made the appointment in fact, they chose the day, not me. They repeat the warning about the oil leak; I repeat the information about the oil pan bolts being known to come loose.

On Wednesday, this sorry tale gets worse. Apparently they need a seal for the transmission tail shaft and don’t have one in stock (naturally) but have ordered one and it will be here on Thursday. So now I am angry, I checked this job thoroughly before taking the car in and there was no mention of a need to change a seal on the transmission. This sounds like either a) an excuse because they haven’t done anything or b) a rip-off to make more money. They warn me again about the oil leak, I tell them to check the bolts.

On Thursday I chase them up again and guess what? The technician managed to destroy the seal while installing it and now they have to order another one. So now it will be ready on Friday. This is becoming a nightmare of unbelievable proportions and I am now very angry (I think I can. I’m sure I can. Oh no, I can’t!). The subject of the oil leak comes up again; I ask if they checked the bolts.

On Friday I get a call telling me that the ‘vette is finally ready to be collected. After the last few days I can’t wait to get my hands on it again (and make sure these ‘professionals’ haven’t screwed it up!). I’m also informed that I need an oil pan gasket to cure the leak. I ask if they checked the bolts – they didn’t. Then I am presented with a bill for over $600! This is a job that I know is an hour and a half, maybe two at the absolute maximum (I double checked this with Mark Haibeck as well). All they have to do is drop the exhaust, swap the gears, put the exhaust back. They’ve billed me for 4.5 hours – three times as much! I query the number and am told that this is the ‘book time’ for the job.

Now they don’t have ‘book time’ on this job. I had to provide instructions (and parts!) and they’re ripping me off for $600! I let them know that I am not at all happy. Not only that but, because of their constant ‘ready tomorrow’ antics, my girlfriend had to drive me to work every day and pick me up again, doubling the usual round trip of 1.5 hours each day. We’ve gone through an entire tank of gas in less than a week!

I paid the bill; wasn’t much choice. I have subsequently written a letter of complaint to the service manager. I haven’t had a response of any description, not even an acknowledgment.

The only conclusion I can reach is that the service department at Crosstown Chevrolet should be avoided like the plague.

And, by the way, I checked the oil pan bolts – they were loose…