Auto Repair - Calgary

2011 Auto Repair Investigation


Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu/ Honda CRV 2004

Canadian Tire Auto Service Center
388 Country Hills Blvd.
Calgary
403-226-9555
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $407.53
Replaced the battery and performed a $200 inspection for a total invoice of $407.53 The inspection form provided to the APA mystery shoppers indicated the battery was in Satisfactory condition; the notation was subsequently crossed out to indicate it was in Unsatisfactory condition. After the vehicle was returned, the original, nearly new, battery was reinstalled to continue the investigation. Excessive $22.14 charge for shop supplies.



Canadian Tire
3516 8th Avenue N.E.
Calgary
403-248-4166
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $507.48
Replaced the new battery and spark plugs for a total charge of $507.48, the highest repair bill paid by the APA in Calgary. Canadian Tire returned spark plugs from a different vehicle. The APA reinstalled the original battery to continue the investigation. The inspection form provided to the APA shopper indicates the spark plugs were in Satisfactory condition; it was subsequenty altered to indicate they were Unsatisfactory. Excessive $28.35 charge for shop supplies.



Canadian Tire
250 Shawville Way SE
Calgary
(403) 201-3377
Rating: PASS

Charge: $213.44
Corrected loose battery terminal. Basic Maintenance Check at $149.99. The only shop to mention an off-center steering wheel (incorrect), but did not try to sell a repair -- referred the APA shopper to a dealer. All other items checked are marked as Pass. Battery and allternator tested. Excessive $13.30 charge for shop supplies.



Canadian Tire,
9940 MacLeod Trail SE
Calgary
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $185.40
Did not identify the loose battery terminal. All items inspected checked off as Satisfactory. Correctly identifies low pressure in one tire, but does not spot the nail in it. (subsequently repaired at APA expert’s facility). Excessive $14.58 charge for shop supplies.



Southwest Certigard
2703 14th Street SW
Calgary
(403) 228-4713
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $176.05
Shop did not identify the loose battery terminal. $49.95 inspection includes a road test, oil change and tire rotation in addition to a 40 point inspection. $110 to diagnose the intermittent no-start; invoice indicates "ALL STARTER AND BATTERY CONNECTIONS, AVR TEST BATTERY AND ALTERNATOR, ALL OK". Other repairs recommended included replacing the front wheel bearings ($920), and broken rear differential mounts $620. Counter person reported that the rear differential was very loose. APA did not approve the additional work. The right-front wheel bearing was noisy, and the Certigard recommendation was accepted. The differential mounts showed normal wear and their replacement was not indicated. Shop supplies $7.70.



Certigard, Silver Springs
5858 Silver Springs Boulevard NW
Calgary
(403) 247-6316
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $129.15
Shop did not identify the loose battery terminal. The intermittent no-start diagnosis was included in the inspection charge. "NO PROBLEMS FOUND". Written inspection form not provided. Low $2.00 charge for shop supplies.



Fountain Tire
4911 Northland Drive N.W.
Calgary
(403) 286-3386
Rating: PASS

Charge: $157.17
Tightened battery terminal. Battery "tested OK, alternator tested GOOD." Inspection includes tire and brake-wear measurements (nice touch). Excessive $9.79 charge for shop supplies.



Fountain Tire
7007 Macleod Trail South
Calgary
403-252-2228
Rating: PASS

Charge: $134.82
Tightened battery terminal. The mechanic diagnosed the no-start caused by a loose battery cable in less than 30 seconds after opening the hood. Invoice includes tire and brake-wear measurements (nice touch). Excessive $8.40 charge for shop supplies.



Fountain Tire, Calgary Northside
425 40th Avenue NE
(403) 276-8936
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $233.33
Installed a Legend 450 CCA battery. $5.18 for shop supplies. After learning of the results, the store replaced its battery testing machine and refunded the APA's repair bill.



CMP Classic Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC
1313 - 36th Street, N.E. Calgary
(403) 207-1020
Rating: PASS

Charge: $351.38
Tightened battery terminal. $160 for a complete vehicle inspection. Recommends a brake flush at $135; the brake fluid on the APA test car was new and the underhood camera revealed it was never checked during the inspection. Oil level not checked, only its condition (it was new). Charged $138 to diagnose the electrical system and tighten the loose battery terminal; this work was undertaken by a second mechanic who had no difficulty finding the problem, and performed a variety of additional tests on the engine management system. Excessive $36.65 for shop supplies.



Kal Tire
404 42nd Avenue SE
Calgary
(403) 243-0752
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $171.14
Replaced battery and tightened the loose terminal. APA reinstalled the original to continue the investigation. No charge for the inspection. The only KalTire shop that did not provide a written inspection report. No charge for shop supplies.



Kal Tire
6455 MacLeod Trail
Calgary
(403) 253-6502
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $103.95
Did not identify the loose battery cable. Brake fluid actually tested for humidity, not just visually for colour and level (nice touch). Printout provided for the battery and alternator. Battery printout indicates that the battery was good, but low on charge. The printout includes the possible fixes for low battery charge: "Check for causes of low charge: charging system, alternator belt, cables and connections, excessive power drains." No charge for shop supplies.



Kal Tire
3712 Edmonton Trail
Calgary
(403) 230-1051
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $355.57
Corrected loose battery terminal. Technician notes on the inspection form: "Battery loose…cable ends loose." Replaced ignition switch. Shop supplies identified as degreaser and antiseize billed at $5.00. Neither is required to replace the switch.



Midas Auto Service
624 16 Avenue NW
Calgary
(403) 284-1117
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $187.91
Replaced battery and provided a battery test printout that indicated “Cranking normal” and “Charging System Test Results No Problem”. Despite the clean bill of health, the readout on the Bosch test device indicates “Replace Battery”. Shop performed two inspections, the Midas Courtesy Check and the Brake System Evaluation at no charge, with brake and tire wear indicated. The battery test was also no charge. Excessive $10.13 charge for shop supplies.



Midas Auto Service
3378 32nd Street NE
Calgary
(403) 291-0134
Rating: PASS

Charge: $89.19
“Battery terminal tightened;" the battery test was included in the price of the general inspection. $4.99 for shop supplies.



Midas Auto Service
9623 MacLeod Trail SW
Calgary
(403) 259-4890
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $127.11
Did not identify the loose battery terminal. Shoppers were offered a pre-purchase inspection when they requested a thorough inspection; the inspection reports they were given were identical to the other two Midas shops visited in Calgary (one was free-of-charge and the other cost $89.19.) All items checked were marked OK. No charge for shop supplies.



Minit-Tune and Brake -Crowfoot
152 Crowfoot Gate NW
Calgary
(403) 239-8772
Rating: PASS

Charge: $180.72
Battery terminal tightened. Inspection includes an oil change and tire rotation, charged at $79.88. The $69 analysis of the charging and starting systems correctly identifies the loose connection. $6.13 for shop supplies.



Delta Auto Car and Repair
# 206, 255 28th Street N.E
Calgary
Tel: 403-569-0090
Rating: PASS

Charge: $30.00
"Tightened battery terminal". Shoppers were told the car was in good condition. No charge for shop supplies. Cheapest inspection with correct repair in Calgary.



Edmonton Trail Auto Pro
923 Edmonton Trail NE
Calgary
(403) 276-5340
Rating: FAIL

Charge: $193.32
Did not identify the loose terminal. The inspection included an oil change and tire rotation at $79.95. There was an additional charge of $95 to check the no-start problem. The shop recommended a new battery and alternator for a total estimate of $811.47. The APA mystery shopper did not approve the work. APA’s battery was returned improperly secured in the engine compartment (a potential hazard). $7.00 for shop supplies.