The Independent Mechanic That I Can No Longer Use In Dickinson, North Dakota

In November of 2019, I wrote a blog post article about no longer being able to take my Toyotas to the Toyota dealership service department in Dickinson, North Dakota.  I had taken two different Toyotas to this Toyota dealership service department over the past six years, on at least six different occasions, and they had never tried to rip me off before.

In November of 2019, when I took a Toyota 4-Runner to this dealership for an oil change, they wrote up a service estimate for leaking transmission pan, leaking oil pan, leaking main crankshaft seal, and leaking oil pressure sensor, totaling about $1,200 of work.  The problem is, that this Toyota 4-Runner doesn’t leak anything.  I check this Toyota where it is parked every day, and I look underneath it when it is running, and it doesn’t leak a drop of anything.

At that point, I realized that I could never take any of my vehicles to this Toyota dealership service department again, because I could no longer trust them, after they made recommendations for repairs that did not need to be done.

If you don’t think that this is a common problem at car dealership service departments, telling their customers about “leaks” that need to be repaired, here are two videos for you to watch from Scotty Kilmer of Houston, who is a third generation mechanic, who has been making a living working on cars for the past 52 years:

After this bad experience at a car dealership service department in Dickinson, that I could no longer trust, in December of 2019 I found what I thought was a good, inexpensive, independent mechanic in Dickinson.

At this independent mechanic on the north side of Dickinson, I took a Jeep there twice, and twice the owner made an extra effort and put in extra work to deal with repairs that turned out to have complications.  I took a Toyota there once for an oil change.  I took a Dodge there for an ignition switch replacement.

The Dodge ignition switch replacement cost about the same as what a dealership would charge, $183, but I felt that the owner had helped me twice in the past working on my Jeep, so I owed him.

My $400 Federal Income Tax refund, and my $1,200 coronavirus economic stimulus check that I would receive, I wanted to spend this money on vehicle repairs that I had been putting off.  About a month ago, this independent mechanic service writer began preparing an estimate to replace the front axle half-shaft and seal on the passenger side of my 1/2 ton pickup truck.  All the service writer needed was for me to bring this pickup truck in so that they could see what front axle it had, to order the correct half-shaft.

This pickup truck had been stolen in 2017.  While the thief had it, he replaced both of the front axle half-shafts with used ones from a junk yard, and when he did this, he damaged the passenger side front axle seal, to where it was leaking very bad.

I explained all of this to the service writer, and I asked him, is there any way to replace this passenger side front axle seal, without taking off the wheel, brake caliper, wheel bearing, and half-shaft.  He said no.  So I said then replace the front passenger half-shaft and seal, because everything will be taken apart at that point.

When I brought my 1/2 ton pickup truck in for this independent mechanic to look at the front axle in order to be able to buy the correct half-shaft, the owner of this garage came out to look at it.  The owner of the garage told me, that the front differential needed to be taken apart in order to replace the passenger side front axle seal, so could I replace both seals, and both half-shafts at the same time, because everything would be taken apart.  I said yes.

All along, I feared that there would be no way to replace just the passenger side front axle seal, without taking the half-shaft out and taking the front axle differential apart.  With everything taken apart to this extent, now would be the time to not only replace the passenger side seal, to not only replace the passenger side half-shaft, but to do both sides.

This was looking like it was going to be a $900 repair at this independent mechanic in Dickinson.  Whereas three years ago a car dealership service department in Dickinson had quoted me $750 for this whole job, and a car dealership service department in Montana had quoted me $550.  It was the car dealership service department in Montana that told me, “We don’t waste time trying to break down the half-shafts in order to replace the universal joints, due to labor costs, it’s cheaper just to buy whole new half-shafts.”

So I went back to this independent mechanic today, for the third time related to getting an estimate for this front axle half-shaft and seal replacement.  I went through the whole story again with the service writer about the truck being stolen, junk yard half-shafts being installed, the front axle passenger seal being damaged, the owner of the garage wanting to do both sides because the front axle differential would be taken apart.

The service writer said O.K., I have the estimate here, it looks like it will be just under $900, it’s a seven hour job, it’s like $770 in labor.  I said, wait a minute, what about the cost of the new half-shafts?  The service writer said, “You want the half-shafts replaced?”

God Damn It!  God Fucking Damn It! This is the third time coming here, and the third time explaining this entirely, about the truck being stolen, the used junk yard half-shafts being installed, and that there is no point in taking everything apart just to replace the seals, and not replacing the half-shafts.

In other words, I would be looking at paying $900 to get everything taken apart just to replace the two front axle seals.  Then, 10K-20K miles down the road, when the used junk yard half-shaft universal joints go bad, I would have to pay this $900 all over again a second time to get everything taken completely apart again, plus the cost of the new half-shafts.

Why is this repair going to cost $900 at this independent mechanic, without even including the cost of two new half-shafts?  This front axle work on an old American 1/2 ton pickup truck is not a $1,200 job.

That’s it. No more.  Because of going over, and over, and over this repair to replace the seals and half-shafts at the same time, and the service writer saying, “What, you wanted us to replace the half-shafts?”, and because the price quote was getting much higher than what a dealership service department would charge, I will never take another vehicle to this independent mechanic again.

A couple of hours later, when I took this pickup truck to the dealership service department, the service department manager gave me a quote for $290 to replace just the passenger side front axle seal, because there is an axle access port to reach it, everything does not need to be taken apart.  But this turned into another mess, which I will write about later.

6 thoughts on “The Independent Mechanic That I Can No Longer Use In Dickinson, North Dakota

  1. You really should have been more careful about the personal details you let slip, it was so easy for us to find you. Your altercations, your neighborhood, your beloved missing bike fliers. Figures that you couldn’t maintain anonymity with the ego size you have. Just know it was WOMEN who found out your little secret, women you said were stupid and only good for sex. Now we know who you are, and we’ve told the world. The great thing about small towns is that you come to know everyone and we definitely know you. Now we’ll be watching you like you’ve watched us these past years. Good luck.

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    1. What? You read my daily and weekly blog posts for the past six years that describe most of the things that I do and most of the things that happen to me in Dickinson, and you asked one of the fifty or more people that I wrote about who I was?

      Dickinson is a very dangerous place to work and live. Anyone in Dickinson is at risk of getting buried alive, having something dropped on them, getting run over, getting stabbed, getting bludgeoned, getting shot, having their property stolen. That is why I describe living in Dickinson as being like living in a Prison Work Camp. The people here are very primitive, that’s also why I describe living in Dickinson as like being in the movie “Planet Of The Apes”.

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  2. Then by all means, quit, move away. We WANT you to leave. Nothing is stopping you from leaving this “dangerous” place but yourself. We don’t need your sick kind here. Would you like to talk on the phone about it? In person? You’ve over-stayed your welcome and now it’s time for you to go back to whatever Perverted hell hole you crawled out of. You’ve harmed a lot of people with your disgusting blog and now we know who you are. As does your employer.

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    1. Angel,
      Yes, my employer does know who I am, because I filled out new-hire paperwork, come to work every week, and get a pay check.

      If you have been reading my blog post articles, one of the things that I have written many times, though not lately, was that I wanted to see everyone in Dickinson get what was coming to them, because of how they treated me, and other workers who moved here from out of state.

      I didn’t go on and on about what is going to happen to everyone in Dickinson, at this time, because I thought that it was too cruel, and it didn’t really even need to be said. But now, I have to bring it up.

      For me, now is the best time ever to be in Dickinson, because I can finally see everyone reap what they have sown. With your quadrupling of the rent and housing prices, and deliberate attempts to stop the creation of temporary housing to alleviate the housing shortage, you caused many people to sleep in their cars, in tents, under bridges, and so forth, with no decency or concern for other human beings.

      Now, pretty soon, many of you, maybe even most of you, will lose your employment, vehicles, ATVs, and your houses, and you will be forced to live through and experience exactly what you did to the out of state workers. This is what I want to see, what comes around goes around, you will reap what you have sown, you will get what is coming to you.

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  3. Funny how you keep deleting your name from my comments. You talk a lot of shit but are still too big of a pussy to publish your name. You’re just a pathetic old man with a tiny dick who’s mad that nobody wants to sleep with him. You talk about Dickinson like it’s fucking Compton, CA. Just LEAVE. Our town is better without disgusting people like you. Don’t forget to thank Jesus your father is dead so he didn’t have to find out what a pedophile creep his son is. And if he did know, he’s at peace now that he doesn’t have to be around you anymore.

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