Today it has been 4 weeks since I had my 1971Plymouth Valiant towed to Don's Performance Corner. They were recommended because there aren't many mechanics left who are familiar with carburetors. For some background I purchased the car in March with the understanding that it had a carburetor problem and needed a front end alignment for inspection. I brought it to a mechanic friend who does work on the side, and he rebuilt the carb and set the float, among other things. It appeared to be running fine for a day after I got my car back from him, but on the second day the carb massively flooded and was unable to start it, so I had it towed. I made sure that Larry the Service Manager understood that I needed the car as I planned on using it as a daily driver. Nevertheless, my car sat on their lot 1 week before they even looked at it. When they did, it was determined that my carburetor would need to be soaked in solvent and rebuilt again, that I needed rear brake shoes and a parking brake cable. I was also told that I needed a front right tire as the inside was chopped due to poor alignment (I was aware of this problem). I asked Larry to swap the bad tire with the spare and perform the alignment. There was a delay as the parking brake cable had to be shipped from New York. Understandable, as my car is 44 years old and sometimes parts are hard to locate. When the cable arrived on the day I was informed it would, I had to call late in the day for an update. I was told that they reinstalled my carb and it appeared to run fine. Several days later, when I again called for an update, it was then that I was told that it flooded again, and it was felt that there was a casting flaw in the carb. I was quoted a price of approximately $180.00 for a rebuilt carburetor. When I informed Larry that I wish I had known that I was going to need a carb, as I found a vendor at Spring Carlisle who had brand new Holley 1 barrels for around $120.00. Larry told me he would try to do better on the price of the carb he would have shipped in. On the day that it arrived, I again had to call later in the day for an update. Hoping that my car would be ready, I was disappointed to learn that the rebuilt unit did not have an idle circuit. It would run fine but would not idle. So there was another delay while another rebuilt carburetor could be delivered. Once again on the day of arrival, I was waiting for a phone call hopeful that my car would be ready. My wife and I were down to 1 vehicle, as my other car was dropped off at a restoration shop for needed repair. I had my wife call because if the car was ready, she had a ride lined up to bring her to pick it up. At that time we learned that the replacement carburetor was fine, but it was determined that the fuel pump was the culprit, as it "had pressure but no volume." I was asked if I wanted Larry to order it. I replied that "I needed the car." Now I was told by 2 other mechanics that typically when an older car has a fuel delivery problem one of the first things to be checked is the fuel pump. The carburetor that came with my car was no longer available for inspection, as it had to be returned for a core. So this time I unexpectedly was forced to wait for another part to be shipped. Today when the fuel pump arrived, I was called and told that my car is ready and that it runs great, and, by the way, they were unable to perform the front end alignment because the "bushings were tight," and he was sure that I didn't want to get into that. Well, no Larry, why would I want a front end alignment? I like having to replace tires due to a misaligned front end! As there had been so many delays waiting for my car to be completed, one wonders why there wasn't a phone call made to ask if I wanted the front end problem resolved while waiting for parts. Naturally, when I got home from work this evening the first thing I had to do is jack the car up and put the chopped tire back on the vehicle. I will be getting my long wished for front end alignment next week. So what is the legacy of the service I was treated to at Don's? First, disappointment and a little anger. The rebuilt carburetor that I was told would cost me around $180.00 or less? I was actually charged $236.75. My windshield washer bottle that was previously damaged and repaired to the point that I would have been able to fill it with washer fluid until I obtained a replacement is now not an option as Don's finished the destruction of the bottle. When I had the car dropped off it had one small rip in the front bench seat and now it has a long second one along the where the fabric and vinyl meet. Granted, its 44 years old and subject to wear, but holy smokes, really? I brought my car to Don's because I had seen muscle cars and Vettes in their lot as I passed it every day on my home from work. The reviews online didn't seem too bad. I generally am not one to post negative reviews but felt compelled to after the experience that I had.
This shop is not part of the AutoMD IQ! Network. Compare to AutoMD IQ! shops nearby.
4949 Jonestown Rd, Harrisburg, PA 17109
6100 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050