Mechanic charges woman $1,000 to fix check engine light on Chevy Malibu

@menjicar/TikTok jetcityimage/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Seems to be a very common problem’: Auto shop tries to charge woman $1,000 to fix check engine light on Chevy Malibu

‘It’s hard to find honest hard working mechanics.’


Jack Alban


As many drivers have lamented on TikTok, an honest mechanic hard to come by.

And it seems that TikToker Menjicar (@menjicar) is using this sad fact of life to his advantage—and actually as a means of promoting his own services.

In a viral TikTok, the auto tech says that he was able to save a customer nearly $1,000 after another shop tried selling her a brand-new part and a service that she didn’t need.

After running a diagnostic on the car, a 2020 Chevy Malibu, he assessed that there was more than likely an issue with the vehicle’s Throttle Body. Instead of immediately ordering a new part and telling her that it would need to be replaced after getting this error message, Menjicar decided to take a look at the vehicle’s throttle body to see what the issue was.

As it turns out, all it needed was a cleaning.

“This lady went to another shop and they were going to sell her a part that she does not need. Luckily we fixed it for cheaper!” he wrote in a caption for the clip.

@menjicar This lady went to another shop and they were going to sell her a part that she does not need. Luckily we fixed it for cheaper! #automotive #mechaniclife #carfix #chevymalibu #cars #autotech #mastertech #fixcar #toyota #ladyscammed #mechanicscams #shadymechanic ♬ original sound – Menjicar

“They were about to charge this lady $1,000 to fix this check engine light,” he says. “Chevy Malibu, with 49,000 miles.”

He says it had something to do with the intake airflow, and that they were going to sell her an entire throttle body assembly.

“But let’s check it out,” he says, hitting the lever to pop the hood before the clip transitions to an image of the part the other dealership was attempting to sell her that retails for $321.06.

“Let’s see…this thing, look how dirty it is,” he shows off the part in question and gets to work on the vehicle.

After he cleaned the part, he reassembled it. “Brand new. Obviously, put it back in,” he says placing the throttle body back in the woman’s Chevy Malibu. “Put the pipe back on,” he snaps the additional piece into the vehicle.

“Now when we’re messing with the throttle body, you always have to reset it, right here, throttle body reset, because if you don’t do this, then the car will not idle properly,” he explains. “Click reset, and just like that we’re done. Check engine light is now off and the car is idling smooth.”

He then transitions to another screen, which shows off the pricing structure from the other auto mechanic shop.

“That’s how much they would’ve charged her, right there,” he says, pointing to a $1,052.99 figure for the 2020 Chevy Malibu.

“And this is how much we’re gonna charge her,” the man says, showing a new screen that simply reads: “Labor —- $100 CLEAN THROTTLE BODY.”

Viewers weigh in

Folks who replied to his video commended Menjicar for his work.

“It’s hard to find honest hard work ing mechanics like you!” one person wrote.

Someone else said they ended up having the same issue and were charged a similar price from a Chevy dealership. “Dang had this same issue and paid $1000 with Chevy dealership wish I seen this video sooner,” they wrote.

Others wanted to know if resetting the throttle response was even necessary, speculating that the car would basically re-adjust itself.

“Would the throttle bottle relearn itself if driven for a few miles if you don’t have a scan tool to reset?” one asked.

While Menjicar states that this could very well happen, it’s almost always better to just reset in manually.

Another user said that they simply couldn’t understand just why in the world the first dealership the customer went to wouldn’t first look at the part and then attempt to clean it.

“QUESTION why didn’t they just clean it first? I just don’t understand why they just didn’t clean it???” they asked.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Chevrolet and Menjicar via email for further comment.

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