Hall of Shame: Customers say mobile mechanic is a tool

This guy's got a real motor mouth - he calls himself "Mobile Mechanic Rick."

Mobile mechanic Rick says he'll come to you and fix your car. And if mobile mechanic Rick can't fix your car on the first visit, he'll take the money to buy the parts and come back and fix it.

Mobile mechanic Rick claims to be quite a guy.

"I've been working on cars since I was 8 years old," he said. "I did my first brake job."

A real Mr. Fix It. But really, mobile mechanic Rick is nothing but a tool.

Abdul hired mobile mechanic Rick to come look at his transmission. The service call cost $40.

"He brings a three-page carbon copy receipt and he makes it look like its professional," Abdul said.

Abdul says Rick put the car up on jacks and removed the transmission.  He said he would fix it and be back.

"I ended up agreeing to give him an additional $200," Abdul said.

After a few days, Rick said he needed another $200 to because the transmission was really messed up.

"I met him at a gas station," Abdul said.

And that's the last time Abdul says he saw mobile mechanic Rick.

Phil hired mobile mechanic Rick to replace a fuel pump.

"I called him off of Craigslist," Phil said. "He took off the fuel pump. Ran to the auto parts nearby in Warren, came back, put in the fuel pump and it turned out it wouldn't start."

Phil says Rick told him the replacement fuel pump must've been bad as well and said he'd go get another one and come back the next day.

"He had asked for half the labor since he had done half," Phil said. "So I thought well at this point it seems all right."

Phil says for the pump and the labor he coughed up more than $400.  He believed Rick would be back because he left his tools.

"I felt comfortable because the tools were in the garage here but unbeknownst to me, he had walked right past me," Phil said.

He says the mobile mechanic was so mobile that he snuck back and took his tools.

"I think he's desperate for money."

Well that's good.  Because Rob Wolchek's producer is ready to pay him to check out this van that won't start.

The reason it won't start?  Wolchek took out a good fuse and replaced it with a bad fuse. A simple problem that a licensed mechanic told him should be easy to diagnose. 

So FOX 2 gave mobile mechanic Rick a call.

After two days of Rick saying he was coming and then not showing up, finally he arrives in his mobile fix it mobile - a beat up Pontiac Grand Prix.

FOX 2: "So are you licensed with the state?"

Rick: "Yeah."

Oh good, then you should be able to figure out the problem - a $2 bad fuse.

After working on the van for about a half hour, Rick says he can't fix it but asks for $40 for a service call.

"At this point it's definitely a computer problem," Rick said.  "I would just take it to the dealership and cut to the chase."

Gee thanks, $40 bucks for nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, because we did get a good look at Rick and he sure looks like the guy known as Durwin Bowers Jr.

Durwin Bowers, Jr. is a one-time licensed auto mechanic convicted of not returning a rental vehicle.
 
Rick aka Durwin Bowers rented a U-Haul truck and never brought it back.  Plus, all of the U-Haul stickers were removed. 

Durwin's mechanic certification expired in 2013, according to the Secretary of State, he's not supposed to even be working on cars.

But, there's his ad, so Wolchek has another producer call about a rough running SUV.

After another two days of Rick saying he's on his way then not showing. Finally he arrives.

Wolchek: "Hey Rick, how are you? How's the mobile mechanic business going?"

Rick: "Uh,  slow."

Wolchek: "Rick, we've talked to some of your customers and they say you're kind of a flaky dude."

"I don't know about flaky," Rick says. "I've had some issues. I mean, I've had some problems with cars."

Wolchek: "You know a guy named Abdul?"

"Yes I know Abdul," he said.

Wolchek: "What happened with Abdul?"

"Abdul was a transmission job, I  pulled the transmission out," Rick said. "He gave me a deposit to pull the transmission out which we agreed upon.  I sent it over to the rebuilder and I explained to him up front 'I don't know what's wrong with the transmission.  I don't rebuild transmissions.'"

Remember, Abdul says he paid Rick more than $400 and Rick left his car on blocks. With no transmission.

Wolchek: "So he gave you a bunch of money and you took the transmission out and you never brought the transmission back."

"That was not my fault," he said.  "Not 100 percent my fault."

You're about to see a theme here - nothing seems to be Rick's fault.

Remember Phil, here's what he told Wolchek about Rick: "'Everybody's all wrong and I'm the right guy.'"

"This Phil guy?  He did pay me to do the job," he said. "He bought a used fuel pump.  The used fuel pump was no good. I completed Phil's job and the fuel pump was bad."

Wolchek: "And you came back and took your tools when he was ..."

"No, I completed Phil's job but the fuel pump was bad."

Wolchek doesn't consider replacing a bad fuel pump with another bad fuel pump a complete job.  Phil probably wanted the vehicle to run.  

Wolchek: "You say 'I am a full service certified auto mechanic.'"

"Yes, I am certified," Rick said. "I do have to renew my certifications and it's been in the mail."

Wolchek: "And your name's not Rick,  it is Durwin Bowers Jr."

"Right, my middle name is Frederick, I go by Rick for short," he said.  "I used to go by D.  People would call me Steve, Tom and everything but Rick is easier to pronounce."

Here is what the secretary of state says 'Mr. Bowers' mechanic license expired in 2013 and he is not the owner of a licensed repair facility. 

"'Mr. Bower's mechanic license expired in 2013 he is not the owner of a licensed repair facility, he should not be performing work on vehicles.'" That's what the secretary of state says 'He should not be performing work on vehicles.'"

Wolchek: "You're not a certified mechanic but you are a certified felon."

"Yes I am," Rick said.

Wolchek: "You're a certified felon because you didn't return a $20,000 car."

"I rented a U-Haul for my uncle and my uncle kept it for 93 days," Rick said. "And it was under my name."

Okay, here's the part where it's not his fault.

"He peeled all the stickers off the vehicle," Rick said. "He broke the back window out of the vehicle. He was arrested with the vehicle."

Wolchek: "And you were arrested as well."

"I was," he said. “Because it was in my name."

"And you pleaded no contest to a felony," Wolchek said.  "So you're a convicted felon.  Basically you stole a vehicle and now you want to work on vehicles."

"I didn't steal a vehicle," Rick said.

Wolchek: "I got a bunch of people complaining about you, you're a bad dude.  You're on probation right now."

"You're right, I was guilty," Rick said. "I rented the U-Haul in my name. I put it in my name."

Wolchek: "All right, here's my card get out of here. I don't want to see you doing any work on cars because you're a bad dude. You're ripping people off. 

Mobile mechanic Rick?  More like mobile mechanic "Wreck."   ..... You’re in the Hhhhhall of Shame!"

Rick also doesn't have a valid driver's license plus the Secretary of State sent him a cease and desist letter on doing car repair.
 

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