Automotive

Markham Finch Auto - Appraisal and Safety Certification Recommendation

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  • May 5th, 2021 8:22 am
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Mar 31, 2008
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Markham Finch Auto - Appraisal and Safety Certification Recommendation

So I pulled the trigger on a 'summer' car as a novelty, something different, something for the kids to get a kick out of, including drive-in theater where you could sit and watch with the back latch laid down, and settled on a decent condition old station wagon which has those reverse 3rd row seats.

Thread I started
whos-looking-buying-summer-car-given-lockdown-2459070/

What I didn't know was anything over 20 years needs an appraisal (learned it today when I went to get my temp. permit at Service Ontario), and not many mechanics want to deal with that, even the normal guy I go to and another old school mechanic that's not profit hungry had the reaction of "ugh, ok, bring it tomorrow". So I searched around and initially found this place right at Finch and Markham road (northeast corner) for Appraisal, but they also do safety certifications. I live in the area and have driven by many times, not knowing what it was. Looked like a car dealership before. Maybe it's changed.

It's called Markham Finch Auto.
https://www.markhamfinchauto.com/

So went in kinda last minute, around 4pm. One other car was already in the bay, some minor worked. I was done by 5:15.

I was able to get car appraised ($60), and safety ($120). The safety is more akin to a drive in oil change place. The mechanic on site, just does basic work if need be that can pass it (for extra charge, but if you fail, you're out $120. Not sure if you pay let's say for brakes and it just automatically passes without paying, but good to check, or have to take it to another mechanic for work he can't do). Fairly young, friendly guy. He could have knit picked (I had one mechanic waay back I stopped in out of convenience, I was doing family transfer and just needed the certificate to keep it in the family, and the mechanic wanted to charge fair bit extra for wipers to pass safety) but I got the sense and experience he's not out there to pad his earnings. They'd rather do brisk business with the safeties, word of mouth.

In general, without the wait, strain, of getting a mechanic for safety, I had a really good experience here and thought I'd share in case others are in similar boat as me. I was going to take it into a regular mechanic tomorrow, but knowing that, I would have had to drop it off, wait for a call back, and I know, there would have been some 'fix' that probably would have needed to be done, so they can't just get a bit extra since the car is already on the hoist.

Edit: he and others are mechanics that does regular repairs. But currently not sure how extensive (i.e. no engine rebuild).
7 replies
Member
Feb 8, 2010
491 posts
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I drive by that place often, the look of it is really gangster. The building and signage look like straight out of an 80's movie, the type of rip off car repair place.
Sr. Member
Jul 17, 2009
832 posts
291 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Great, you got what you needed in one place with limited time, but price is on the high side for this type of simple inspection/ paper work. There is this other appraisal place in Scarborough that only charges $40, also many shops can do safety for $50-$80.
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billy_z wrote: I drive by that place often, the look of it is really gangster. The building and signage look like straight out of an 80's movie, the type of rip off car repair place.
It does! It looks like a scene out of Jackie Brown (the old bondsman shop). Google reviews were pretty accurate. The main contact person is this older lady. Not a hustler or anything. One person, the appraiser was like a Tarantino character but in a good way. Basically, they'll help you get your car registered and on your way. Definitely helpful for more older cars, private sale.
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AARON_R/C wrote: Great, you got what you needed in one place with limited time, but price is on the high side for this type of simple inspection/ paper work. There is this other appraisal place in Scarborough that only charges $40, also many shops can do safety for $50-$80.
Yea I didn't shop around around since this place was closest. I've bought many used cars and transfered many times w my dad over the years, though this is my first safety since 2016. Used to be about $60-$75 with old simpler method in the 2000s to more recent years. These are cheap shops throughout Scarbough. But judging by this thread below, it's higher in general since the comprehensive. With $120 being in range. I'm just saying, it feels like if you want more hassle free for certain types, and efficiency, I had a good experience. Could drive around, to save $20-$40 in total but risk paying alot more, for repair. I'm see starting price for appraisal is $40 actually, but maybe my specific situation and condition, which did require some extra service as well, warranted the higher price. I had a small thing, that could have required work. A regular shop would have kept my car in for a day to take care of it (which I did for same thing long time ago, since this is my 3rd purchase of similar model). I would have had to Uber it home, etc. But he just told me I should take care of that, which I could myself. Again, this was a drop in at 4 pm.

My normal mechanics, the cheap, trustworthy kind where you could still come out with a $150-$200 repair bill for a real mechanical part like starter motor, $60 for certain parts install by bringing own parts, 1st one flat out said he wouldn't do a car that old. 2nd seemed hesitant to.

cost-safety-standard-certificate-ontario-2392667/
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Jun 4, 2020
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AARON_R/C wrote: many shops can do safety for $50-$80.
For what has to be checked to obtain a safety standards certificate, 50-80 translates to a s*** job. All 4 wheels have to come off car to do safety as just one element of the job. $120 is effectively an hour labour in this day and age - which even seems quick to get through all the items required.
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KevinM56081 wrote: For what has to be checked to obtain a safety standards certificate, 50-80 translates to a s*** job. All 4 wheels have to come off car to do safety as just one element of the job. $120 is effectively an hour labour in this day and age - which even seems quick to get through all the items required.
Those rates are the exception. Maybe pre-2016. That link of another RFD thread I posted backs it up.
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Jun 4, 2020
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at1212b wrote: Those rates are the exception. Maybe pre-2016. That link of another RFD thread I posted backs it up.
Totally agree. Was more suggesting I have no interest in a $50 "safety"

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