Finally Finding Honest Mechanics

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - April 08, 2009
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Dear Pamela,

I took my 2002 Nissan Sentra with a little over 60,000 miles into one of the island’s chain garages for an oil change and transmission filter replacement. My car worked perfectly before my oil change, but afterwards the automatic transmission was stuck in high gear; I could not shift into low gear. I spoke with the mechanic and got tossed around by the company. I even spoke with their ASE certified mechanic who told me it was just a coincidence and my car just happened to break at the same time.

Not convinced and needing a car to drive to work, I took the car into the dealership. They charged me more than $300 to tell me that I needed a new transmission for more than $4,000. My father, who is a mechanic on the Mainland, told me to tell them to check if a wire had been broken when the transmission filter was replaced.


I called Pearl City Transmission in desperation and was told they’d check it out for free. Pearl City Transmission had my car ready that same day for no charge! It was nice to finally meet honest mechanics who weren’t trying to make a quick buck! The dealership did refund my money after I showed them the receipt from Pearl City Transmission. I want to say “THANK YOU!” to the mechanics at Pearl City transmission for their honesty!

Curtis & April Bly
Ewa Beach

Dear Curtis and April,

“It’s nice to be appreciated,” says Pearl City Transmission president Ian Nakashima. “We try to treat everyone fairly. If it’s a $5 job, we charge $5. If it’s a $5,000 job, we charge $5,000. We repair what’s necessary, and I think customers appreciate that.”

three star

Dear Pamela,

Mahalo for APPLAUSE! While walking off the lawn at the Honolulu Academy of Arts to catch TheBus, I tripped over a concrete slab and crashed to the ground, banging my mouth on the sidewalk and bleeding profusely. Bus driver No. 2004 A. Rodrigues immediately jumped off his bus with a wad of paper towels.

I got up and boarded the bus thinking to continue my ride to catch the Waimanalo bus home.

Not so. Bus driver Rodrigues took control. He called his supervisor, transferred all other riders to another bus, and waited until his supervisor came along with an ambulance.

I refused the ambulance but not until after paramedic Jeff Ching and his assistant examined me. Jeff Ching was very efficient and compassionate.

One bus rider was very concerned. May I thank Cici Arnold for caring? She offered me a tissue before leaving the bus. Thanks, Cici!

My apologies to all the other passengers who had been inconvenienced. Thank you for understanding. May the Lord bless all of you for being there. Mahalo to our No. 1 bus system, the EMTs and super driver Rodrigues. Lucky we live in Hawaii.

Millie Chang

Dear Millie,

Your bus angel was veteran driver August Rodrigues. TheBus thanks you for your letter of commendation, which is now part of August’s official record.

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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