Old Doesn’t Mean Stupid

I took my car to the mechanic I like to use on Thursday. He kept it and called to tell me it needed a power steering pump replaced. It had been leaking power steering fluid. I asked how much and he said $450 to $500. I was shocked. I told him I couldn’t afford that right now and to send the guy who brought me home back to pick me up so I could take my car back. I live less than a mile from his shop, so I don’t feel bad about asking for a ride home and back.

When I went to get the car, I asked if I owed anything, expecting a “no”. Yes. I owed $25 for his diagnosis. Ok. I wrote him a check and got my car and left.

Before I do anything that costs money, I check online for the expected cost. I even told him when he gave me the quote that the pump itself only cost $65! He said yes, but I would be paying mostly for labor and it would take 3 to 4 hours to put the pump on and he was charging $75 per hour. Well, I didn’t tell him, but even at $75 per hour, the quote should have been $365 for 4 hours work. Plus he got $25 out of me. I asked if that $25 could be applied to the amount owed after it was fixed, because he never charges to diagnose, if you go ahead and get your car fixed. He said NO.

So I emailed my sons and after getting replies, I’m going to check around and see what other places charge for the same repair. I hope it’s less and if so, I’m going elsewhere, and my mechanic just lost a customer.

My car is old and I have a lot of miles on me as well. That doesn’t mean we’re stupid. The car drives very well and I try to repair any problems as soon as possible. I know how to put power steering fluid in the car and I’ll continue to check it and keep it filled until I can find someone with a reasonable price to fix it. According to the internet, that price should be around $200, including parts.

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