Saturday, August 27, 2011

How Can I Find a Reliable Mechanic?

I have had enough bad experiences with car mechanics that I now assume that whatever shop I take my SUV to for service is out to get me. Is that fair? Of course not. However, let's consider today's adventure:

This afternoon, I take my rig in for an oil change because I'm leaving on a 1600-mile road trip - by myself - on Monday. The gentleman at the front desk tries to talk me into the "high mileage" oil for an extra $10.00+. My rig has 82,000+ miles on it. Says so right in their computer because I take my rig there regularly for oil changes. According to the glossy brochure I am shown, this special oil has extra components that are supposed to, amongst other things, seal leaks in the car's oil system.

I decline. Politely. I want run that decision past my dad, who is wise in the ways of vehicles, and do some research to see if the extra cost was worth it.

Ok, so they take the rig, do an oil change, rotate my tires - for free because I bought the tires there - and then call me up to check out. Price? $39 and change.

Huh? I point out that the board behind the desk says an oil change is $26.99 + $2.50 for oil filter recycling. The guy looks at his paper work and says, "yes, oil change, high mileage oil..." and looks back at me. Waiting. I say, "No, I declined the high mileage oil. Remember? I said I'd consider it for next time."

He thinks about it and apparently remembers that. He gives me some story about changing it in the computer but on the paper work, sorry, yadda, yadda, yadda. Anyway, I got the high mileage oil. He does take off the extra $10 without any further argument from me, though. He tells me how great it is the whole time he's fixing my bill.


Could it have been an honest mistake? I suppose so. But my cynicism says otherwise.