50 Shades of Car Repair
I had to take my car into the shop last week for an oil change and tire rotation. Before you wonder why I don’t just do that work myself, read on and it’ll become self-explanatory. Anyway, I hate taking my vehicles in for service. Why? Because they always try to upsell me. Inevitably, they’ll find something else on the car that needs fixing, and it won’t be cheap.
We have two vehicles, my F150 pickup and a Kia Spectra, both 2004 models with well over 100k miles. They suit our needs just fine, but you’ll understand why I’m hesitant to spend much money repairing them. We actually took the KIA to Carmax a couple of months ago to see what they’d offer on it, but turns out we’d have to pay them to take it off our hands.
I know nothing about repairing cars. I’ve gotten better at it thanks to YouTube videos, but consider myself an amateur at best. So if an alleged professional mechanic tells me something’s wrong with my vehicle, I tend to believe them. Yeah, they can see me coming from miles away.
Mechanic: “You been hearing any unusual rattles when you drive?”
Me: “No, not really. I mean, the glove compartment makes a weird noise now and–”
Mechanic: “Did you say the glove compartment?”
Me: “Yeah, but I think there’s some loose change in there that vibrates when–”
Mechanic: “That’s what I was afraid of. The whole right side of your vehicle is about to fall off. ”
Mechanic (sighs and rolls his eyes): “Fall. Off. The whole right side.”
Me: “Is that serious?”
Mechanic: “I can’t in good conscience let you drive it home like that. If anything happened, well…”
Me: “Happened? Like what?”
Mechanic: “Like the whole right side fall off. Are you even listening?”
Me: “Uh, can you fix it?”
Mechanic: “I’ll have to check and see if we have the parts in stock. If we’ve got them, take me a couple of hours to repair it.”
Me: “How much is it going to cost?”
Mechanic: “A lot less than a funeral.”
I opted not to have the repair done since I never sit on the passenger side, but if you find my wife on the side of the road somewhere carrying half a KIA, give me a call and I’ll take my truck to pick them up.