It’s Storytime!!

I’m not a car gal, but I know enough about cars not to get fooled by fast-spoken mechanicese. That said, I once had a/c problems with a car…in summer…in Texas. After driving around in the 150 degree blast-furnace heat all day I was as patient as a 2-yr. old in the long line to the ladies room.

When the mechanic was finished “hmmm”ing and “oooh”ing under the hood of my car he asked me if I knew what a “figlesnapper” was.

I think that’s a fish, or a type of skateboard..whatever, it’s NOT a part on any car built in this country.

I shook my head.

“Well, you need a new one and it’s gonna run you about $500″

I believe the words used by me in the resulting tirade caused flowers to wilt in the next county, and the mechanic barely got his fingers out of the way of my rapidly-closing hood.  Not my fault his reflexes were slow, I’m just sorry they weren’t slower.

I took it elsewhere and had it fixed for $ need a shot of freon.

Posted on May 15, 2012, in Things That Annoy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Very good for you 😀

    I wonder how many times he got away with that before you.

  2. Yeah, I had a similar experience with a chain store mechanic.

    I brought my car into [chain repair place] because I wanted a tune-up. He came back with a laundry list of items that needed repair. I told him, “Show me these things, because some of them I’ve fixed myself. Recently.”

    He stammered something about “typical repairs on a car that old” before surrendering the keys in defeat. He didn’t even charge me for the tune up because he never actually did anything but print up the list.

    I ended up taking it to another guy who found that one of my strut springs was broken and needed to be replaced (He was more than happy to show me the very clear physical damage to the spring… in that one of the springs had completely snapped in one place). All the other things on the list (which I showed him) he laughed at.

    My conversation with him was memorable:

    Car Guy:”Ah yes, the hit list. When I was working for [chain company that I’d gotten the list from] they pushed that list on everyone instead of doing an actual inspection. In 90% of cases, about half that list actually needed to be done, but most people don’t know enough about their cars to call them out on their bullshit. That’s why I ended up quitting and opening my own shop. Makes a man feel dirty working for those kind of people. When I was looking under your carriage, I’d noticed you’d already done a bunch of that stuff yourself already, so it’s no surprise you walked on them.”

    Me: “How do you know it was me that did it?”

    Car Guy:”Because the break pads you used are the middle quality pads from [chain parts store]. If you’d been a mechanic, you would have used the cheap pads and charged for the top shelf ones. Or used the top shelf pads and charged a 200% up-fee for a sports upgrade.”

    Me: “And which ones would you have used.”

    Car Guy: “Whichever ones you told me to.”

    Me: “Good answer.”

    Fixing the strut cost me $230, which was a damn sight better than the $3700 the other place wanted. And that list didn’t even have the broken suspension spring on it.

  3. Which is why I taught my wife and daughters a few things about auto mechanics.

  4. And why I think my motto of changing cars when the trash bag gets full, or 50K miles – whichever happens first – is completely rational.

    Sadly, hubby doesn’t see it that way.

    Hence my small amount of auto-knowledge.



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