Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No, I am not dead. Also: I Kick Ass Sometimes

As for the utter and total lack posting as of late:

Work is kicking my ass all over this dusty, windy state and I am working on a post that involves pictures and that always slows the process down.

On to the gloating:

I just scheduled a maintenance appointment for my little car. I was NOT PLEASED with the quote I was given. I worried about it all day.

So, I called back.

And I asked Mister Mechanic Man to list everything that was included in this little appointment and give me the individual costs for labor and parts.

And guess what? The math didn't add up. Surprised? Oh, no? Well, then. Anywho, I SUCK at math and even I could tell that $270 does not equal $170.

I may still be getting completely hosed, but at least I am getting hosed by $100 dollars less.

Holy cow, I am strutting around like a proud freakin' rooster right now. Take that, Mister Mechanic Man!

P.S. If any of you feel like you need to tell me that in no way, whatsoever should any maintenance appointment still cost me $170, please do so kindly and then tell me how to barter this down further. Thanks!


Post with pictures - soon, I promise!


  1. I have no idea how much a maintenance appointment should cost. All I have to add is Woo! $100 less! That's like a saving. Which is almost a discount. And all of those things are good.

  2. Hey, it all sounds good to me. I always walk in there trying to sound as if I know a little bit about cars... I am sure they are on to me and screw me over left and right.

  3. A maintenance appointment costing $170??? Surely you are getting more done than an oil change and a tire rotation . . . right???? Usually my maintenance costs about $30.

  4. I don't have a car anymore and therefore don't remember how much this stuff should cost, but $170 sounds like a lot??? I'm good at bargaining, though. If you can get a few quotes from different places, start with that. Otherwise just tell the guy that it costs too much and ask him if there are ways to cut costs down. Honesty and stubbornness usually get me at least a small discount.

  5. I ALWAYS feel like I'm getting ripped off when I take my car in for anything. Well done on asking for the estimate in writing. I wonder if the addition error was intentional (if so, ASSHOLES), or just an oversight that would have left you pleasantly surprised at the end of the day.

  6. I tend to be a total sucker and just Trust The Experts about this sort of thing- I would never have thought to ask for a written estimate. Which means I've probably been overpaying on everything for years, I suppose. Ignorance sure is expensive bliss.

  7. Yay, you're back!

    I have no idea what maintenance costs run nowadays, especially since I get suckered into that expensive oil for cars with 100,000+ miles on them, so that my oil changes are like $50 instead of $20. Bah. And then the oil place always, ALWAYS sends me a $20 off coupon a few days AFTER I go in.

  8. This is an excellent example! I can conquer the Nervous Tummy if it's just a matter of verifing the MATH involved. Good tip.

  9. It really depends on what is included in the maintenance. Brakes? Spark plugs? Oil change? Filter? Etc... If they are flushing the radiator fluids, and all that... etc.

    I guess $170 might be expected. It also depends on your area, so I couldn't say whether that is outrageous or not.

    But mainly, I just want to say, YAY YOU!!! for looking over the numbers and setting Mr. M M straight.
    I actually think it might mean he's honest: if he was trying to rip you off, you'd think he'd be shrewd enough for the math to add up.

  10. If I get out under 500 I'm so proud.

  11. As pann said. It depends on what maintenance you are having done. It could be 20 bucks or 500. Some things I consider to be not worth it too. Like fuel injection/system cleaning. If your car is running fine there is no need to clean the injectors, but they often try to sell you that. For the hell of it, I want to guess: is it a transmission fluid exchange and oil change with overall vehicle inspection? That would be about 170, and that is a decent price.

  12. Welcome, Winter! (Jeez, that is the first time in months I've had any reason to utter that phrase!)

    Animanous - You guessed right! I am not having all the injector stuff done, or the intake/exhaust valves checked, or anything like that. The car runs great, but I just hit the 30,000 mile mark and want to make sure it is going to do as well for the next 30,000. The only service I am somewhat questioning (why didn't I ask YOU about all of this first? Oh, yeah. That would have been ANNOYING to you.) is the transmission stuff. It is an automatic and they are draining the fluid and refilling it. I made sure there wasn't any flushing silliness going on...

    Ok. I feel like maybe I am not being TOTALLY ripped off. I just want a mechanic I can trust. The other folks in town all estimated between $300 - $400 for the same work! WTF?!?!?


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