What The Heck…Auto Service Departments?


I know these guys are just doing their jobs, but why is it every time I go to get my car tuned up I feel this impending feeling of doom coming over me? I know what is gonna happen…I’m going to hand my keys over to this guy who knows he has a sucker on his hands. He’s gonna see that my vehicle has over 65,000 miles on it (actually it’s 85,000…but this all began a year ago). He’s gonna send it to the back to get “worked on” while I sit in the lobby reading 2-year old Sports Illustrateds and drinking stale coffee. Then in 45 minutes, after I’ve suffered through as much “Days Of Our Lives” as I can, he’ll come through the door and it will go EXACTLY like this (EVERY TIME!)…

“Mr. Alan…your car is done!”

“Great! Thank you!”

“But it is my job…ney…my RESPONSIBILITY to let you know…”

“Yes?”

“That the following things absolutely have to be done to your car in order for it to run at it’s maximum capability and safety…”  (They ALWAYS throw safety in there so that you feel that if you don’t get the repairs done, your car will fall apart while driving at 85 miles an hour, leaving you and your kids flying across the highway in heavy traffic)

“Okay?”

“You need new brakes, new window wipers, a new carburator, some kind of doohickey that keeps your gas gauge from always appearing like it’s on empty, 4 new tires would be a plus, your left rear light is completely dead, we think your right passenger door might be ready to fall off (that one can wait a bit…just make sure your child is buckled in), there’s a screw located inside your engine that will need replaced but we need to tear your engine completely apart to get to it and your passenger light is out. Where would you like us to start?”

All of a sudden, my $27 oil change is now $5,346.57.

Now let me ask you…how in the world does THAT happen?

So with gas prices and the smog, I’m thinking about breaking out that bike that has been sitting in my garage for 12 years. Shouldn’t be too bad…I’m still young. But I gotta figure out how to strap 2 kids seats to the back. Maybe the auto service department could help me with that?

I’m sure it would only cost me $27…with service charges, of course.

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2 Responses to What The Heck…Auto Service Departments?

  1. mandy says:

    I took my car to get new tires. After they’re done, they tell me that my tie rod ends (huh?) are going bad. So I take my car over to Dave Z at the import auto clinic on west main. He examines it and says “well, the one is a little loose, but its not dangerous…the worst it’ll do is cause that tire to wear a little more if you go on a long trip. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it.”
    Dave is truly a saint among auto mechanics.

  2. CarNut says:

    I hear you. There are so many things in this world to get started one. I could go on about my gripes with the world but not sure even myself would like to hear it. Automotive Maintainence is sure one of them. Cars suck but we need them. GAS is high, Insurance always going up and the car companies make them harder and harder to work on unless you own a million dollars worth of service equipment.

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