There’s a new guy running the shop I’ve gone to for years. I recently took the car in because I’d been told my brake pads were down to 35%. He took a look at them, had one of his mechanics clean debris out from around the brakes and, voila, I have 40-60% still available! I can also notice a positive difference in how the brakes feel. This approach was certainly more affordable than getting new brakes pads before they were needed.
I own a 1997 Toyota Camry LE. It’s still a great car with 161,000 miles on it, but there were a few minor things that have been bothering me. I thought I’d get an estimate on what they’d cost to fix. I would then add this amount to the estimate for getting the car painted from a nearby body shop. The two costs together would help me determine if I will keep this car or buy a newer used car.
- The fuel door cover wouldn’t stay shut. My mechanic bent part of the latch, so now it stays closed! (In fairness to myself, I’d actually tried that, but simply didn’t have the upper body strength to make the thing bend even slightly.) No cost.
- The left windshield washer fluid jet sprayer hasn’t been working for a few years. I was told it would cost $113 to replace, so I wasn’t rushing to get the little thing fixed. The new guy straightened out a small paperclip and used it to poke the holes in the sprayer until they both started working. He noticed that one of the nozzles on the other sprayer wasn’t working, so he fixed that one, too. No cost.
- The driver’s side seat belt webbing started to shred so I cut off the shreds. Mistake! First of all, it’s still shredding, but even more annoying is that both ends from where the shreds were cut formed little blobs, making it sometimes tough to get the blobs through the slit in the seat belt latch plate. This problem has lessened (smoothed out), so it’s down to being just an annoyance. Also, because the other two items have been resolved, this particular issue has been demoted to “minor” annoyance that I probably won’t fix any time soon. No cost, at present.
- After getting an outside estimate on the paint job, I went back to my mechanic and, yes, he gave me a good deal on painting just the hood, front bumper and roof with the work being done by the person who paints his family’s cars…and with higher-grade paint than from the other estimate. That’s just what I wanted!
My mechanic’s reasoning is “We all have a purpose and mine is to help people with their cars. I don’t need to get rich off of you. I’ll get rich by helping a whole lot of people.”
I decided to put something out into the world that I appreciated about someone else, and mechanics all too often get a bad rap.