I know, I usually write about the good life, but hey – this is REAL life and if you make it to the end of this post it might just be good. OK, I don’t wish this on ANYONE, but I’ve been there – too many times really. My car starts acting up. I bring my car to the mechanic and he asks what’s wrong and I begin my impersonation of the SOUNDS that the car is making. Every time I get this look back like – ARE YOU CRAZY? Either that, or they egg me on to see if I’ll make some OTHER stupid (and embarassing) sounds. I’m just not good as describing these things (it’s the same with smells coming from somewhere in the car). Funny thing is I worked for my dad in the automobile business when I was in high school. It didn’t help! Anyway – they usually find the problem, regardless of my horrible performance.
The worst part of that scenario is the BILL that you get hit with AFTER. No matter WHAT, it’s always MORE than you had anticipated (I must be living in la-la land when it comes to car repairs).
I’ve got a little hint for you. BEFORE you go trotting into your mechanic, have a look and see if your car is on the DEFECTS and RECALL list from the ODI (Office of Defects Investigation). This is a GREAT little tool that lists Car Recalls, Equipment, Tires, Child Restraint and technical service bulletins, Courtesy of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA).
It’s VERY easy to use. Just plug in the Make, Model and Year of your car and VOILA you’ll have your list. Most of the time you just need to bring the car to an authorized dealer/repair shop and they’ll fix it for FREE. There’s even a place to file a complaint if you don’t get any satisfaction from your dealer.
I tried it and found a recall on my car that had actually been caught and fixed the last time I had an oil change at the Honda Dealer (the downside of having a hybrid, is that the only place I can get an oil change is at the dealership).
So, before you go shelling out those hard earned Benjamins, check out that list. You might just get your Bentley repaired for FREE! Just a hint to help you live a little richer.
Great Story. I feel this time also. Especially being a woman I feel as if I am taken advantage of. Thanks for the great tip.
Absolutely. Sometimes I think they see us coming and just start adding 00's to the bill. I always wanted to take a car repair course, just so I could learn to speak with the mechanic and not feel like I was being taken. Funny thing is that for a VERY short while I sold specialty car parts via phone – but I would just look up what the mechanic wanted in my catalog & place the order.