Friday, April 30, 2010

Honesty is an Appreciated Policy

I drive an older minivan. It has dings, dents, rust, scratches, some disturbing splattered brown gunk across the interior ceiling (is it called a ceiling in a van? Heck if I know), and Cheerios permanently embedded into all floor and seat crevices. The gas gauge doesn't work, the cd player never has since my 2 year old Atticus shoved nickels into it, and there's a strange, unidentifiable blue gunk on the floor between the driver seat and passenger seat that we've never been able to remove.

But the van is paid for. So all of the above stuff really doesn't matter.

Lately my van has been sputtering. Sometimes, when going uphill on a freeway, it has been sputtering, slowing down and flashing the "Service Engine SOON" light. We don't know when and where it will happen, but hey, that's why we call my van the "Ad-Venture" (it's a Chevy Venture)--you never know what you're gonna get when you take it out and about.

Last week, I made an appointment for the Ad-Venture to be inspected this morning.

Which, of course, means that yesterday, my van completely died. In the driveway. Ugh.

We managed to jump it, and it sputtered it's way to the mechanics last night, with the Mister at the wheel (and me following behind it, safely ensconced in the reliable car that the Mister's employer so kindly bestows upon him.)

All this morning I had kind of a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. Because I was pretty sure we'd be looking at a big bill, or we'd be told to just suck up and purchase a new vehicle.

Which would not be cool. Because at the moment, we only have enough money saved up to buy a replacement vehicle that would probably be of the same quality/caliber of my current vehicle.

However, there is a Mechanic God somewhere out there and all I can say is, It pays to have an honest mechanic.

6 years ago we had a similar problem while living in Milwaukee. We did not know an honest mechanic, and the good folks at the Chevy dealership rocked us nearly $1500 replacing all of the fuel injectors.

Today, our HONEST mechanic told us that he only needs to flush them out. And an electrical cord or something was loose/frayed and needed replacement. And we needed a new spark plug or something.

To a tune of $180. Because he said, and I quote, "Why replace something big when a small maintenance task will fix it just fine?"

I Heart My Mechanic. Because he lives and breathes the ideal, "Honesty is the Best Policy."

Now, if I can only get a couple of my children to live by the same policy. . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember when my brother-in-law worked at a garage. I'd visit for free oil changes and bring breakfast for the crew. It always shocked me how badly people (men and women) were gouged when it was obvious that they had no clue regarding what was under the hood. Our mechanic (that's great when your customer has ownership with your business in their mind) is worth his weight in gold and he has our loyalty.

-Mr.