Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hug an Honest Mechanic

November was the month that JM, 18, had to get his car inspected (must be done yearly in Virginia). It was his first experience at this. You may remember that he totaled his first car before it needed inspecting and he totaled his 2nd car before it needed its 2nd tank of gas.

Being the typical responsible teenager that he is, he promptly took his car in on the 30th of November.

Now even if you are older or if you drive a newer car, you still NEVER take your car to an "unknown" for ANYTHING! Especially an inspection. Ah, life's lessons. But if you are 18 AND driving a 1989 New Yorker (Mary Kay PINK-haha), you should be especially careful.

SO, he drives into the crooked car dealer...I won't mention their name....TUFFY'S........and asks for an inspection. He had known ahead of time that it needed a tire, so he had already taken care of that. So, he thought he was going to pay the $16.00 fee and be done with it.

He called to see if he could pick it up.

Tuffy's-"Well, we did find a few problems but we were able to find the parts needed and can gladly repair them for you"......."Did We mention how difficult it is to find parts for your car?"

JM- "What does it need?"


"1.The steering column is cracked. This is normal in older cars because people don't know how to get in and out of the car properly. I can get you one for $250. and install it for another $150.

2. There are 2 separate seals that are leaking in the fuel tank. They will be hard to find but we think we can. (NOTE-We replaced the fuel tank a few months ago!!!!)

3. The front brake hoses need replacing.

4. The rear brake wheel cylinders are leaking and need replacing.

5. The rear brake shoes are soaked due to the leaky cylinders and they need replacing."

JM-"I'll call you back".

He hangs up the phone and looks just MISERABLE!!

Mom takes over.

I called Tuffy's and told them not to fix ANYTHING. (By the way, the total estimated estimate was $800-$1,000.)

I talked to JM and told him that taking your car to a trusted mechanic is somewhere in the top 5 of important life lessons. I told him that I have a great place....hhmmm, the same place I had recommended to him originally.

He told me that he did know of another place where he knew the people and had also heard good things about them. He had gone to Tuffy's because it was at a convenient location.

SO, he picked up his car (with the REJECTION sticker screaming at every police car in town) and took it to the other place.

Note: He can legally drive for 14 days with a Rejection Sticker, but when you are 18 and are driving a pink New Yorker, you are already standing out just a wee bit.

Bottom Line- The other place inspected it. I need to ask him what their name was so I can give them praise.

TOTAL COST -$16.00 for inspection sticker. It passed!
Life Lesson- Outstanding!!
Mom to the rescue- PRICELESS!!



Blasé said...

Are you sure it wasn't 'Jiffy Lube'? That business is a Liar, and I'll tell anyone that. Never go to a Jiffy Lube.

The man in the picture holding the 'Bill' and smiling like an opossum......I'd like to bitch-slap that MoFo

Bonita said...

Thank goodness he learned the lesson early before he got himself in an expensive situation he couldn't get out of.

I learned a similar lesson the hard way in my early 20s. I'd just moved to a new town and was essentially by myself. After driving my little Nissan halfway across the country it had "issues" when I arrived in my new home so I took it to the Nissan dealership (who I assumed would be reputable!).

They found all sorts of things wrong that cost big $$ that I paid. Every time I brought it home it developed a new problem and every time I took it back they fixed it and discovered something else wrong with it. Did I mention that I bought this car brand new and had only had it a couple of years?

Finally, I caught on that they were taking advantage of the young single girl. The last time I took it in I had just finished working several 12 hour night shifts in a row and was in no mood to put up with anything. I marched up to their service desk and said, "You better fix this d@#$ car once and for all because if you don't I'll sell it and go to that Toyota dealership right there (pointing) and buy a brand new car and I'll tell everyone I know, see, or that even breathes my way that you're the biggest bunch of crooks in town." I think I mentioned the Better Business Bureau and a couple of local news stations and possibly even the mayor, governor, and President. I went home and slept and picked the car up that afternoon and miracle of miracles, it was fixed and they hadn't found even one piddly extra thing wrong with it.

One more story. My husband's former roommate and co-worker took an additional part time job at Sears automotive when he was a young single bachelor. He quit after just a few months because they were actually encouraged to break stuff on cars they were servicing just to earn more money for the company. He couldn't handle the ethics and quit.

Tell your son to take time to learn a few things about cars and to do his homework to save mucho headaches in life. Thankfully, he has a mom that watches out for him. He should take her advice more often!

Sue J. said...

And, one day, JM will take the advice of Mom, because experience is the best choice over convenience--every time!

I have really been trying to visit the same local mechanics every time I get the car checked (especially since the repair warranty on the car is all wrapped up!). I makes sense to learn the guys' names (Hi, Matt, if you're reading) and to establish rapport. There really are honest guys out there and it's worth going through reputable sources, aka MOM, to find the best.

I've never hugged Matt, however....

KrippledWarrior said...

A PINK CHRYSLER NEW YORKER???? Did you have to hold a gun on him to buy it? He took it to tuffy because he was afraid someone who knew him, might see him driving a pink Chrysler.

Kelly Combs said...

Great post! ;-)

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Go, Momma! Yes...I know. #2 son seems to be more like a tkt for a school zone...while still holding a provisional license...and after he received probation, he worked for 2 weeks and then just up and quit with no paycheck in sight for gas, insurance or cell phone. Sigh....

Edie said...

Will you come with me the next time I have to take my vehicle in for any repair? Pleeeeease???

I do have to ask why he would leave his car just for an inspection. Don't you generally wait for it? Inspections here are done right away and on a busy day the wait is only an hour.

For all of your sakes I'm really glad you are SO Smart! Well done Mom!

My inspection was due by the end of Oct. I noticed it on Nov 1. I think you missed those posts but I finally got the sticker. It will appear in tomorrows P365 post.

I have to agree with what Blase said about Jiffy Lube.

Anonymous said...

how horrible to take advantage of people. I am glad he didn't let them do it!! Glad CJ's best friend is a mechanic and does all of our stuff.


Anonymous said...

A friend's 18 year old son got the same type of song and dance from Merchant's Tire....his momma took care of them too!

I sure do appreciate my mechanic! Its a family run business and they take good care of our cars...even my daughter's 2000 Stratus that has a Do Not Resuscitate order!
DDMeanMom (Mechanicsville)

Meredith said...

That's an awesome story!! Go mom! Pink? Really? God Bless 'im:)
Oh, and welcome back!

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Simply the greatest! My 18-year-old had her first experience with dealing with emissions and bureaucracy in the tag office. Can you believe the woman was rude to her. Welcome to adulthood! Tee hee

David said...

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Auto body