Once upon a time a there was a little girl (for purposes of this post) named Goldilocks. She lived in an urban metropolis and was completely dependent upon her car for getting places. One day (today) her car broke down on her way to work and her plans for the day got royally screwed up! She’s had challenges in the past finding a mechanic that was just right. One was too expensive. Another was completely incompetent and a third was priced right, but just not quite good enough. Here’s the tale of her day so that she could carry on and get to the proverbial grandma’s house. Oh wait, that’s a different fairy tale.
This morning, I got in the car ready to head to the office and all of a sudden my car started convulsing. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it to a mechanic, let alone drive all the way to the Valley.
I typically don’t go into the office Fridays, but today was one of those days where it was necessary. It’s a very busy time at work and I had multiple appointments scheduled. So, I went back home to make calls and develop work contingency plans in the event I can’t get this problem fixed quickly. I also needed to find a good mechanic.
Basically, I had 3 options.
Option #1: I could call AAA and get my car towed to the dealer. At least at the dealer I can get a loaner car. The last time I did this though, it took hours to get the tow truck. I didn’t have hours to spare if I was going to make it to work. I also don’t like going to the dealer since my service warranty ended. It’s as though they’re trying to make up for lost time since they weren’t collecting money from me for 4 years. To say they overcharge is a gross understatement and more often than not I have to bring the car back because they forgot to reset something. Frankly, I’m not so sure what they do is always needed either.
Option #2: I found an independent mechanic in the Valley whom I trust. He seems pretty knowledgeable and his prices are fair. He is certainly honest, which puts him way ahead of the pack. BUT … he’s not BMW certified, so I worry a little bit that I might be shortchanging my car at the expense of keeping the cost down. Driving to the Valley with this problem was clearly not an option today anyway.
Option #3: Find a new (good and honest) mechanic. Not an easy task. I did an Internet search for the area and found a shop fairly close. I checked out the YELP reviews and it sounded pretty good. So, I got back in the car, bobbing along as though I was driving on an unpaved back road somewhere in the desert. I was hoping my car wouldn’t explode or die along the way. I made it and was pretty pleased with what I encountered. It seemed that this mechanic was just right.
The owner of the shop was initially impressed with my knowledge of cars. That’s because when I got out of the car, I said, “I suspect I need a new engine coil.” Now, I don’t pretend to be knowledgeable about the inner workings of cars. In truth, I’m pretty ignorant about this stuff and I’m completely fine with that. When I listen to someone talk about cars, it’s as though it’s the teacher from the Peanuts series saying, “Wah wah wah wah wah.” As it turns out, I’ve encountered this problem before, hence my knowledge. He suspected I was right and would go ahead and order the part before he even examined the car to minimize my wait time. I was grateful and pleased.
As it turned out, I got my car back too late to make it to my last appointment of the day. But, all in all, despite missing work, I managed to make a little bit of lemonade out of a lemony kind of day. It’s not every day you find a good mechanic. And, this mechanic charged me half the price of what the dealer charged me for the exact same service.
…And we all lived happily ever after.
Marci aka Goldilocks