Conversation with My Son

My 16-year-old took the car into the shop today and had his first experience dealing with the repair guy.  I told him that they may call him and tell him he needs some work done on the car, like they will say he needs to have the flux capacitor flushed for $300, and if he was in doubt, call me.  He said fine, but if they tried to sell him laser canons, he was going for it.


  1. me:

    Ah, repair shops. "Your axle is likely to burn in and we'll have to change the entire front assembly if that happens". That was 6 years ago. The axle is still fine.

  2. joshv:

    My favorite was the repair shop that was so automated they'd send me an email reminding me of upcoming recommended service items based on my car model and mileage. But not automated enough to remember when said maintenance items had already been done. For example they asked me no less than four times, over two years, if I wanted to have my timing belt changed (an expensive repair that's basically done once for a car of normal lifespan), after I'd already had it changed.

  3. Kim Krandle:

    It depends on your location. On both coasts auto mechanics have licenses to hustle. In a lot of the middle of the country you find many more honest mechanics. I live in Montgomery County Maryland, and here there are few auto repair shops and for good reason. Any repair will be 4 to 10 times as expensive as in the heartland, with a $1000 minimum and huge upselling pressure. Fortunately cars are more reliable now and I've developed a throw-away mentality for autos. I can get 100K miles out of a vehicle and then I donate to charity.

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  5. chuck martel:

    The scariest sound in the world: the low whistle from a mechanic as he looks under the hood of your car.

  6. DrTorch:

    When my company forced me to get a blackberry, I insisted on getting the model with the phaser option.

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