What a week! I have a hate/love relationship with cars. I love them but when they break down and I have to deal with repair shops, I hate it. Since I’m the one who works from home, the responsibility of getting the cars repaired is up to me. When I grew up, my father made sure I knew how to change the oil and change a tire. Since he traveled extensively by car when I was growing up, I learned with each break down he had, the mechanics of the engine. Of course all that has changed with computerized engines, but getting ripped off by repair places has not changed at all.

First off, you avoid the dealer when your warranty has expired. They charge you an arm and a leg. I had a fantastic repair man I used when I lived in PA but being down here in Dallas, I haven’t been able to find a decent repair shop.

My sob story…Our 2006 Mazda 3, the passenger door’s bolt kept popping when being opened or shut. Kind of sounded like a pop gun. I took it to a place close by to have them take a look at it. I dropped it off at 10 and walked home. I’m thinking serious things when they hadn’t called by noon. Finally, they called and said nothing about the door being fixed but my oil was really dirty as well as the brake fluid. Okay, I couldn’t recall the last oil change but it probably was a while ago, so I gave them the go ahead. My husband keeps an Excel spreadsheet on all of our cars on his pc. I didn’t want to wait the ten minutes it takes to boot up his computer and then to find the file, so I’d deal with his wrath when he got home. The bill at this point was $150.00. I’m waiting and waiting and around 3, I call them to see when the car would be ready. Well, they found another problem. The power steering hose is leaking and that’s an additional $500 for parts and labor. NO! All I wanted was the door to be fixed. Now, I’m angry. I told them no and I would pick up the car in ten minutes. I did boot up the pc only to find out that we had replaced the power steering hose 800 miles ago done by NTB.

When I picked up the car, the mechanic bent over backwards showing and telling me about this hose and how I shouldn’t let this go. It didn’t look like it was leaking to me and if anything, I’m taking it back to NTB. The end of this story? They didn’t charge me a dime for the door. Loose bolt. Which is why they went out of their way to find something wrong with the car in the first place. Never going back there again!

On a happier note, a friend of mine who owns a gift and card shop here in Flower Mound gave me a call out of the blue. She had an author at her shop who had a book signing and asked me to come in to meet her. I did. Her name is Ann Winston, the title of the book is Love and Other Lies. We had a blast trading stories. We were soon joined by another lady, Lois. Lois is an unusual name, so we tend to be friends when we meet. There is a Lois Club which I am a member. She hugged and kissed me and called me her daughter. It made my day to meet such great people!

If only the car repair shops had ethics like that…