The only thing I hate more than buying a new car is getting one repaired. Perhaps you can relate.

There are many reasons for this, let's count them.

Of course, as we all know, car repairs are costly. It doesn't matter how simple the procedure, we know our wallet is going to get gouged. Some places will even charge you over $100 just to open the hood and diagnose the problem. It seems absurd to me that they would lay down this standard charge regardless of whether the diagnosis takes five minutes or 55 minutes. Is this standard operating procedure for mechanics nowadays?

Another reason I hate getting a vehicle repaired is because I am no mechanic and so I am at a disadvantage right from the start. They could tell me my polyunsaturated grease line running from the introverter to the fuseometer is clogged causing a massive fuelage dysfunction which must be replaced in its entirety, requiring the dismantling of the entire engine block and a reinstallation of the external piston lozenges - and I would have to take them at their word.

Here's another reason I hate auto repairs. I want to feel respected and I want my business to be valued. Most often, neither happens. I feel disrespected and I feel like I am an inconvenience to them, whether I call them on the phone or stop in to inquire personally about possibly doing some repairs. Most often, they make me feel like a fool.

Here's something else. When I have an emergency situation where my vehicle suddenly won't start and I have to have it towed in, I don't expect the shop mechanics to drop whatever they are doing and get to my car. I understand that my showing up unexpectedly is not desirable under the best of circumstances., but sometimes you just can't help it.

However, I would expect the service manager to express hope and, at least the desire to work me in just as soon as possible, knowing I need my vehicle in my everyday life. Being told it could be almost two weeks before they can get to it is really not what I want to hear, especially when I'm pretty sure it's going to be a fairly quick and easy fix. I guess I would like them to at least express a little sympathy for my unfortunate situation.

But, the bottom line is, at that point, they have you over a barrel. You're stuck. It's not like you can drive away in your broken down car, or pay to have it towed somewhere else. You are helpless, and feeling very much like Dorothy and Toto- at the mercy of the wicked witch of the west.

What's worse than that is when you have a bad experience at a place and you go back again hoping for better fortunes, only to discover it's just as bad as it was the last time.


Having said all that, I believe there are some good quality mechanics in town who pride themselves on giving fair, honest service- auto repair shops that value their customers and the business they bring. I'm sure there are service managers who treat customers with respect - like friends- not like an inconvenience. The problem is, I don't know who they are.

Consequently, I turn to you. Who do you trust? What is the shop or mechanic that you feel confident you can go to time and time again and you know that you will get great customer service? You know they are going to be fair and they want you to be happy.

I want to know who these mechanics are so I can make plans for my next automotive repair job. Please let me know where to go! I want to be ready for my next  auto repair "emergency."

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