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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Christine and Her Car

In California you can get a permit to drive at sixteen years old. My husband and I wanted our daughter to wait until age 17 to start practicing under a permit and then, if she was ready, get her drivers license at age 18 years old. My husband, an experienced driver and great teacher relished in the idea of spending over 100 hours driving with our daughter. On her 18th birthday, she had a new look in her eye —a radiance and bubble that rocked the room. Everyone knew she was ready to take her behind-the -wheel driving test— without any questions she had learned her lessons well. She passed her exam on her first try (I passed mine after the officer got tired of testing me after the 3rd time LOL ). She made the cursory drive home with a quick pit stop by Starbucks to say “hi” to her friends.

If you have a teenager who drives then this statement will make sense. My husband told us, “now that she has her license we need to find a used US Army tank for her to drive so she is safe.” LOL! We settled, reluctantly for the next best thing we could afford, my husband’s old and rusty Ford Explorer Sport pick up truck. She learned to drive with this vehicle in anticipation of using it in the event we could not put a US Army tank on our credit card. The truck is almost 9 years old with 150,000 miles on it. Casually, as teenagers are, she quipped at dinner one night, “how do you turn off the check engine light?” My husband and I are fanatics on car maintenance—especially for her truck. We were so worried we took the truck to Goodyear, a place we have been taking my Honda accord for service and repair for 5 years. They have changed management over the years, but we still keep coming back. However, under the new management they have been telling us about expensive repairs we need to make during routine oil changes.

After Goodyear diagnosed the problem, they told us we needed new oxygen sensors. The sales pitch included death and destruction warnings but if I spend this much today I will save a possible bill of 10 times that amount tomorrow—blah blah blah. We have all heard the story—right? Since the safety of our daughter comes first, we authorized the repair.

We should have done this to begin with, look around and find out how much should timing belt repair cost, but time is of the essence and we do not have an extra vehicle for her to drive to school so we made a hasty decision. Besides it was the weekend and who wants to mess with price quotes on a sunny weekend? Yesterday, I saw San Francisco auto repair while I was online. The site actually gives you the option to get a price quote for the work that needs to be done on your car. I checked in, entered all the vehicle information and in a few minutes, there was the price of the parts. I started calling different places in our area and checked for pricing too. When my research was completed I found out we were charged double for the parts. We called Goodyear right away and requested a credit. It was granted quickly after I told them about the web site and they verified all my local sources. The manager told me he paid more for the parts than I was able to find by calling. I handed him the information. Maybe I just helped him save money for his business and customers. I will never have a car repaired again without checking this site first.

Have you been charged with a car repair cost or parts just because you don't know anything about car repairs.


  1. Alot of this always happens! Eventually I don't own a car... but I have seen a lot of my friends getting duped... and though I may not know all the price, but I do know some. Lets hope this don't befall me next time when I own a car. =x

  2. I remember when I first started learning to drive a car...what I remember most about it was the look on my mother's face. I was 15. She was in her late fifties. I didn't have any sense of "maybe I might run this thing into a wall and die" and she had no sense of "maybe everything will be okay and we won't die."

    So that can paint the picture for you. :)

  3. it seems that most every business wants to squeeze as much money out of us as is possible. Thanks for that website. But--since we drive Toyotas, we seldom need repairs --other than normal maintenance (oil, tires, etc.)...

    All of us need to do our 'research' whenever we spend money.. It's like me taking time every week to check out the specials at ALL of the grocery stores -and then using coupons. It takes WORK--but we save lots of money.

    Congrats to the young driver in your family... I remember those days!!!!

  4. Oh Tes, I'm definitely will check out this site as I was told that my car is in need of everything from the mechanic. He told me my battery was weak, but I have no problem starting the car under freezing weather.

    I just don't like how they always set out to empty people's pocket!

  5. I made my first big boo-boo one time when I took my car to the shop for oil change and tire rotation. The service guy took advantage of my ignorance and told me that all my 4 tires need replacement and that I needed to replace them as it was VERY unsafe for me to drive that car home. I let them change all 4 tires ! HUH until this time I still believe they lied to me!

    Oh well - that's how we learn !

  6. You have gone into checking all these, haha, I am quite lazy to do so, maybe the car service over my place is charged cheaper.

  7. these days, it's hard to find a good mechanic which you can count on.

    i believe the cost of car repairs at established workshops are usually more expensive mainly due to the overhead costs.

    some backyard mechanics are equally good too and the repair costs are much cheaper if you know where to find them.

  8. I'm always afraid I'm getting taken advantage of at the car repair shop! Luckily my dad knows a lot about that kind of thing and helps me out.

  9. I always had Honda, they were still in running condition and had over 100K miles until I donated them. Fortunately I have a well trusted mechanics, but sometimes, I get a second opinion.

  10. Thank you, for your recent comment on my writing. :)

    I really appreciate your visits and your comments very much so. :)

  11. Congratulations to Christine! There is freedom in driving.

    I refereed the site to Doods. It is always good to look around -better than getting ripped off. It is not easy to trust people nowadays.

  12. Well done Christine!

    Chay don't know how to drive yet, teehee ;) good for Christine she learned driving in early age, thanks Chay for this post.

    this will be useful for me in the future ;)

  13. It pays to be resourceful. Hope you're able to resolve the issue and that your daughter will always mind her safety in driving all the time.

  14. I research everything before buying, electronics, appliances, etc.

    Along with teaching me to drive my dad taught me how to check and change the oil, change a tire, and some basics of car repair. Through the years having a little knowledge made it easier to deal with repair shops.

    Now I don't worry about it at all, my hubby is the equipment shop foreman for a large power utility, he's a mechanic!

  15. i think i had my permit too as early as 16 back there in the Phils then got the license eventually. I was lucky enough to pass my driver's exams here on 1st try, I think that's the advantage of driving for years already.

    car repair shops could empty your pockets so papa-in-law does his mechanic stuffs, good thing he knows autos good enough




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