Not Exactly Priceless

22 05 2010

We have a 1996 Nissan Maxima. It’s a good little car. Sadly, it recently decided it didn’t feel like starting. Bad Maxima! We enjoy being a two car family, so Car took it to the mechanic. To get the full impact of this experience, I have to type what was printed on our invoice. Trust me–summing it up just doesn’t do it justice.

“Customer complains of vehicle having a hard time starting even when warm check and advise needed repairs. We scoped the system, found a bad electrical wave pattern when the car is cranking. We tested the battery, it was testing good, the starter was testing good. After doing some research into this problem [Wait…did they just Google my car problems?], we found a list of items to check. We removed the crank sensor and installed a new one. The old crank sensor was covered in metal. We left the new one in there. We checked the grounds, we moved one of the ground wires over to the starter. We also installed a new ground strap to the engine. When the battery charger was hooked up it started good, but when we removed the charger it had more problems. We then decided to warranty the battery to make sure the battery had full cold cranking power. Still the problem occurred. In our research we also found a difference in the starter motor they were putting in the car. Since we had replaced the starter already. We replaced it as well under warranty. At this time everything is starting good.”

Dude.

Is it just me, or did they just take out anything that might be the problem, replace it, and then hope for the best?

I’m going to figure out a way to implement this strategy in my life. I’m not quite sure how, but it’s so ingenious that I have to try. Wish me luck.

State emissions, safety inspection and registration: $41.95
Removing and then replacing various and sundry parts that might be causing problems: $429.71
Windshield Replacement: $145.00
Labor to replace the starter motor (which was under warranty, but apparently the warranty doesn’t do squat for labor): $80.50
Replaced brake light: $13.83

Having a car that starts? $772.93. Not exactly priceless, but I guess it’s less than a new car.

*The first person who says I got ripped off by the mechanic is going to have body part ripped off by me. I’m so not kidding.

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7 responses

23 05 2010
rachel

considering all that was removed and replaced, i’d say that $772 is actually not bad. the grammar, on the other hand, was atrocious. you should charge them for their poor writing skills. grammar police bust!

22 05 2010
Boquinha

Urgh. The grammar nerd in me (and I assure you, she’s a lively one!) also wants to point out that your mechanic’s grammar sucks.

22 05 2010
Jenny

Yeah, I was trying not to dwell on that. After all, they could mock me until I cried when it comes to car knowledge.

22 05 2010
Peter

Judging by the write-up, I think these mechanics also do graveyard shift computer tech support. Are your mechanics located in India, by any chance?

22 05 2010
Kristina P.

So, do you think your mechanic screwed you?

22 05 2010
Jenny

In retrospect, I totally asked for that.

So…did you want to choose the body part I remove, or should I surprise you Thursday night?

22 05 2010
Dayna

I think I’ll try that in my classroom. Just start taking out the students that might be causing the problem, whatever that problem might be, and replacing them with new, metal-free students. But what to do with the old students . . . Can you throw them away in the landfill, or is there a special student- recycling program? A soylent green factory, perhaps?

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