Repair expectations - help ?

Ice Cat ^. .^ ~ iceisit at
Tue Aug 6 12:22:21 EDT 2002

I wonder whether I am between a rock and a sharp place.
I feel that auto repair people are professionals and should be paid
for their time, so I offered to pay for diagnosis of my car.

The shop said it took 1.167 hours to determine that the air intake
boot was torn.
They then said that they were going to charge me $86 or so for the
parts and another half hour of time to take off the old one and then
put the new one on.    I thought I had already paid to have it taken
off for the diagnosis.

I just sent my husband down to take the one off his car and look at
it because they drive and act exactly the same way.

(We won't talk about how I asked him numerous times to check all of
the hoses before I took it to a mechanic.)

Now they want to charge me for both the diagnosis and the repair time
and parts.

The person before me came in and said, "Oh I have a noise, will you
tell me what it is and what it cost to fix it."    They spend a half
hour testing and driving her car, tell her it is a bearing, and then
don't charge her anything.

She leaves with the info and pays nothing.

If I had come in and said "Oh I have a noise. . . "

They would have spent the same amount of time (I figure less!)
figuring out what was wrong with my car, and I *could* have left with
the same amount of information and paid nothing.

I am not sure what is the correct way to deal with situations like
this.   I try to be fair and when I told them to go ahead and fix my
car, I assumed they would then have said, "No charge for the
diagnosis being you are having it fixed here" or at least split it
with me.

If I had the money to just take the car in and say "tell me what's
wrong, give me an estimate. . ." and then when they call me back just
say "Oh go ahead and fix it for a total of $117" instead of the $193
I will now be paying and be at the same exact place.    I cannot
figure out where I went wrong in this procedure.    Some how I feel
like I am getting the short end of the stick.

His sign, by the way says,  Diagnosis $65.    He is labor rate is $65
per hour.   It does not say Diagnosis $65 per hour.

Comments and guidance would be appreciated !

Should I have just taken my car home, had my husband replace the air
intake boot, and then taken it back for more diagnosis ?

Should I have left it for repairs, paid for everything, and then paid
them for the additional diagnosis ?

Should I just go pick it up after they repair the air intake boot and
take it elsewhere ?

What, next time, should I do in order for the business owner to feel
that they are being treated fairly and myself at the time time feel I
am not being taken advantage of when I watch other people walk in and
out, gather information and not pay.

And also, would it really have taken over an hour to determine
something which to an experienced mechanic might seem obvious ?

Thanks,   Fay

     "Create a great day !"

                                                        ^. .^   ~

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