Free or Not Free


I write mostly about what it means to get the most from your mechanic, but this isn’t a one way street. You have a play a role and be a good customer as well.


Case in point:

We were fixing another classic truck that had many issues. I called the customer and gave her a price, but explained it doesn’t include one of the issues, the lack of heat. She approves the repair so we go ahead with the job. After we get the vehicle running we address the lack of heat issue and we diagnose it as a fairly simple heater hose repair for a total of $43. I called her and explain that it’s a minor repair and can fix it for the $43. She replied with a long winded account of how she’s already approved the amount and she can’t have the bill keep going up…blah, blah, blah. I let her go on for awhile and finally I say, “Look, it’s basically $43 for heat, do you want heat for $43 or not?” After hemming and hawing, her answer was, “Um, yes.”

$43 for heat back in your car would be a good deal to most people, apparently not her. A little appreciation for finding a simple inexpensive fix would have been a nice simple “Thank you”. Don’t go on and on and on. Work WITH your mechanic not against them, it’s best to have a good relationship that can benefit you over the long haul.

david truck

There are many small things that need repair on this particular vehicle (not the beautiful one pictured) and my guys already did a few of them (gratis). After her behavior I wasn’t feeling very generous though.


Keep your emotions in check if you can.



About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses.
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1 Response to Free or Not Free

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