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No Matter What You Need Fixed, It’s $238

Earlier today, I had to bring my vehicle to the dealer for a safety recall repair.  A little inconvenient, but at no charge to me. But it’s never free.

I got the notice in the mail.  Doing most of my bill paying online, I don’t open much of my mail, but SAFETY RECALL NOTICE catches your attention.  It said that there have been some instances of crashes due to some part rusting out before they should. I don’t know what part, but it sounded like something I should act on, so I made the appointment with the dealer to bring it in.

So, I’m sitting in the waiting room waiting for my free work to be done, when the clerk comes out with a clipboard. Clipboards are never good.  He says that while they were fixing the recalled part, they discovered that my brakes were worn and needed to be replaced.  All together, parts and labor, $238. Good morning to you too sir! Wait, didn’t I just get my brakes done? Or was that the front? I couldn’t remember on the spot.  I declined, figuring anywhere else HAS to be cheaper than the dealer, but it got me thinking.

How many times have I been to a mechanic, many of them in different cities over the years and had the same thing happen? I go in for one thing, they find another immediate problem, and guess what, it’s going to cost me $238.

mechanic
Jonesemyr's via flickr

Not exactly $238, but around that.  Maybe it’s $215, maybe $271, but somewhere north of $200 and south of 3 bills.  The sweet spot.  The amount most of us can come up with in cash or credit, but not too much to cause us to freak out and leave.  Some guy with a spreadsheet figured this out years ago, and we’ve been taking the hit since.

So now I have to go get a second opinion, but I’m not sure if I should even bother.  I know it will be $238.

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