This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The ridiculousness of reparing older cars

Recently my car began sounding like a tractor. Not being one of those “look-at-me-momma-I'm-making-some-noise” kind of people, I took the car in to the dealer. Having been through that sort of thing many times before with other cars, I was therefore completely unprepared for the estimate: $715 + tax. I have never in my life received an estimate like that for exhaust work. Even from the dealer, the estimate had always been in the $300-$400 range, and I've always thought it was too much.

It turns out that the dealer refuses to just replace the component that went bad, in this case the resonator, this being a stainless-steel exhaust. They want to pull the whole thing and replace it. Apparently, they ship them from the factory pre-assembled, and it never occurs to anyone that $715 + tax is a tad too much for this sort of thing. A quick trip to an independent garage next door to the office rectified that, however, and now, for the cost of $155.71(including tax), my car now sounds the way it did when I first bought it. They cut out my old resonator and replaced it with a new one. Will it last as long as a factory one will? History suggests that it probably won't. But the car is now 6 years old, and if it lasts for another 2, I'll be happy. Maybe then I'll think about replacing the whole thing, depending on the car's condition.

This reminds me of the time I couldn't make the dealer understand that it made no logical sense to spend $1500 on replacing a busted air conditioner on a car that was then 6 years old and had 220,000 kilometers on it. $350 is what an independent garage charged me, and it lasted till I got rid of the car at 270,000 kilometers.

The moral of the story is that whenever the dealer tells you you have to replace 6 of something when only 2 are busted, don't just accept it, get a second opinion.

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