My Faith in Humanity, Restored by Mechanics

I hate taking my cars to mechanics; I feel like I’m setting myself up to get screwed. I’d do the work myself but I can’t. I don’t have the equipment, the know-how, and I can’t seem to do even “simple” things on cars without getting upset, hurting myself, and swearing. So for me, mechanics are a necessary evil. I have to trust them to fix what’s broken, only what’s broken, and not break anything else in the process. Maybe that’s how other people feel about lawyers, doctors, and other experts. If so, my sympathies…

Recently, my aging Honda Odyssey decided it needed another transmission. Not wanting to pay the higher cost of dealers, I took it to Dave’s Trans Action Transmission. After telling me I needed a remanufactured transmission, Dave’s told me that if they installed the transmission, I would get a warranty on the parts, but if a Honda dealer did it, I would get a warranty on both parts and labor.

After investigating the cost difference, I decided it was worth having Beaverton Honda do the work. Immediately upon getting my car back, the check engine light went on. I returned the car to the dealer this morning so they could read the error code with their diagnostic computer. As I sat in their waiting area, I wondered what they’d done to my car and how much more I’d have to pay to them.

After a few minutes, Mark came in to tell me the news. It’s not the transmission; it’s the catalytic converter. They can’t get the error code to stay cleared without replacing the converter. The car won’t pass emissions testing with the error code present. The car has to pass emissions testing before I can renew its registration. He concluded by reminding me my registration expires next month. A perfect storm of events. Wow, this guy’s good selling his services.

Mark then recommended that I take my business elsewhere. What?! That’s right. An exhaust shop can replace my converter for a fraction of what he would charge. As he said, there are a lot of repair jobs that should be done at the dealer, but replacing a catalytic converter isn’t one of them.

Two mechanics, in as many weeks, diagnosed my car and told me I could get better results elsewhere. Is it Christmas already?

Thanks, Dave’s and Beaverton Honda.

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Author: Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.

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