A week ago I received a gift certificate in the mail for a free oil change at a local garage. I thought "what the hell, the oil is about due to be changed in my car" so I made an appointment.
After having my car on the rack for an hour the mechanic told me that I basically needed to rebuild the front suspension on my car. The most important repair being new inner and outer tie rods (don't you just love it when I talk car?) at a cost of $500, for just the tie rods and labor! When all was said and done I ended up with a laundry list of recommended repairs.
Feeling completely frustrated about the entire experience I decided to get a second opinion. I took the car to my parents mechanic. I explained what I wanted him to check and mentioned that I wasn't paying $500 for a $300 job (after having done some research on the cost of parts, the "pickle fork" needed to remove the tie rods and how long the job should take).
He called today and it turns out that all I need are the outer tie rod ends and he recommended changing the serpentine belt. All of this will cost me less than half of what the original "mechanic" (and crook is probably a better word) was planning to charge me.
Side note: my parent's just got their car back from this mechanic after having the AC redone and it was $200 less than they expected it to be.I'm definitely going to give this guy a chance and if he proves as trustworthy as has been reported so far (by several different people) then I've found myself a new mechanic. Better than gold sometimes.
P.S. I recommended that Moose call him regarding the radiator on her car. We'll see what happens.