The Quality Of The Front Will Send Them To The Back

, , , , , | Working | May 4, 2018

(I am 19 and have bought a truck that is about ten years old. It looks bad on the outside, but I know it is sound mechanically. I take my mother with me to pick it up. On the way home, she insists on taking it to a national chain oil change store where she will pay to have it done, even though I already know my way around cars, and have done major engine work on previous vehicles I have owned. I think she just doesn’t want to take the chance I will spill oil on her new driveway. While in the waiting room, the mechanic comes up to us.)

Mechanic: “Okay, I am very glad you brought this in. It is in bad shape. It is not safe to drive.”

(My mother is visibly upset.)

Me: “Excuse me. What are you talking about? It is fine mechanically.”

Mechanic: “Listen, son. I know my business.” *he turns to my mother* “This thing is a death trap. I am surprised it even got here without crashing. The front end is totally shot. Your steering—”

Me: “Hold on. I do know quite a bit about cars. I have been working on them with my father since I was old enough to hold a wrench, and there is nothing wrong with the front end. It drives just fine.”

Mechanic: *ignores me and continues talking to my mother* “Listen. If you want to endanger your son’s life, you go right ahead and listen to him. I can give you a great deal and redo the front end for around $700. Be a mother and protect your son.”

(At this point, I about lose it. My mother is about to do it when I tell her they are lying. I tell the mechanic the car is in my name and I refuse to allow them to do any work on it. We pay for the oil change and leave. My mother is terribly upset, so I drive out of my way to a mechanic’s shop that is owned by a man I know my mother would trust. I do not tell him about what we were told, but ask him to do a quick check on the lift.)

Friend: “Oh, man. You got a good deal on this. She looks great underneath the hood.”

Me: “How about the front end?”

Friend: “Oh, it looks great. I can tell it was rebuilt less than three or four months ago. You really did good with this.”

(The other business closed within a year as their reputation quickly spread through the town for being dishonest and continually — accidentally, of course — leaving the oil caps off the engines after oil changes. You would think a national chain would be smarter and more careful in who they hire. Guess not.)

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