Monday, April 8, 2013

Deja vu all over again....

We've all heard those stories of auto mechanics ripping off women, right?  You know, "....and the air in your tires was worn out, so we had to replace it.  Oh, and the viscosity of your headlight fluid was waaaaay low, so we fixed that, too, while we were at it."

I for one just laughed when I heard of those stories....I didn't believe them....until it happened to my wife. It was back during one of the Bush Administrations when K took her car in for an oil change.  It seems she had never heard of the term "upselling".  (Today when you look it up in Webster's Dictionary you'll see the definition and K's picture right beside it.)

SHE:  "....and I had my oil changed today.  It was fun.  I got to sit in this nice room stocked full of vintage magazines, and I got to watch TV, too."

ME:  "Well, that's nice, dear."

SHE:  "Yes, and it only took about an hour, and costs $248.  I paid with the debit card."

ME:  "Umm....wait....oil change?....$248?  TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY EIGHT AMERICAN DOLLARS?"

SHE:  "Uh huh."

ME:  "Damn!  What kind of oil did they sell you?"

SHE:  "I dunno, but the nice man explained it's a very special kind required for Toyota 4-cylinder 'internal combustion' engines.  And thank goodness he noticed that my engine was suffocating." 

ME:  "Umm....suffocating?"

SHE:  "It seems there's a filter that cleans the air that goes into the engine.  Mine was dusty, and they just happened to have a new one sitting on a shelf in the back, so he installed it for me."

ME:  *I should have known better, but I had to ask anyway.*  "How much was that?"

SHE:  "$49.95"

ME:  "DOH!"

And that was the last time she was allowed to visit a mechanic.*

Fast forward to April, 7 2013.   K was going to run errands, do a little shopping, and get her car washed.  Sounded innocent enough, right?

SHE:  (Later that afternoon) "....and I bought these dresses....all on sale!  And the car looks great....$44."

ME:  " paid $44 for a car wash?  OMG!  They must have seen your picture on the 'Easy Mark' Wall of Shame".

SHE:  "But they vacuumed out the inside, too, AND put Armour All on the tires."

ME:  "DOH!"

But I love her anyway.  ;)


*And no, I don't think that was the old "incompetence" trick guys use to get out of vacuuming or doing the laundry.



  1. I do often get the add-ons they recommend even though it's likely snake oil. It's likely not to hurt anything. What I hate about these newfangled cars is the air filters and such are so hard to change yourself that I just said the heck with it and let the oil change place do it.

  2. Usually I'm more likely to be suspicious & not let them do extra stuff, but our air filter is such a pain that I think they cringe when I say YES go for it! Ha!

    I LOVE my car, but I'm never buying a Saturn again (I know, they're dead now anyway). It always costs $1,000 to fix anything...

  3. I good honest mechanic is worth his weight in gold.

  4. With us, it's almost the other way around. My husband still wonders how I finagled getting lifetime free oil changes from a dealership (I hadn't even bought the car there).

    Whenever he needs/wants a new car, he just turns to me and asks, "Which one do I want?" Then I pick out three or four cars for him and let him decide after a test drive. So far, so good.

  5. Since I know so little about cars I tend to fall for these types of step up charges. Fortunately our son is a mechanic and keeps us from being ripped off too much. He's even shown me how to check the oil!

  6. I'm sure the wives have stories about our lack of awareness on a lot of other stuff, though.

    My wife's area of blindness is signing up for "free estiimates" or "chance to win whole-house window replacements" when we visit consumer shows. She never seems to realize that this is just a foot in the door for salespeople to begin calling and emailing you.

    And for some reason, she always lists MY email address.