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Guys, one of you must know this!

 
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 09:45 am
Alright, my car (Honda Accord EX 1991) is in the shop right now and I am fuming with anger. They are exchanging the directional switch for the blinkers. I got a used one over the weekend in a used car parts shop, where the nice guy showed me exactly how to get inside the steering wheel mechanism, how to detach it, replace it, and all. He claimed the whole things should not take more than 1/2 hour. The shop claims that just taking the steering wheel apart and figuring things out is one hour (fine, after all, i wouldn't know it's the directional switch if they hadn't figured that out), but they also claim it will be additional 2.5 hours to replace it and put the thing together! 2.5! I told them I think it is excessive and that I was told not to pay for more than an hour of labor, but the shop claims I owe them that money already, for even if they didn't do anything, it would be 3 hours of work altogether.

are they trying to rip me off because i am a clueless woman or was the other guy wrong and i should calm down and fork over the $175 they want and be glad?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,936 • Replies: 19
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 09:55 am
1/2 and hour seems awfully fast to replace it but 3 1/2 hours seems a bit long (I have to replace mine in my truck and I was figuring 2 to 3 hours to do it myself). Most of the garages around here use a repair estimate guide that has set times for pretty much any repair you can think of and stick with the estimated times regarless of how long it actually takes them.

Unfortunately, in situations like these you are usually at the mercy of the shop. Sad
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 09:59 am
I figured. Thanks, fishin, I'll try to be nicer to them. I wasn't mean, I just gasped when he said the whole thing is 3.5 hours (after the other guy said it can't be more than 1/2 hour to an hour). I explained to him that that's way over my budget right now, but the car was taken apart already and they insist i pay. and i do want the blinkers to work...
all in all, i just got myself a honda accord ex manual for that year of a car and am going to educate myself, so i don't feel so powerless next time. am thinking of replacing the driver window motor myself.... maybe i'm shooting too high?
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Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:07 am
There is a National Public Radio program named "Car Talk" with "Click & Clack, the Tappet Brothers" which originates in Boston. I was listening to a program a few years ago, and the told how they had sent first a woman, and then a man, to the same mechanics, with the same car, and reporting the same problem. Invariably, the mechanics quote a price two or three times as hight to the women, and sometimes more; they also routinely told the woman that certain parts would need to be replaced, but did not tell that the man, with the same care, same problem.

I'd say that first, mechanics often rip off everyone; and second, that they often attempt to exploit what they consider to be the mechanical ignorance of women. I am fortunate enough to have good mechanics who will tell me: "You don't need that," and who call me if they find something we did not discuss. They return to me all parts which are replaced. Most of the routine maintenance stuff i do myself, tune-ups, etc., although i'm too lazy to do the oil change myself--i take it to the shop for that.
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roger
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:08 am
I can only add that time is often underestimated by the person not doing the work, but their statement that "just taking the steering wheel apart and figuring things out is one hour" is not much of a confidence builder. Knowing how to do the job without "figuring things out" is why you pay them isstead of figuring it out yourself.
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Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:09 am
Changing that window motor is not actually difficult, it is just time consuming and requires you to be painstaking. I helped a friend of mine do that for his Toyota a couple of years ago. It does take time, and labor costs would be hight. I encourage to follow that path, and getting the help of any mechanically inclined woman or man you know would go a long way to making you more comfortable with doing you own repairs, and discussing repairs with mechanics.
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:09 am
If you have some time and the inclination why not tinker with it yourself? Smile A window motor should be fairly easy to replace with some basic handtools. Plus, even if it takes you longer than you expect you can still drive the car until you piece it back together again.

But, I do feel your pain. My truck was making a slight grinding noise over the last week so I took in in to the garage this morning and they called with a $550 estimate for repairs. The labor rates are outragous around here at garages.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:13 am
Ooooh, no, roger, i mean it took them an hour to take it apart and figure out why the blinker didn't work - which could have been a number of things. I guess i was too mad and painted them in evilest colors. I should have called Car Talk first and gotten that manual in the first place, now i'm stuck for i wasn't prepared. BUT, the mechanic did try to convince me I brought the wrong part and that he needs to install the new part instead, which I flatly refused - he held the non-working part from my car in his hand and the part i brought in the other hand and tried to claim the part i brought is bigger and different. it was identical!!! <%^$#$%&^%!!!!> which he had to admitted after awhile of arguing. so i do not have a good feeling and will probably never go back.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:16 am
yup, fishin, from now on i will do as much as i can myself. a friend of mine wanted to establish a women empowerment circle of automechanics, kind of a self-help and support group for women who want to know their cars and not get ripped off constantly. will call her up and see if that ever materialized. if not, now is the time, darn it!
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:18 am
Too bad you don't live in Columbus, Ohio--you could just have taken it to the lesbian mechanics over by second avenue . . . they'd hook you up and make some timely political diatribes against mechanics with penises . . .
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:19 am
Check with your local Adult Ed Dept or recreation Dept too! I know my town runs courses on basic automotive care and some light repairs. Some of them are specifially geared towards women.

You can do a lot of stuff yourself if you have some time, the patience and enough confidence in yourself. Wink
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:20 am
hahaha, and maybe my entire life from then on would be completely different!
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:21 am
yes, with my luck, fishin, such course will be run by that same mechanic that is trying to charge me million dollars.
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Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:25 am
Here ya go, Dag, a link for Alternative Auto Care, as well as car rental, and many other services targeting the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Whatever-i-left-out community.
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:27 am
dagmaraka wrote:
yes, with my luck, fishin, such course will be run by that same mechanic that is trying to charge me million dollars.


Well, if you'd rather - I've been looking for a "project truck" to strip down and restore. When I find the one I want I'll let you know and you can come up and rebuild the engine and transmission on it while I watch and give pointers from the lawn chair in between my sipping lemonade. Wink
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:29 am
errrr. i think i'll try the manual first before i have to resort to the lesbian auto care. nothing against it, but i find it easier to bat my lashes at a guy!
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eoe
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:38 am
chuckle chuckle
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:44 am
fishin, you're on. i charge 5 bucks per hour though! with a truck, it may take me anywhere between 1000 and 5000 hours...
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:53 am
Shocked Shocked Wot?!? All the hotdogs you can eat and iced tea you can drink wasn't enough??

*grumble* Damn mechanics.


*snicker*
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 10:56 am
hotdogs are fine. can i get a pilsner urquell instead? after all, i am a classy lady, i don't drink just ice tea.
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