Reader Question: Mr. Honest Mechanic,
I have 1994 Mazda Protege car with 125,160 miles. I know **exactly beans** about cars, but have never been completely happy with any repair experience and could tell long stories about each. I have at least three major repair issues now and a host of other things I believe have been caused or exacerbated by half-done repair.
Being female, I am treated poorly and dishonestly at times. My latest perceived dishonesty incident happened at a Goodyear Service Center.
I complained that my heater and AC were not working. The service manager got my authorization to address the problem by replacing my thermostat and heater sensor assembly. I am out $200+ and I still have the problem. I am fighting, but he maintains that the service performed was necessary to get to the real repair, which he says is the head gaskets.
(1) I think a really competent mechanic would have not been near the radiator, thermostat, or heater sensor. What is your opinion about my overall experience?
(2) Is there a good way I can move from knowing nothing about my car to fixing it myself?
Thank you very much.
Hey there Natalie,
Can you tell me more specifically what the problem was you took the car in for service in the first place and what the problem is now after the repair was made if it is any different?
Goodyear is not a place I would recommend for serious repairs like head gaskets or hard to diagnose electrical problems. They are fine with the light stuff like brakes, belts, hoses, etc. but that is about the extent of their real ability.
You can get an online auto repair manual for your car and learn how to do a few things yourself. But do you REALLY want to? I would rather see you find an honest mechanic that you can trust and that will look after your best interests.
Most franchise stores like Goodyear have high employee turn over and might not be the best place to take your car on a regular basis. I would talk to friends and co-workers to get their recommendations. Do not worry about price. An honest mechanic who charges a little higher labor rate will usually SAVE you money in the long and short run.
I did write this ebook awhile back which could also help you find a good mechanic. But it is not going to tell you how to repair your own car.