Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just another woman driver

Good morning, readers. I am not going to bore you with a play-by-play of the weekend, but I do want to share this highlight. First, my car has some front end issues from a curb getting in the way about a year ago. I noticed that the tires on the front had just about worn to bald and decided to finally have it checked out. You know, I just figured that every car I ever own would have a slight off-center characteristic for the steering wheel. Well, I took it to Christian Brother Automotive in Burleson. I feel almost blasphemous talking poorly of them. Its like this, a mechanic is a mechanic. Hopefully, you find one that cares enough about integrity and repeat business to be honest. I thought with the name of Christian Brothers, it was a no-brainer that this is what I would find there. So, here is my opinion. The place has a gorgeous lobby and waiting area. The gentleman at the front desk offers coffee and beverages while you wait. There is contemporary Christian music playing over head. All-in-all, it is a comfortable experience. So, I take the car to them. Imagine my elation when the gentleman tells me there is nothing wrong with the front end. He tells me to replace the balding tires and they will do the alignment. Praise be! I was ecstatic. Well, I budgeted the $500 to replace the tires and returned to do the alignment. My car was in the bay for about 30 minutes when the same gentleman that told me nothing was wrong came out to tell me they couldn't do the alignment. "You smacked something pretty hard on that right side, didn't you?" "Uh, yes. I told you that I hit a curb." He explained to me that the right strut was really bent and that it needed to be replaced and if you replace the right, you need to do the left. He handed me the estimate. My eyes popped out. I said, "No. What I need to do is go home and think about whether or not this is the wisest way for me to spend $900 right now." He chuckled at me like I was making the worst decision of my life and I went home. I really feel like this is a gross mis-use of the Christian philosophy. I know I can't speak for everyone at every facility but it is unfortunate that this experience has tainted my opinion. I mulled this over for about a week and started exploring other options. The picture above is a gentleman's card that I picked up on Friday. Harold was extremely pleasant and felt very honest. He offered to replace both struts (if I provide the parts) for $240. From what I have priced, I should be able to pick up the parts for a little over $200. He also told me that he is willing to replace the right one first if I am in a monetary bind. He suggested that I do both and get it aligned. He also told me that replacing the right and aligning would cause it to need a full alignment again when I replace the left. See? He talked to me. He gave me information and options and reasons why or why not. THAT is how to get my woman business if you are a mechanic. Don't just shake your head and tell me what I need to do like you are striking out the commandments on a tablet. My advice here is that if you are in the area, Harold is a good guy. I am planning on getting my car up to him in a couple of weeks so I can drive straight again.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it is much better to replace both at the same time, and yes, you will need another alignment when they are done. However, you are right, the difference between a good mechanic and a great one lies in the explanations. Sounds like this Harold guy is not only an excellent mechanic, but an honest one as well.
    Good luck with the repairs, and congratulations on finding someone trustworthy to care for your car!!
    - Uncle Sean