A year ago, when I made the trek to Calaveras Big Trees for the first time, I found myself fearing for my own safety and that of YaYa’s when the MommyVan failed to respond as vehicles should. Namely, the steering shaked and shimmied while slowing to make the numerous turns on the winding road to the park. The fact that there is little to no cellular reception did not help matters. I was a basket case when we finally pulled into camp. Thankfully, I was caravaning with another family.
Not wanting to live through that experience again, I was motivated to take the car into the shop for its overdue oil change and scheduled maintenance. The quoted cost of the suggested checks and balances (repairs as needed) was difficult to swallow however. I did not have time to shop around, felt way out-of-the-know on whether the proposed work was really needed. I certainly wondered I was simply being taken advantage of because I was of the female persuasion.
Then, as if he’d read my mind (or blog), Service Guy called to report that my power steering fluid was VERY dark. When I asked how urgent the issue is, I was told that the $120 repair could wait until the next service…unless I was “taking a long road trip or traveling some place where it is really hot.” *sigh*
I swallowed hard and authorized the additional servicing. Then I sent an email to my Smart Guy Friend to complain. After a few back-and-forths, my friend put a new twist on the female gender thing. He wrote “Use that female gender, along with your beautiful smile to get them back down in price…” He even offered some wording to help me suggest that another garage could do the “same work” for “almost two hundred dollars less” and urged me to ask if there was anything that could be done to be “more competitive” and prevent me from going elsewhere.
I liked the plan but was unsure how well I’d be able to pull it off. I’m horrible with this stuff.