Media Watch: The Sharyl Attkisson approach
Sick: The feeling you get when you take your car in to get its rear passenger brake light and turn signal fixed, and also to get the mechanic to investigate a slight on and off burning scent you sometimes smell when you’ve been driving your car for more than thirty minutes, only to find out later the repair for it all – including the new timing belt you need – will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $900.
Not only that, but the timing belt has a part that it attaches to that was “rough” and the mechanic suggested it be replaced. It’s a part they had to order, and when it came in this afternoon come to find out it was the wrong part. The car manufacturer has supposedly changed the part number so many times, and the right part number led to the mechanic finding out that the new part number included a new kit that came with the part, which costs around $600, and would mean the mechanic had to undo everything already done to my car in order to install it, which would have cost another $400 in labor.
They can use the old part, but can’t give me a time frame on how long they think it will last, and there’s a possibility the new timing belt could break without the new part (or maybe it’s the old part may not work long with the new timing belt. I can’t remember).
I told him I’d cross that bridge when/if it came to it. If I were to go with everything they are asking me to do today, it would cost me $1900.
My car is almost 8 years old – I’ve had it for 7. It’s been a good car, and I haven’t had to have any major repairs done to it, outside of the usual brake and tire replacements, so I figured it was due. But to have it hit me all at once? I don’t want a new car, either. I have no car payments on this one, which is the way I want – and, frankly need – it right now. But I also don’t want to keep sinking $$ into it if it continues to act up.
I’m suspicious about this part that supposedly has the new kit attached to it. The car manufacturer stopped making cars like mine in 2005. Why would they “update” a part for a car they no longer make? It seems like it would make more sense just to use the existing parts rather than make a new one for it. Something about the whole thing doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t know much of anything about the inside of a car (other than how to drive it) but the whole story just sounds fishy.
Dad’s coming to get me from the 8-5 and is going to talk to the mechanic in about 30 minutes. Should be an interesting grilling.
I’ll be back later tonight to update.