Small town mechanics vs. city

In general, I prefer city life to where I grew up, with the obvious exception of being close to family and friends. You can go out to places after 9 p.m. if you so choose, you don’t have to worry about the grocery store closing at 3:30 on Sundays, and you don’t have to drive 25 miles to go see a movie. More so, there are theatres that will show Wes Anderson movies the very weekend they come out, and other movies not in wide release.

Anyway. The downside to moving to a city is you have to start a lot of things all over. I may have been here a year and a half now, but I’m still re-building. For example, earlier today I picked up my contact lenses from my eye doctor – in Zanesville. Ten miles from my college. So during my first month in Columbus, I had to find a new bank, a new cell phone service provider, and a new place to get an oil change. In this last matter, I asked SNP’s Tim Krumlauf for advice, since he was getting his car taken in that day or whatever. He was very gruff about it, and for several weeks, I was terrified of Tim. SNPers know this is silly, because Tim is actually a big teddy bear and is to be loved, not feared.

For nine months, I took my car to the same place. After I started at my current job, I found another franchise of the same chain. But this Saturday, I needed to get my car’s oil change before making the trek to Cleveland to attend Legs’s wedding. I took it to the closest place to my apartment, and wow, am I sorry I did. The new place talked me into getting the Super Duper Oil Change package and the only reason I agreed to it was because they said something about a tire alignment and that phrase registered somewhere in my tiny brain as something Brandon had said was VERY VERY important.

I asked them to have it done by 2 so I could leave for Cleveland, but they were still working on it when I came back after 2:15. They proceeded to tell me all of the TERRIBLE THINGS that were currently wrong with my car and made me feel like I would die on the side of the road if I didn’t hand them $1,600 for the laundry list of repairs they’d made while I was away. I actually got really mad at them and asked them frankly if it was likely I would die in a crash if I took my car, as is, to Cleveland that day and drove it back, because I really very seriously needed to leave like right then. They said no, but you need to come back, and we can get all this fixed and you can put it on our brand of credit card and pay it off in three months with no interest. Now, I will be the first to admit I don’t know much (read: anything) about cars, and I am sure they are well aware of this, but they had no right to try and scare me into a lot of unnecessary work. The economy’s tough on us all, boys.

I said thanks, but no thanks, now I really have to go. They took their good old time checking me out at the register, as if I might change my mind, and I left there with my blood boiling. As soon as I pulled away in my car, I could tell it was running differently. It made a horrible grinding/crunching sound whenever I turned, and I thought about their threats of my imminent death along I-270 as I drove the six blocks home.

As a result, Brandon drove his car to Cleveland instead. He called and complained on my behalf (I am a wuss) and they told him to bring it back Sunday before 6 if we got back in time. We didn’t, so I took my car in this morning before work. They opened at 7, and I was there and ready. Some guy went ahead of me, but they told me it wouldn’t take long. Two hours later, I left, very seriously late for an event I had to cover in Zanesville at 10. They fixed the sound, but I still am suspicious that they may have messed up my car so I’d have to come back. Call me paranoid, but it happens all the time. In any event, that was the most expensive “oil change” I’ve ever paid for, reaching a total of $85 by the end of the ordeal.

This brings me back to my hometown. We went to the same mechanic shop for everything, and my parents knew we could trust them. They wouldn’t try to sell you on crap, and they were honest with you about the timeframe you had to get something corrected. When I went to college in an even smaller town, we had a mechanic there who was a good person as well. My mom sent me there whenever something needed done because she knew they wouldn’t take advantage of my ignorance. I wish the same could be said for other mechanics, but it just can’t. I do know that I will never be taking my car to that certain chain ever again, and they’ve lost a customer forever. Two, if you count Brandon.

There. Two cars, that’ll shake ’em to their cores. Yeah.

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4 thoughts on “Small town mechanics vs. city

  1. Just out of curiosity, what was this chain? I had a terrible experience with a chain as well and am curious if it’s the same one.

  2. Oh, and I totally feel your pain. My dad was always my go-to guy for EVERYTHING car related because he used to be a mechanic, and I had a great place in Cambridge I’d go because they were awesome…le sigh. I still go to my eye doctor and regular doctor in Cambridge, and drive the 2 hours every time I need an appointment. I can’t bring myself to start over, haha.

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