You ever get the feeling that you’re being hosed, but there is nothing you can do about it? Yea, that’s how I felt. And now I’ve confirmed it. So here’s my story…I have an emissions problem that fails my Volvo at the DC Inspection. I take it to the closest auto shop to my home – trying to give the local guys some business. He charges $250 for an inspection to determine what the cause of the problem is, and then when I hear from him about the problem — $530 more to fix the problem.
I sense that I’m being hosed, but am really faced with two bad options: (1) eat the $250 and bring the car to another shop — risking that the next shop may then charge their own $250 to diagnose the problem or (2) let this guy take my money. Unfortunately, I chose the later because had I taken my car to another shop a few blocks away, I probably would have walked out of there for less than the cost of 10th Street’s “diagnostic fee.”
Bottom line, good mechanics don’t try to trap you in their service with outrageous “diagnostic fees.” A good mechanic will incorporate those fees into the price of their overall service.
Having built a relationship with a neighboring mechanic, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help solve another problem — and are not charging me for it — I realize that 10th Street hosed me on the cost to fix my very minor emissions problem.
There are plenty of other mechanics on the Hill in DC. Go there, not here.