I have generally horrible experiences with mechanics...dealer or independent so I typically do everything out of warranty myself. However, this happened yesterday.
My wife was driving the Miata to work right at the beginning of rush hour. She's stopped on a hill in a left turn lane and when the light turns green the engine blips then drops to idle. Throttle's gone. She manages to coax it up the hill and into a lot, feathering the clutch at idle in first.
She pulls in and calls me. Then calls me again. Then texts me. Then calls me again. See, being the awesome husband that I am, I had my phone turned off.
Not one to be stopped by something as silly as a car that won't go, she decides to ring up Geico roadside assistance. They answer immediately and send a tow truck her way.
Figuring that she'll be sitting there a while, she pulls up Yelp! to see if maybe there's a nearby garage that gets good reviews to have it towed to, otherwise she'd be sending it home for me to look at this weekend. Turns out that there is one about half a mile from her work. She's surprised when a tow rolls in, less than ten minutes after she got off the phone with Geico.
She decides to have the car towed to the shop. They arrive at ~7am, but the shop doesn't open until 8:30. The door is locked, but just in case she calls their number...maybe someone is in the office. It's answered, turns out that when they're closed the manager or owner (not really sure which) has the shop's calls forwarded to his personal phone. She explains the situation and he goes "don't worry, I'll come right down so you can get to work". He shows up less than 15 minutes later, takes the keys, and tells her "We'll get to it first thing, and if we haven't called you by noon with a diagnosis give us a call and ask what the hell is taking so long".
So around 10:30 I finally look at my phone and see about 15 phone calls and a pile o' texts from her. Read the texts and figure 90% that the throttle cable got fed up with being stomped on and just snapped. Step out of my meeting and call her back.
She walks me through the whole thing, where the car was, etc. I ask her to give me their number so I can call and see what's up. She goes: "I've handled it well enough so far, just tell me how much it should cost so I can throw a fit if they try to rip me off just because I'm a girl".
See, the throttle cable is kind of a bitch to get to since the bracket is buried underneath the supercharger hardware.
Since they have some disassembly (or contortion) ahead, I figure they'll charge an hour to an hour and a half for labor plus the cable, plus the always amazing 'shop supplies' fee. Labor is ~90 in this area so 1.5 hours would be 135 plus parts and fees so I say, don't let them go over 150.
Just after noon she calls me back. Final bill was 60 bucks AND they threw in the state inspection which costs 16$s and is always a bitch to get for the car. For whatever reason it throws an impossible to diagnose P0120 code randomly on the day of the inspection EVERY SINGLE TIME and I know for a fact that when they looked at it there was one stored. So they must have cleared the code and passed it even though it hadn't run a full OBDII emissions cycle. Saved me multiple trips to the inspection station and lots of frustration.
Pretty good deal if you ask me.
Here she is after making it home: