Well hello! Between the worst mechanic stories the past few days and Tavarish's working on your own car post I remembered a recent story I wanted to share. Now, I'm generally my own mechanic. Not to boast, but I'm on of the best I know (I have no friends), so when a problem comes up I'm quick to fix it. However, one thing I can't fix on my own is a tire alignment.
I drive a Chrysler Crossfire - they're finicky, but I finally had found a shop that treated me nicely and did a good, simple tire alignment with no "you have to install some blinker fluid." Now, my car developed a pull over the winter that was reminiscent of a NASCAR car blowing a tire, except it happened constantly. So I go to this shop and tell them what's up, and they say no problem.
There were about 3 cars in this 5 bay place, so comically I waited 4 hours for them to put my car on a lift for 5 minutes to come back and tell me that my tires were bald, the wheel bearings broken, my 'steering shaft' about to explode, and basically that it was insanely dangerous to drive. So he starts drawing up the bill: "Oh yeah it'll be about $200 per side for those bearings and I can get some tires for about $200 each and that steering shaft MAN I DON'T EVEN KNOW."
But when I pressed him for more information, or to show me any of that, he started stuttering and making hand gestures to explain what a steering shaft looks like. THEN HE TELLS ME, hey bud, I'll open a line of credit for you and you can pay for all of this later. To which I promptly replied "give the keys back." To which he grinningly said "Drive safe!"
Anyway, I took it to another shop, turns out the brand new tires I bought for one side were so new they were throwing the other side off due to a tread difference, so I bought two new tires for the other side (dumb in retrospect) and literally every problem went away. The tip off should have been how many irate customers I saw while waiting - but I guess the tl;dr is: Get second opinions if you don't trust a mechanic's prescription, and find a good, trustworthy shop.