Thursday, September 07, 2006

And onto the 4Runner. It's still in the shop. Not the original, dealer shop, oh no. It did go there first (hence the 12K price tag - for parts only), but after the guy tried selling me a new car just seconds after he told me that this one wasn't worth fixing, I smelled a rat and told him we'd be picking it up.

So I lied. A tow truck came and took it away to a transmission shop, whose name I took from the phone book. Not my usual M.O. when spending a gazillion dollars on repairs but desperate times call for desperate measures. Plus, when I called him back to ask him to pick the car up at the dealer's, he said "Hey Dad, when do you want to go get that Toyota?" A mechanic who works with his dad? Perfect. Or I hope so. I'm not a fan of a garage where the oldest employee is 23 or where the cashier takes your money and his fingernails are grease free. Uh-uh.

Sadly, Joe called me yesterday. The engine is also ill and engines aren't his thing. He almost let me tow it away to another, much more reputable but 20 miles away, Toyota dealer...with a warning to be careful, that he was worried I'd be throwing good money after bad (or is it the other way around) and that I should be able to get an estimate from them before I bring it in. He told me to stick to what I know about the problem and not let them bully me. (I, at this point, am beginning to like Joe, whose wife, he tells me, is a Kindergarten teacher)

He, in passing, mentioned that he had spoken to his friend, his engine fixin' friend whose name is Manny, and that it's probably a head gasket, because Manny knows all about these things, so make sure I tell them all that I know. I inquire if perhaps Manny would be interested in fixing my car...and Joe? He actually sounds pleasantly surprised. Of course, he says, I'll call him and bring your car over to him this morning and I won't charge you for anything until we hear what Manny has to say. (Did I mention that he's charging me only $100.00 for a tow and hours worth of work??) The name of Manny's shop? Manny's Family Automotive.

Could it be? Could I have actually, FINALLY, found some honest and honest-to-god mechanics? See, yesterday I said I wouldn't jinx myself anymore...and here I go again...optimism is just so hard to beat down.

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