SOAPBOX: Mechanics

Many auto mechanics are generally ignorant, inept, uncaring or fraudulent, depending on how vindictive ones feels.

I have had a really bad oil leak in Jeep for 10 years, from one to two quarts per tank of gas. I knew it was a leak, not a matter of burning the oil, because of the obvious puddles under Jeep.

When I arrived in Austin, I noted that a vibration that was minor was now major. So I took Jeep to a mechanic recommended by my niece’s husband, Jose. He recommended Ed’s Automotive in South Austin.

There I met a nice young Latino man named Sebastian, I believe, that quoted a fair priced and quick repair of the drive shaft U-joints. While Jeep was on the rack, I asked him about my oil leak, citing my history. He took a 5 second look, and said that I might have a small leak at the rear main bearing, but there was a large leak at a gasket near the front of the engine. The cost of the repair would be $118. Now, having had quotes from at least six mechanics that assured me that I had a rear main bearing seal leak of the range $600 to $1400, I thought a $100 gamble on Sebastian’s different diagnosis was worth a shot.

Jeep has not dripped a drop of oil since Sebastian replaced the gasket. A gamble that paid off.

Now, one can not help but wonder where the head of the other mechanics over the last 10 years was located. Were they incompetent or lazy? Were they just wanting to make the expensive repair, which would not have solved my leak. Were they wanting to repair the real leak and charge me for the expensive main bearing seal repair?

One will never know, but none of the answers are acceptable, and are indicative of a significant sample of mechanics, at shops that ranged from a dealer to the small one-man shop. I have been taken by mechanics. I have had a few great mechanics, but my impression are that most are either too stupid to be a mechanic, or they are fraudulent.

Had I been sure of his success, I would have snapped a picture of Sebastian, and given him a tip. He would have deserved a significant tip for being the one mechanic that I wish I had encountered 10 years ago.

Hat’s off to Sebastian at Ed’s Automotive in Austin!

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One Response to “SOAPBOX: Mechanics”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Jose could probably provide Sebastian’s address if you still think he should have a tip


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