A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Saturday was not a hot day. It was cloudy, drizzly, with just a touch of cold in the air.

We had an appointment in the morning in Baltimore to get our car inspected. Maryland has this cute little requirement that you have to have your car inspected for “safety”. It is required that you go to an “Authorized Inspection Station” and get it inspected. Just once. I think. I’ve heard of “Inspection II”, but I’m not going to worry my pretty little head about that yet.

So these inspection stations are actually private mechanics. So you bring your car in, and they inspect it. Then they have the power to fail you and tell you allllll these things that are wrong with your car and that oh, by the way, they’re a mechanic so they can fix it right up for you for 1 billion dollars. Oh, how convenient. It’s a really prevalent practice, and it’s very difficult to find an honest inspector. Not even the price for the inspections are regulated, they range from $60-100.

Thus, we were driving to Baltimore because there is an inspection guy there who isn’t a mechanic. He knows cars, but all he does is inspections. No repairs. So he’s about the best we can hope for.

On the way to the appointment, we were on the freeway when we start hearing a grinding noise. Loud. The guy behind us changes lanes almost instantly. We pull over. We call AAA (which we bought a membership for not but a week ago, praise the Lord!) AAA arrives within 20 minutes and points out a plastic part hanging off the front. Ah-ha.

We drive to half a dozen mechanics after that to find someone to help us reattach said part. Ended up with a mechanic that seemed honest enough, less sleazy than everyone else we came across. He had one of his guys put our car on the rack and reattach the part, quick and easy. There was also radiator fluid everywhere inside the car, and he told us the whole system needed flushed and it will probably be a $500 job.

Ha! Lies! All lies! Oh the sleaze!

So after some research, we deduced that a coolant flush shouldn’t cost more than $100. Then today, an acquaintance took a look at the car and came to a different conclusion. Told Caleb what to do and it was fixed in a couple of minutes. Ta-daaaaa!

Mechanics. Sheesh. They should be ashamed.

Anyway, that took up the majority of the day. It forced us to cancel our plans for the rest of the day and Sunday, which made me a bit sad. But everything really did turn out well in the end. I recommend not spending your weekend talking to mechanics.

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