Update: The Smoking Car

You may remember the saga of Monday and the broken down car. (If not, just click the link for the whole back story). I have spent way too much time dealing with getting this car fixed, but alas, today, it seems to be cured of it’s ailments.

You see, on Friday afternoon we took the overheating car to a garage in Marathon that was recommended by a woman at the airport. When I got the call Monday from the garage with the report, I was told that we needed a new water pump and it would take eleven hours of labor. Eleven. At $96/hour. Plus parts. Grand total of $1,382.

To say that seemed excessive is an understatement. The woman in the office explained to me that they needed to remove the engine to replace the water pump and it would take eleven hours. I explained to her that I thought she was delusional, and called the Scion dealer for confirmation. They said it would take a maximum of four hours, but this was not good enough for the shop. She was not budging on her eleven hours. I asked to have the mechanic call me (you know – the person that would actually be fixing the car) but apparently he was too busy to make a five minute phone call that would result in a very large job for him.

I called around to a few other shops in Marathon and luckily found someone who (a) would talk to me on the phone, (b) found an easier way to replace the pump and (c) was nice. It was really the nice part that sealed the deal. Well, that, and he was charging me for 4.4 hours of labor at $86/hour, not ELEVEN hours at $96/hour. So, I had the car towed over to the new shop, Marathon Auto and Air.

When I knew that the car had arrived safely a whole half mile from the starting point, I asked when it would be fixed (this was on Wednesday). They needed to order the part directly from Toyota, get it shipped and then actually do the work. The part was ordered Wednesday, it arrived Thursday morning and by 4:30 Thursday afternoon I got a call saying it was fixed, they had done a test drive and everything looked good. Total cost: $635, less than half of what the excessively-charging-garage-peopleĀ at the first place wanted to charge me. Plus, they were nice, called me to follow up and made everything as painless as possible.

This morning FKGuy hopped in the Kia Forte and drove it back to the Marathon airport and picked up the Scion. Let’s hope it holds up and lasts a while now.

I would recommend Marathon Auto and Air, at 2501 Overseas Highway in Marathon if you need a mechanic. If you need to know who the excessively-charging-garage-people are, I will tell you this: it is a big shop. In Marathon. (There aren’t that many, you can figure it out.) If you want me to name names, you’ll need to email me.


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