“I already had it checked out, but they want way too much. How much would you charge?”

If I never hear this again it will be to soon for me. With rare exceptions, the premise this question is based on is intrinsically flawed. Is the other shop trustworthy or not? If the other shop is trustworthy then just let them fix what they have already inspected, diagnosed, confirmed by testing etc. An old cliche’ about switching horses in mid-stream comes to mind. If they are NOT trustworthy, then their repair recommendations beg a second opinion far more than their prices. In fact, when money is spent on car repair with poor or no value received, an excessively high price for a well-advised choice of repair procedure is almost never what happened. In the overwhelming majority of cases, poor value is received because A: The suggested remedy did not address the problem, or B: Unnecessary repairs were sold.

This question is also highly insulting to the repair facility who essentially is told, “I went to the high-dollar experts to find out what needs to be done, now can you do it cheap?” When dealing with independent business people, I find I receive the best value in the long term by being respectful.

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