Sunday, May 11, 2008

In the Right Place at the Right Time

I love how God puts the right people in my life at the right time. It happens to me all the time!

Last week I took my car in because it was squealing when I braked. Since I hadn't replaced the brake pads in about 5 years, I figured it was time. I went to Brakes Plus, and the mechanic gave me the "bad news." Brake pads, rotors, calipers, brake flush, Cv Axles, alignment, and clean/adjust the rear brakes. It totaled almost a $1000! When I asked what was optional, he told me the latter one. That would save me 20 bucks. He expressed to me how dangerous it would be for me to continue driving on the brakes. He said something is out of alignment, and it needed to be fixed.

I stressed at work that morning. Finally I called and told the guy that I wanted to wait until the weekend to make a decision. If I'm spending $1000 on this 11 year old car, I might need to consider getting a new-to-me car.

I sent out an email to people I knew asking for prayer, wisdom, and advice. I got lots of response. Rose said she had a subscription to Consumer Reports and could loan me her user name and password. Jason gave me advice about saving money to pay in cash. Several people said the work seemed really expensive.

Then John wrote me. This is one of the guys I met online. We decided to just be friends since our political views are drastically different. We've also seen a couple of movies together. He happens to be a mechanical engineer.

He told me that they were charging me WAY TOO MUCH. He even looked up the parts on Auto Zone to let me compare. I know some of the cost was labor too, but when brake pads cost only $20 at Auto Zone and they cost $100 to get installed... that's a big difference.

John offered to look at it and at least change out the brake pads for free (in exchange for a home-cooked meal). He also knew a guy that would do the work for much cheaper.

Friday after work, I went over to his place. He took the front wheels off my car, and he had a look. He said that the guy lied to me. They took the wheel off and saw some rust, and just said the whole thing needed to be replaced. John said that the rotors and calipers were actually fine, and he said he wouldn't replace the axles if I was even somewhat serious about getting another car in the next couple of years.

So that's it. My brake pads were changed. I paid maybe $30 total in parts and lubricants. And I'm making John the best dinner in my "arsenal." Homemade lasagna, green beans, and homemade rolls. Oh, and my mom's famous peanut butter and chocolate pie!

Yep, God puts the right people in my life at the right times. This makes me happy and so does the thought that I didn't spend $1000 on unnecessary repairs or even more on a new car!


Melissa said...

That totally rocks!!! It pays to know a good mechanic. I have to sleep with mine, but he's very very good. :)

Karianne said...


I freaking hate not knowing about some things, like cars. Being ignorant, then almost being taken advantage of, is not right. I hope that you are going to call that place or something. That is soooo not right!

Great job looking out for yourself! Smarty panties!

And kudos about being such a great person to be friends with someone with different views. Not many people are open to that, and just look at what they would have missed.

You rock!

KrayonKel said...

Melissa, You crack me up, girl!!! LOL!

And Karianne, I totally already put in a complaint to the BBB. Besides the word of mouth. NEVER GO TO BRAKES PLUS! :)

Ashley Winters said...

Yikes! My car is making a squeaking noise too. May it's the breaks. I had better check it out soon.