In the movie, Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler recalled his father saying that there are three things you need in life: 'a good doctor, a forgiving priest, and a clever accountant.'
If you asked a notary signing agent what those three things are, they might say: a cell phone, a computer, and an automobile. There are some other things that we need, but those are near the top of the list. Especially the automobile, which is why I try to take good care of mine. Without it, I'm out of business.
So I went to the VW dealer yesterday and made an appointment for Friday for some routine maintenance on my Jetta. I'm having the oil changed. The mechanic will also check some of the other fluids. A great way to begin the year 2009: a new year, and new fluids.
I should be relieved, knowing that I will have this service done on my car. Actually, I'm worried. In fact, I could hardly sleep last night. I considered calling today and cancelling the appointment.
Why? Because I have lost faith in auto mechanics. It's not just a loss of faith. It has escalated into a fear of them.
There was one mechanic that I believe was sabotaging my car. Things would be perfectly normal before I brought the car to him. When I got it back, there would be problems. And of course, he was more than willing to 'fix' the problems -- for an additional charge.
A few months ago the plastic handle inside the car that opens the hood broke. I took it to the dealer and asked him how much it would cost to fix it. The price: $400. He would need to replace the cable that goes from the handle to the hood. This would require a lot of labor, he said. I asked him how much it would cost for just the handle. $25. I bought the handle and fixed it myself. Saved $375.
In fact, I can't get a mechanic there to even look at my car without them wanting to charge me $90 to hook it up to a machine that does a test on the various systems.
So I'm a little anxious about taking my car to the dealer on Friday -- fearing that a routine oil change might mean having to replace the engine.
I keep telling myself that my fears are irrational, and that I should trust them.
But I don't.
So much for 'Fahrvergnügen'.