True story. My car broke down in another city, about 20 miles from my home in San Bernardino. I had it towed to the nearest Honda dealership. The next day, I got the verdict. A “coil pack” around one of my spark plugs had burned and damaged the cylinder head. The damage was irreparable, so the cylinder head would have to be replaced. The repair would take a week and would cost about $6,500.
When I regained consciousness I called Spreen Honda in Loma Linda. That’s where I purchased the car, and that’s where I always take it for service and maintenance. In fact, the car had been there barely a month ago for major service. I asked Spreen’s service manager, Greg Done, if an impending catastrophe in my cylinder head is something that should have been detected during a major service.
He told me no. In fact, the spark plugs in my Honda are not even subject to inspection until the car reaches 120,000 miles. But he wanted to look at the car, anyway.
So I had my car towed from the other Honda dealership to Spreen. Greg Done had his people look at it. He looked at it himself. He took me to the backshop and showed me what they were looking at, and what they were thinking. They were thinking that the damage could be repaired after all. They fixed me up with a rental car, and told me to wait a day.
Here’s what happened. The car was fixed in a day. It cost me $360.
I’m not crazy about spending $360 I wasn’t planning to spend, but I’ll tell you what. It sure beats $6,500.
Moral of the story: Before spending big money, try a little comparison shopping.