Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mike's Auto Repair in Bolivar, MO

(I write this post because someone in Bolivar is likely to come across it looking for auto repair).

If you're looking for an honest mechanic in Bolivar, I recommend Mike's Repair on Hartford Ave.

Our used '96 Mazda 626 has a check engine light with a 14xx code (evap. flow control valve)*.

I searched online for repair places in Bolivar and didn't find any that had customer reviews. I asked around and was told that Mike's had a reputation for honesty so I called them. The soonest opening hey had was over a week later. I took it there early in the morning, it's not a big place, and they don't have many staff.

They gave me a call in the afternoon and said they couldn't find anything wrong. Flow was normal, it was possible that the valve was sticking but they couldn't be sure. They cleared the code and charged me a reasonable price for the service. They told me that if it was the valve it would be relatively easy to fix, but the part could be expensive. And there were a number of other things that could be wrong with it requiring other parts.

The next day the engine light came on again and I called them back. The mechanic returned my call and explained that since the problem could have many diagnoses, the cost of parts by fixing it trial-and-error could end up being expensive, since he'd have to swallow the costs of the wrong parts. He recommended just taking to a dealer since they would be able to use all the spare parts which they ordered on other Mazdas.

He gave me an additional refund on my service, almost half of what I'd payed. I greatly appreciated the honesty. So, I'm sad they couldn't fix my car but am quite glad because
*this is the same problem our old Grand Am had, which I blogged about last year. (Never ever ever "top off" your tank. Ever). It cost us about $1,000 and at least 6 trips to a mechanic to get the right diagnosis and they probably didn't make much profit off of me. This is the same problem, and could likely cost us about as much. Mike's Repair made the right call in telling me "I don't want to try and fix your car."

I only paid $500 for the car, so I don't want to get in over my head on repairs. The car will likely never leave Bolivar anyway. Until it goes to Old Mexico, where the Grand Am now lives.

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