Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A heuristic for estimating car repair costs

Think there's nothing wrong at all, and it's just a routine service? $500 minimum (for an oil change), more likely a grand. Any known problem? Two grand. Funny noise? Two grand. 1 centimetre scratch on the bumper? Two grand. Broken tail light? Two grand.

This may not apply if, unlike me, you actually know something about cars, and can talk jive about how there's a problem with the water pump and the rear differential and blah blah blah.

But if your strategy resembles mine (bend over and prepare to take it every time you walk into the dealership) then I highly recommend the Shylock rule of 'if in doubt, the answer is two grand'. It's outrageous, but it makes the subsequent rogering a little less painful.

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