Mechanics are assholes, most of them anyway and myself included. Take it from me, I've been in the business most of my life. The term caveat emptor applies when dealing with the auto repar industry. The point is to find the honest assholes and give them your business faithfully. I'm one of the honest guys and so is my boss, that's why I work for him. His name is Harry and he's one of the most honorable men I have ever met.
Bad, dishonest mechanics are an embarrassment and a blight on the business and I'm doing my damndest to put the ones in the local area out of business. Every so often, I'll impart a few of my rules you should follow when choosing a mechanic so you don't get ripped off. They'll be in no particular order(mainly because I'm an old hippie and my short-term memory went poof in '74), but when I stress a point, write it down so you'll remember it. Here's the first of them.
At a full-serve station, never(and I mean NEVER, NEVER, NEVER) buy a product or service if the guy pumping gas offers to check under the hood and your car has been running fine. Raising the hood is opening the door to let the rat bastard find something to sell you, usually an overpriced radiator cap. I can shovel bullshit on so deep to make you want a new cap even if another guy sold you one yesterday. Hey, once I whip out my tester and show you (Do you know what you're looking at when I show you the gauge?), you'll want that cap at the very least(You know the ENTIRE cooling system could be affected by a bad cap, lady). Maybe a cooling system flush and service too? You know I can do that while you wait, ma'am. Twenty minutes and a lot of commotion later, your wallet is a hundred bucks lighter. My total cost is a $4.00 rad cap and maybe a gallon of antifreeze. That's if I don't just clean off your old cap, put it back on, and throw a splash of new green shit in your overflow bottle to make it look like I flushed and changed all of your anti-freeze. Do you know enough to call me on it? I don't think so, lady.
I've worked for assholes who do this regularly. I didn't last long because I couldn't sleep at night. If all you need is gas, pump it yourself, it's cheaper. You don't need some dishonest prick scaring you into spending money at his Auto Repair and Highway Robbery Emporium. Now, if your car suddenly runs like shit and you're a million miles from home, you're at the mercy of the closest station. That reminds me of another rule. Have a towing plan so you can have your car towed to the guy you trust without having to mortgage the house to pay for the hook. I'll have many more in the future, once my two brain cells stop fighting with each other. I've got to tell Mrs. Fixer not to mix up martinis so early in the afternoon.
BTW: Go Rusty Wallace!