I just got a new job at Intel in Hillsboro and lived in Vancouver, it is a very long drive and full of traffic. After a month of doing the drive my car finally started showing its frustration. On my way to work on an idle Monday the temperature gage starts going up and I pull over to find steam bellowing from under the hood. Luckily I carry coolant with me at all times and was able to fill it up and get back on the road. This happened again before I got to work, and then twice on the drive home. Needless to say on the drive home I was on the phone with auto mechanics in the Vancouver area to take my car to first thing in the morning. I chose the first mechanic on the google search and learned very quickly why they had the advertising money to be the first result and have a big flashy sign outside their establishment. After dropping my car off a few hours later they let me know that my water pump was bad and would need replaced along with the timing belt. That was going to cost me $1100 to get fixed, and if they ran into another common issue while doing this the price could go up to $1900.
Keeping in mind I just started a new job meant 1. I had no money, 2. I needed my car to get to work and 3. I could not afford to take time off work to get it fixed, financially or respectively. I was in quite the pickle. I asked the mechanic if we could do it without the timing belt and he let me know that it would be around $700 to go that route but strongly advised not to because they would have to take the timing belt off regardless and putting that strain on an already old belt that could break very soon after repair. That means that if he has to take it off regardless he is going to charge me an extra $400 to put on a new one that would incur no extra labor on a $60 part. I had to let the mechanic know that I would not be able to get anything fixed and that I would be there to pick up my car later that afternoon with no work done.
I called MTA automotive located close by on a recommendation from my roommate. Kevin at MTA let me know that they could have me in and out in under a day and for less than $600 Almost half of what Ron??s Automotive was going to charge for the same exact thing. I asked about the timing belt being left off and he let me know that would only save me $60 on parts as the belt would not incur any labor costs. It was still outside my budget but Kevin let me work out a payment plan to split between my next two paychecks which worked perfect.
I got my car from Ron??s Automotive and took it to Kevin at MTA (stopping to put coolant in along the way). Very soon after dropping it off at MTA Kevin called to let me know they found a leak in a hose. He fixed that and found that the car did not need the water pump replaced. Total cost parts, labor and tax under 300. I was able to pay same day and was at work on time that day. Thanks to Kevin and the great mechanics at MTA I was able to get my car fixed, within my budget, keep my job and re-instill a little of my faith in humanity. Also Kevin was nice enough to call the guys at Ron??s and let them know what they missed so they could keep a better eye out next time. I will be recommending MTA to all my friends and family. They made a very complicated situation in my life much more pleasant.