Do you remember when mechanics were the good guys? Truly loyal to their craft of automotive wizardry? When was the last time a "service writer" smiled (without deviously licking their chops), and made sustained eye contact with you when entering the facility?
In movies they are helpful, honest, and dependable. Although in real life most interactions with the auto repair industry leave one with a sense of wonder, doubt, and the ever present, possible easy deception....
Have you ever encountered a mechanic or shop that told you what you need to do, what you should do and what you should save for? I know it's an easy concept, just think about it for a second.....
Automotive enthusiasts aka repair technicians/mechanics know that your vehicle is an investment, not just a transportation device. In transportation safety is always paramount, so why not trust in people who see every vehicle as an extension of the customer (it is your baby after all) and treat it more like a doctor would a patient? With doctors, you make an appointment you walk in, they ask questions, and charge you $150 dollars. Then send you off to the next place for some testing, but you trust them because they have a large building, spotless uniforms and clean floors (dealerships).
Why not take your baby/ investment to an automotive Dr. and shamen, who has the equivalent education of an 3 automotive PHD's (owner/ lead tech has ~40 years of successful businesses)!
Long story short...
I, myself am a mechanic and frequently take my children/ cars to his shop for all repairs.
There is no greater remark possible in the auto repair industry than a referral!!!
I guess this is mine. Thanks Grey!
And remember, diagnostic fees are expected in all industries! You are paying for Dr's visit after all!