Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pay Later

We discovered shortly after moving here that the A/C on the faithful Subaru was not producing cold air. The oppressive, humid heat here requires A/C long before the height of summer is reached. I took the Subaru to a mechanic close to work for an oil change, smog check, and A/C checkup.

Turns out the A/C System had no coolant in it, probably the result of a long slow leak. The only way to find the leak of a colorless, odorless substance is to add something distinguishing to it and wait. Our mechanic did so, planning to have me take the car and if the A/C failed again, he would be able to find the leak.

But the leak presented itself immediately after refilling the coolant, at 4:45PM on a Friday. There was not enough time to repair the leak before the end of the day, so the mechanic proposed that I take the car and bring it back when convenient to have the leak repaired. I agreed, and got out my wallet to pay for the work done so far: charging the A/C, oil change, and smog test.

"That's alright," he said. "We'll just take care of it all whenever you bring it back in."

"Uhh," I said.

Confused, I brought the car in on Monday for the remainder of the work. A small O-ring needed replacing, and despite the fact that the A/C system needed draining and recharging again, he didn't charge me for the labor or the part. I could have paid the bill in full on Friday, and was shocked that he was trusting enough I would bring it back and pay for the work.


Anonymous said...

Score 1 for Americana?

I've always valued that "small town" vibe, but it's very difficult to find, especially in today's McWorld.

Cheesy as it is, I like going places where people recognize me...a few times in my life I've had it where I could walk in somewhere and order "the usual". Man, I love that.

Josh (the oak) said...

Yep. It's weird to find it in a city of a million people, too.

meg said...

ah. nostalgic moment. I'm reminded of the mechanic I had with my first car in California. man I loved that guy. He had stopped working on cars and just repaired boat, but he would always take in my little nissan and prop it up next to the speedboats and fix it for a minor fee...wish he was still around....

he's not dead. i just moved.

Josh (the oak) said...

too bad you don't have a boat.

Nate said...

Usually by the time its time to pay a bill I've already given the vendor a reason not to trust me.

Nate said...

Usually by the time its time to pay a bill I've already given the vendor a reason not to trust me.