We are a few months away from the third anniversary of purchasing our used car. We are also coming up on the car's tenth birthday. Our Mazda Protege is the first car I ever bought, I still love it immensely, and we are doing what we can to maintain it so we can keep driving it.

We purchased our car on a tip from a Mazda mechanic friend of my brother's, who let us know about a car his friend was selling. We got a super deal and a trusted mechanic in the process, and have been taking our car to Mazda for service and repairs ever since. We sometimes go to specialist mechanics (Tirebuster for tires) but we really love the service at Mazda, and they have a 'service rewards' program so all of our repairs usually end with a free oil change coupon.

We had an exhaust leak over the past few months, which presented itself in both sound and heavy exhaust fumes in and around the car. We booked a diagnostic last Monday for Mazda to check it out and they provided me with some pretty stellar customer service. Instead of advising that Mazda fix our muffler (of which they quoted me parts starting at $500 and labour that would add many more dollars to that), they recommended I go to a muffler repair place, and gave me directions to the one they trusted. They even told me to use them as a reference and said: "this is the most cost effective way for you to repair your vehicle". It blew me away that they recommended a more cost effective repair than they could offer, especially since that meant they were recommending I give my money to someone else!

So I took directions and went to Carline Muffler, who were able to check out my car within half an hour and fix it in about the same time. They quoted me "about sixty bucks", which sounded much better than the upwards of $1000 repair job I was looking at through Mazda. Plus everyone was super nice and I've now made some muffler mechanic friends, which will come in handy as my car continues to age. The muffler mechanic also noticed that I had a fuel leak, though he couldn't tell where it was coming from and recommended I get it checked out. He even let me know he had to remove my muffler to weld it "safely", as welding under a car with a gas leak is pretty dangerous.

So my inexpensive muffler repair directed me towards a new problem. So the excessive exhaust smell in the car was actually the exhaust leak AND a gas leak. Double the fun.

With my muffler repaired, I stopped it at Mom and Dad's to figure out my next car repair move. Dad recommended I go to The Gas Tank Doctor, a specialist mechanic he trusted. It was a little after 4pm, but I gave them a call and asked if they could check it out (they closed at 5), and they told me to "come on over".

Turns out fuel is leaking from the seam of the gas tank and we need a new one. Everyone was really nice and I was quoted a good price from my new gas tank mechanic friend. All told, the muffler repair and the gas tank replacement are going to be cheaper than the original muffler repair quote that Mazda steered me away from. How about that. I'm taking the car over this afternoon and I'm looking forward to driving it home with that new "doesn't smell like gas fumes" car smell.

I have to say that everyone who helped me or offered advice last Monday was super nice and doing their best to save me money. I know as my car ages I will have to periodically take it in for repairs, and it is very comforting to know I have a number of different mechanics that I can trust (and who are also super nice!). I know they can help me keep this car running for as long as possible.

Gary liked the car repair deals too. She had a nice nap on the receipts.
Posted by Jen B On Monday, July 22, 2013 4 comments

4 comments:

  1. Sorry about your car troubles. At least the repairs aren't too horrible. We go to the same mechanic for all our car repairs and end up getting really great deals, too. I just wish I didn't know them all by name, though. Makes me feel like I go there TOO often! Haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm glad the repairs aren't too bad either. I think this car has a lot of life left...when the repairs are too costly, that is when I know it will be over.

      Hope your car is doing well! :)

      Delete
  2. Very cool that you got good deals. Always wonderful. Here's to more years with the car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Love deals. I'm hoping we get more years with the car too! :)

      Delete

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