Stumpalump, I agree. I like to keep my vehicles in excellent mechanical shape. The problem with taking this car to the dealer or a local shop is the cost. Actually this is my girlfriends car. I bought a new Hyundia Sonata and gave it to her and I am driving her Toyota. I see the reason why so many people here are reluctant to take their car to be maintained is the extremely high cost. For instance, she had the right front brake caliper go bad and took it to the Toyota dealer here. She had it replaced for $3500.00 dollars. Since I have had the car the left front caliper went bad and I replaced it for $125.00. She also had an ignition key made for it one time and the cost was close to $300.00. I can get one for close to $20.00.
Local shops are not much better. I had my A/C compressor clutch go out in my 1994 pick-up back in 2004 and took it to the dealer since I didn't have a vacuum system to reclaim the refrigerant at that time. They gave me a price of $1600.00 for parts only. I told them no. I had done my homework and the parts would only cost me $400.00. I then took it to a local shop and they gave me a price of $800.00. I told them to go ahead and fix it and left it with them. They called me that afternoon and told me they could not get the parts. So, I asked them if I bought the parts could they install them? They said yes. I bought the parts and had them install them and they only charged me $200.00 for the installation. I have my own vacuum pump, recovery machine, gauges and A/C tools now so I can do A/C work now.
On another occasion I had my vehicle serviced at a Jiffy Lube one time and they put transmission fluid in the master cylinder causing every rubber part in the system to swell up and lock the brakes. They ended up paying the dealer for the repairs on that one. I had a nail get into my truck tire one time and took it to a tire shop. They wanted $45.00 to put a plug in it. That is why I am leery of auto shops.
I do pretty much any work on vehicles except rebuild automatic transmissions, front end alignment on passenger cars(although I do it for large class 8 trucks), and major body work. BTW, just a little background about me. I am the lead mechanic at Allied Aviation in Charleston S.C. I am contracted to maintain the fuel trucks that service the new commercial aircraft and maintain the fuel farm for Boeing in Charleston S.C. I also maintain fuel trucks at another small airport nearby.