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Discussion Starter #1
Left my '06 Forester with my mechanic last week so he could do the rear brakes. Last time I had it at the dealer (90k service) they told me the pads were down to about 1mm. So while l bought the front pads and rotors and had my guy install them last year, this time for the rears I figured I'd let him just get the parts and do the labor.

Got the bill in the mail a couple of days ago. Rotors were fine. He replaced the pads and flushed the fluid, checked the emergency brake and checked the tires (the dealer said one looked a little worn or scuffed on the inner sidewall, but my guy said they all looked fine).

Total bill, including parts....$90!

The week before, he did the 30k service on my daughter's '08 Hyundai Tucson. The dealer charges around $450-500. He charged her $130.

I'm definitely getting him something, but I don't know what. I don't want to ask him so I'm going to try to call his wife and see if he has a favorite liquor or if they like a particular restaurant. i got him a Home Depot gift card a couple of years ago. Maybe I'll just get him a Lowes card this time.

P.S. the only reason I haven't been having him do all the other regular maintenance services is that I have the extended powertrain warranty through the dealer until 120k miles, as long as I bring it back for service. They've treated me right over the years, already replacing my tires for free once. And until I'm out of warranty I want to stay on their good side in case I start seeing the head gasket issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You know, I thought of that after I posted. I'll check with him. I'm not sure of his arrangement with the shop he's at now, but I know that I bring the car to the shop but he bills me directly (which I must admit is a little awkward). he and I go back quite a ways and he may just do side work for some older customers he's had since when he was an independent.
 

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2008 Forester AE
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We were packing up and setting out for our very first camping trip in our westfalia one lovely saturday morning, until I noticed gas leaking from the fuel pump..
9:00 on a saturday the vw shop manager took our van in and fixed it before the other jobs that were booked that day.
Needless to say the shop and all the mechanics got donuts and coffee happily provided by us.
 
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