Oh, you totally got me started with this post!!
I get this all the time, ESPECIALLY with mechanics. They DESPISE ME because apparently a 5'2" blond isn't supposed to KNOW the difference between a loose timing belt and a deep engine knock.
I just recently went through this with my car. Which yes, it's a girl car all the way. Teal 93 Pontiac Sunbird. She's my baby. I've had her for 7 years and I'll have her 7 more, I know her in/out/upside down. But, apparently, that is impossible for mechanics to believe.
I had the timing done a year ago, but the job was shoddy and I only started having misgivings when I asked the guy at the garage for a receipt and he looked at me like I was an idiot, then when I insisted, scribbled some nonsense on a torn off strip of yellow lined paper. I had gone to him on a friend's recommendation, dummy me.
So, about 6 months later a ticking begins in my motor. Sounds pretty familiar. So, I run her in to the place that had always treated me fairly before. You know, as in LISTENED when I talked about what I suspected was wrong, etc. I've learned that you always have to give no room for their input or they WILL try to drag you down that long, expensive road, so I approach like this:
Hi, Steve, How are you? I just need you to check out my timing belt, it's come lose or frayed.
Ok, we'll check it out, but it will take a couple of days to get to.
No problem. I'll leave her here and walk, ok?
Great, we'll call when we figure out the problem.
Two days go by. I call.
Oh, we will get to it tomorrow and call you first thing in the morning.
I call the next day. At 3 pm after waiting all day.
'We checked your timing belt and it's fine. We've checked everything we can without dismantling the motor.'
'Were you going to CALL me?'
'Oh, we just were, we just got done. So, if you want us to start on the motor it's going to be $250 to tear it apart. If it needs to be rebuilt it's going to run $2000.'
'Ok, I'll just come pick her up for now.'
'Oh, well the timing cover is off and it will be late tomorrow before you can pick it up, we will have to put it back together if you don't want the motor checked out.'
'Ok, I'll call you right back.'
Instead of calling, I walk up to the garage, since it is on my way to work and I take my extra set of keys, pop the hood and guess what? Nothing's changed. The timing belt cover hasn't been removed, I can tell because the seal is the same brand new seal that was put on by the previous guy who botched the job. And, in fact my car is still sitting in the EXACT same spot it had been when I dropped it off.
So, I go in and ask the guy about it since he had told me that it was dismantled.
He had absolutely NOTHING to say. His face got all red as he stuttered and then in very loud tones told me that I was being very immature about this whole thing by checking up on him.
I explained that I wasn't checking up on him, I was checking up on the progress of my $2000 repair. I then made him call his manager, who promptly refunded my $49.00 diagnostic bill, drove my car 2 miles another mechanic who, in 15 minutes said, 'Ayuh, that's your timing belt alright!' Replaced it, got my $300.00 and a smile and had my car back in two days.
Sorry for the rant, it really just butters my muffin that people look at me and think I'm dumb. Either because of my stature, my sex or both. It's especially bad when I bring my boyfriend, who happens to be huge and manly, but knows NOTHING about cars or horses or... manly stuff. He can grow a pot of tomatoes that would knock your socks off, but I'm the one doing the tune ups and brake pads, ya know. They will look directly at HIM and answer the questions I asked.
Maybe if I had been blessed with bigger boobs I could at least get them to look in my direction while talking. Grrrrrrr.