Whew. Nothing majorly wrong with my car.
The guy from Dinstuhl Auto Repair just called me and said that the power steering fluid should be flushed & replaced (~$100). The power steering pump does indeed have a leak but he feels it will probably last another year or two; that part will cost under $300 when it needs to be done (labor will be much more, of course). I suppose that if the whine goes away after the flushing that will be the indication that I can get by for a couple years. The rear brake adjusters need servicing (~$90). Although I don’t know what brake adjusters are, I recall that people who have driven my car say the brakes aren’t so good so I agreed for him to go ahead and do both of those things. Oh, also my battery cable was corroded. I knew that, I just didn’t care since it hadn’t been affecting my ability to start the car. The rest of the car looked in good shape. A fuel injection service may improve the engine’s roughness and gas mileage, though it isn’t absolutely necessary. Part of the fuel injection service involves spark plugs but he said it didn’t need new spark plugs (proving he’s honest — they are indeed new spark plugs). I figured may as well get it done there (~140) rather than by the hacks at Jiffylube who I trust to change oil but not much else.
Labor may add up, but since he said it will be done by noon and the earliest they could have started looking at it was 8am (when I dropped it off), it could only be 4 hours labor max, though of course I am hoping it will be only a fraction of that time since labor can be as much as $200 an hour. I’ll report back later with what the labor costs actually were. Unless I am terrible embarrassed by how much it is. But as I said earlier, Dinstuhl’s came highly recommended so I am crossing my fingers they are reasonable.
Update: Yay, no labor. Or, labor was included in the quotes for those particular items. I don’t know if the new owners (Dinstuhl is selling Dinstuhl to one of his employees) will keep up the low prices, but, at least I got this.
Sometimes when you get your car back from a repair place, and by you I mean me, the car feels better — more secure in its movements. That is what I am hoping for. It is always disappointing when you get your car back and it feels as rickety as ever.