The Value of the 2nd Opinion

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In a matter of days I went from hating the world to pure elation… and no I am not dying. I am going to pull a Sophia from Golden Girls… ‘picture this…’ two weeks ago I started to hear a noise coming out of the rear of my car. I wasn’t overly concerned with it because the noise only lasted for about 30secs or so but I knew I had to get it looked at. On the sunday morning of that week my car refused to start. Having replaced my battery a couple years ago I didn’t think it could be that but tried to boost the car nonetheless. It didn’t help. I then proceeded to call a towing company and had the car towed to a local CAA approved garage near my place. Being a sunday the garage was closed so I just left my car there so it could be looked at Monday morning. Some time mid morning on monday I got a call from the garage to tell me that the car was completely dry of any oil and that the ‘engine was finished and needed to be replaced’. A second hand engine plus labor and tax would cost me 2400$. After I picked myself up off my work office floor I told him not to do anything until I got back to him. I spent the next few days trying to piece together how this could have possibly gut was telling me that something didn’t smell right here. How does my car not show any warning signs at all? No lights on the dashboard? No smells of any kind that could have alerted me? No sputtering? I just didn’t buy that the engine was toast.. the oil I could believe. I had so much going on in the summer and a lot of distractions that I could have, maybe, forgotten an oil change or two. I had plenty of conversations with my wife over this. Luckily conversing with your better half sometimes works!! Lol. She talked to a co-worker of hers who was a mechanic in a previous life ;)… actually he still is and he agreed with me. Told me not to have any work done on the car until he got to see it for himself. By this time it’s Friday (believe it or not). The plan was to have the car towed on saturday to my wife’s work place to have it looked at. We picked up the keys on friday night and had to pay for the oil+labor. Saturday morning my wife on her usual morning walk, decided to walk to the garage and on a whim decided to start the car. Guess what? It started. How does a car with a ‘finished engine’ start? Anyway she came back home, got me and we drove to get some gas. My car was low on gas. I load the car with gas and drove it off to my wife’s work place. The noise? Still there. .. but I DROVE the car! The car was inspected and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the engine. Additionally the oil that was added was old/dirty.. nice. The noise? Wheel bearings which need replacing. So, what to make of this? Well this CAA approved garage is either filled with incompetent people or they are scum.. if I took them at their word I would have forked over 2400$ for an oil change because the engine would have remained the one I currently have. They would have just called me a few days later to make it look like they actually replaced the engine. SCUM.
Lesson: don’t accept anything at face value. Question, question, question. Get a second opinion. Listen to your gut.