So Monday was designated as a day to run errands. One of my stops was to hit the local laundromat to get change for the washer and dryer at my apartment. As I left from there, I started to hear a noise from the engine of my car. I couldn't figure out what it was at first so I let it go for a moment to see if it would come to me. As I am down the road a mile later, I realize the noise only happens when I push down on the clutch. I now know what this means, the clutch is going bad.
Now at this point, I'm a bit peeved since I had just replaced that clutch three years ago, and prior to that the clutch had lasted eleven years. At the time I had it repaired at a nearby Midas since I had used them before and thought they did good work. It was expensive, but I figured I would get another decade out of this. As I was now hearing, I was wrong. I took it over to the garage next to my apartment and let them know what I was hearing. The guy thought a bearing was going bad, and that he would take a look at it.
Fast forward to today and I get a call from the shop. Sure enough the bearing and the linkage is going bad, and the clutch is much looser than it ever should have been. However, at least the rest of the transmission looked okay on initial inspection. He said he could put in a new clutch kit for [under $1000] and they would check for other things. I decided to opt for it, but this is probably the last time I will do a major repair to my car since it has over 196,000 miles on it.
The thing that pisses me off is realizing that I was basically ripped off by Midas. They replaced my clutch back then at a cost of over $2000 and the thing barely lasted three years. The only thing that really changed was the driving on it got easier since I then became the only driver of my car. If anything the clutch should have lasted longer. I can't wait to hear what the shop has to tell me about this one because I am willing to bet that the cheapest possible parts were used the last time, and likely this time there will be more decent parts put in to help it last just a bit longer.
So I guess I have learned my lesson here, I'm not going to ever trust a chain shop like Midas again for taking care of my car, even in a crisis situation. I've had much better luck dealing with independent shops. Besides, to know that I paid well over double what I could have paid for a new clutch just burns me, especially because finances were much tighter back then. I can deal with this repair, but I will be watching the finances for a while. Still, as of now it is cheaper than dealing with a car payment.
Too bad the Midas that did the work is out of business or I'd go after them.