The first guy I spoke with, before 9 AM on Monday morning, did nothing. Didn't even look at the car. Bad attitude too.
I called AAA to complain, and they patched me through to the shop, and I spoke to someone different, possibly the owner.
He said he'd get right on it, and he did.
Assuming that what he told me is true, that the distributor (which contains solid state components to generate the spark) is bad, the work is worth it.
If this had happened in NYC it would have cost me nothing to have the car towed home. Then figure it out, then pay $300+tax for a new distributor, then install it.
The fact that the whole job, including the initial diagnostic will cost me $550 is not that bad.
It's basically a $200 premium for dying on the highway 90+ miles from home
during one of the coldest days of the year
in the dark
when I'm tired from skiing....
and basically not having to do anything myself, with my own hands.
Of course if it's not the distributor, but just a fuse, I'm getting robbed. But I'll never know, will I? I'll see if it has a new distributor, but I won't know if it needed one.
I paid $1600 for the car in 2007, and have never had it towed until now. Replaced a battery, CV joint, one fuel injector, etc. but no real problems until now.
I'm picking up the car early in the morning and going skiing the same day. The shop is less than 50 miles from Hunter Mtn.