Brett wanted me to take his car in to the shop today to have the trunk latch repaired. We were dreading the idea of throwing another $300 or $400 into repairing a car that is 12 years old, but felt like the bungee cord we were using to hold the trunk shut wasn't offering us the level of security we needed to maintain to avoid having the car vandalized and/or stolen.
Brett had a great idea, though. He said to tell the shop that the trunk latch was "stuck." Not broken, not in need of repair. Just stuck. Maybe we could get out of having to special order and replace any parts if the repair technicians were pre-conditioned to believe that all that was needed was a hefty dose of WD40. He instructed me to say no more. Just keep repeating the word "stuck."
Armed with this game plan, I marched up to the service counter.
"What seems to be the problem with your vehicle?" they asked, dollar signs ringing up behind their eyes.
"The trunk latch... it's stuck," I declared.
"What do you mean? Stuck? Like it's broken and won't shut?"
"No, not broken. It just won't shut because it's stuck. Stuck... stuck open and won't shut. Stuck."
"So, the trunk doesn't latch shut? The latch needs repair?"
"No. The latch is fine. It's just stuck. It needs to be un-stuck so it will latch properly. It needs... adjustment."
"Oh, I see. An adjustment. I can have someone look at that right now for you. Would you like to wait while he sees if he can adjust it?"
Thirty minutes later, I was informed that the technician was able to "adjust" the latch and they would be bringing the car around for me shortly.
The total bill for unsticking and adjusting? Not the hundred of dollars we thought we'd have to pay for hours and hours of labor and parts. Just a measly $57.50.
And, we got a free car wash.