Every once and a while I feel the need to remind people that I make my living fixing cars.
I try really hard not to be offended by the public's horror at the cost of auto repair. I usually do not bother to point out that for a small diagnostic charge (usually under $200) the correct answer can be had without the real expensive process of parts substitution.
Other than the youngsters on this site I predict that my personal income is probably in the lower 25% of all that venture to this site. I can say that I love the challenge of fixing cars and I have been blessed to be able to say that I have spent my whole life doing exactly what I wanted to do.
I spend as much time talking with technicians as I do on this site and know them from all over the country and locally. I personally believe that as a group they are honest, hard working, free-spirited, individuals. If there is a weakness to the industry it is probably do to the level of training given to some pretty low paid technicians.
I can tell you that in my shop if we have failed to successfully solve a problem it probably has cost me more than the customer. While we all make our money hanging waterpumps and brake pads, diagnostics is both where the fun is and where the money isn't.
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician