Do it yourself (DIY) can mean overcoming many issues in life, especially with the automotive industry....great story and way to go pesuazo! You saved your beloved family member much hard-earned money...anytime you can do that for anyone, I believe that the same possibilities will be headed back your way (law of Karma)
With confidence and patience, I believe that human beings can overcome most obsticle in life (if you make an attempt).
I have saved my family and many friends much hard earned money, and many times I have talked them through it over the phone as well, but mostly in person. I too have taken an airplane to go fix a car....to NY as well. I am a confident individual with many years as a mechanic, and if my 300E does not run well soon (the fuel distributor seal is leaking) I will have to replace the fuel dist!
Your story reminds me of when I was sitting in a transmission shop waiting to pick up a transmission for a friend. A lady and her 5 yr old son came in for a transmission service. She sat near me, and we talked small talk, until a "mechanic" came in the room and told the lady that her transmission will need to be rebuilt, and he was holding a syncronizer from a manual transmission in his hand with a shop rag...
I asked him where he got that part that he said he "found" in the pan.....well, the owner overheard everything, and came out of his office storming mad! The owner yelled at me, cussed me out and told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, and said that I was hurting his business. I told the woman what was going on, and she thanked me, and told them to put her car back together and she would be leaving. I stood up to the fat guy that owns the shop, didn;t blink at him, just started laughing because I knew the rip-off process was in progress. Most people wouldn't believe the many shops and mechanics that take advantage of people on a daily basis....but I am not saying that all mechanics and shops do this, all I am saying is before you spend any money, get a second or thirs opinion....to protect yourself, just like asking for another opinion before brain surgery
Good luck everyone