Dear Ann Landers: I am a professional auto technician and have been repairing cars for over 30years. During this time, I have purchased over $60,000 worth of tools, attended hundreds of hours of classes to stay current with technology, and damaged my body by bending it in ways Mother Nature never intended:

     Why am I telling you this? Because I am tired of auto mechanics being the bad guys. People don't realize that the amount they pay for auto repairs covers not only my costs, but my boss' overhead. I pay my own health insurance and work 60-hour weeks. I do not get paid for holidays.

     I attract customers because I have expertise in identifying problems and fixing them. Don't be mad at me when your tune-up costs $300 or more. I am not the one who made your car so complicated that it takes computers and flow charts to check the lights. I am not the one who bought a car that requires a $14 spark plug. I am not the one who bought a fancy foreign model that needs to get parts shipped from England, Germany and France.

     People should investigate maintenance cost before they buy a new car. Reviews of a car's performance based on road tests do not give the whole picture. Please tell them, ANN.

                 -AutoTechnician in Germantown,MD.

     Dear Technician: You told them and your admonition is based on many years of professional experience. Thank you for speaking for auto mechanics everywhere. I'm sure you have their eternal gratitude.

     Ann Landers may be contacted at P.O. Box 11562, Chicago, ILL. 60611-0562



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