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General Listening Quiz

“Car Repairs – Script”

Listening Exercise

Listen to the recording on car repairs and read along with the conversation. Review the key vocabulary and the sample sentences.

Mechanic: What can we do for you today?

Car Owner: Uh, hi. Yes, I’m having a problem with my car, and it doesn’t seem to run right. [Hmm] I mean every time I start it up, uh, the engine runs for a minute or so, sputters like it isn’t getting enough gas, and then dies.

Mechanic: Hmmm. Okay. Let’s open the hood . . . let’s take a look . . . Okay, start her up.

[Engine starting . . .]

Mechanic: Okay, Okay. Shut her off. Hmmm. [So . . .] Le . . . let me look at the book here . . . 

Car Owner: The book . . . [Said in a puzzled voice.]

Mechanic: [It] sounds like a possible, uh, fuel line, dirty carburetor, bad alternator, or even a weak battery.

Car Owner: So, which one is it?

Mechanic: Uhh. Difficult to say. Let me try this.  [The mechanic banks on the engine block with some tool as if to test something.] Uh, alright . . . You need to talk to the mechanic.

Car Owner: The mechanic! So, who are you?

Mechanic: Well, I’m the assistant. I’ve only been here on the job for two days.

Car Owner: So, why didn’t you tell me that in the first place? I mean, I wouldn’t have wasted all this time!

Mechanic: You didn’t ask.

Car Owner: Ah. Okay. How much is it going to cost?

Mechanic: Ah. Difficult to say. [That’s what you said about the last thing!] Are you local or from out of town?

Car Owner: Well, I’m just passing through . . .

Mechanic: Hum, hmm. 

Car Owner: . . . this is the only place for miles. [Yeah, that’s right.] Man, can’t you see my license plate? [Sure did!]

Mechanic: Okay. The out-of-town rate. Let’s see. Okay, here we go. If it’s a fuel line, that’ll be $100 . . . No, no. That’s a local rate. [Oh . . .] Here, $200 for the pre-screening check, $150 for parts [Oh!], plus or minus $100 [Oh . . .], and $75 an hour for labor. Oh, oh yeah. Today’s a holiday, so labor is actually $50 more per hour.

Car Owner: Huh? Those prices are outrageous, and what holiday is today?

Mechanic: Oh, it’s the local pumpkin festival.

Car Owner: Ah, come on. I can’t believe this. Of all my luck, my car breaks down in this out-of-the-way town [That’s right.], and it’ll cost an arm and a leg to get my car fixed.

Mechanic: Ah, we’ll take care of you. Just bring that car back on Tuesday . . .  [Tu . . . Tuesday?] so Mike, our mechanic, can take a look at it.

Car Owner: Why not today? It’s only 11:00 a.m.!

Mechanic: Ahh, we close at 11:30 on holidays, and we’re closed tomorrow and [What?] and Sunday, and we’re even closed the following day as well.

Car Owner: I can’t wait that long! I need my car repaired now.

Mechanic: Well, next week is the best we can do, but you can talk to Mike at the Pumpkin Festival.

Car Owner: Oh, oh!

Mechanic: This town will grow on you.

Car Owner: Ah, man!

Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • sputter (verb): make consecutive explosive noises 
    – My car tends to sputter a lot in cold weather when I start it up.
  • carburetor (noun): part of the engine that mixes air with gasoline vapor before combustion 
    – The carburetor needs to be fixed or replaced.
  • alternator (noun): a generator that produces electrical current 
    – There must be a problem with the alternator in my old truck.
  • outrageous (adjective): very expensive 
    – The cost of repairing the old car would have been outrageous, so that I decided to buy a new one instead.
  • out-of-the-way (adjective): remote or far from populated areas 
    – We took a trip to an out-of-the-way ghost town during our vacation.
  • cost an arm and a leg (idiom): be very expensive, outrageous 
    – It cost me an arm and a leg to fix the damage to my sports car.

Word Order Activity

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