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, and let’s take a look . . . Okay, start her up.
[Engine starting . . .]
Mechanic: Okay, Okay. Shut her off. Hmmm. [So . . .] Let me look at the book here . . .
Car Owner: The book . . . [Said in a puzzled voice.]
Mechanic: [It] sounds like a possible fuel line, a 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, and 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, so how much is it going to cost?
Mechanic: Ah. Difficult to say. [That’s what you said about the last thing!] Are you a local or from out of town?
Car Owner: I’m just passing through . . .
Mechanic: Hum, hmm. [He seems to be making an observation.]
Car Owner: . . . and 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 the local rate [The price charged for people who live in the town]. Here, $200 for the pre-screening check, $150 for parts [Oh!], plus or minus $100, 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 it 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 an 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 the car back on Tuesday . . . [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 a.m. on holidays, and we’re closed tomorrow [What?] and Sunday, and we’re 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! [Said in a frustrated and disappointed way.]
Mechanic: This town will grow on you.
Car Owner: Ah, man!