General Listening Quiz

"Car Repairs"

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult transportation two men 02:18

Pre-Listening Exercise

What are some common car problems that require special maintenance or repair? What has been your experience in getting your car repaired? If you need to get a new car due to a car accident, how can you secure a car loan to pay for your new vehicle? Where would you turn for car rentals while your own vehicle is being repaired?


"raise Cain" = get angry or annoyed
"My dad really raised Cain when the mechanic didn't fix his car on time."

"bite the bullet" = prepare yourself for something unpleasant
"I think you just have to bite the bullet and have your car repaired, even if it costs a lot of money."

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

The problem with the car could be _____.

Okay, Okay. Shut her off. Hmmm. [So . . .] Let me look at the book here . . . [It] sounds like a possible fuel line, a dirty carburetor, bad alternator, or even a weak battery.

The man at the station can't diagnose the problem because ____.

Mechanic: Uhh. Difficult to say. Let me try this . . . 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.

Labor to fix the car costs ____ per hour.

It's $75 an hour for labor. Oh, oh yeah. Today's a holiday, so labor is actually $50 more per hour. (In other words, it costs $125.)

Fixing the car will be expensive because ____.

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 conversation takes place on _____.

Mechanic: Ahh, we close at 11:30 a.m. on holidays, and we're closed tomorrow and Sunday, and we're closed the following day as well.

Vocabulary Practice

Do the vocabulary quizzes with the words from the conversation for more practice:

Post-Listening Exercise

Discuss some experiences you have had at a car repair shop. (If you have never had your car repaired, imagine what problems might come up.) Have you ever felt that you paid too much for repairs? Check around for shops that provide such services. Do they guarantee their work? What can you do if you are dissatisfied with the work? How do you find a car repair shop that you can trust and that will do a good job?

Online Investigation

Imagine that your car is experiencing some engine trouble, but you can't diagnose the problem yourself. Research two auto repair services that provide engine repair. How long has the company been in business? Does the shop provide a free diagnosis of the problem? What other warranties do they provide on their service?