CC: (Confidently) Yes, I removed it and had it tested at the radiator shop. I also replaced the thermostat and the intake gasket. I put cardboard under where I park it and there is no sign of leakage anywhere. What else can you do to figure this out.
MM: Well, sir, I can think of a few more things. One, it could be the water pump. They don't always leak externally. What happens is that the impeller that circulates the coolant completely wears away on the inside and then it can't circulate.
CC: (Springing the trap) Are you sure? I've never heard of that, so, naturally, it makes me think that you are an idiot. I rather believe you are just trying to sell me a part I may not need.
MM: Well, we can remove it and see.
CC: (pressing the attack) And what if you're wrong? Surely you wouldn't think of charging me for your own incompetence.
MM: Yes sir, I will have to charge you for the whole amount of time it requires to diagnose your problem. If that is not it, then we may have to think about a potential head gasket problem, or a malfunctioning electric fan, or a restricted exhaust system, or incorrect ignition timing or even a faulty radiator cap.
CC: (beginning to feel a loss of control lashes out blindly) Why do they have to make these things so complicated? My father could fix anything with baling wire and he never finished the third grade! These engineers are all working on behalf of the big oil companies! (calming slightly) What's it going to cost to straighten this thing out?
MM: Probably around $300.
CC: (deflated now yet true to form) Does that include tax?
JB Griffin is an ASE Certified Master Technician. He owns and operates JB's Japanese and American Auto Repair in Evensville, Tennessee. You may e-mail your car questions to email@example.com