Chris' car needed an oil change. I took it in, and when while there the people who worked there showed me that his serpentine belt needed to be replaced. They quoted me $130 - $65 for labor, $65 for the part. I generally don't trust the bigger shops with repairs like this, because both my Dad and father-in-law are excellent mechanics and can handle the smaller problems without flinching. I called my father-in-law and asked him if this was a fair price, and he said no and that he would fix it when he came into town that weekend. Well, he ran into work problems and wasn't able to fly in - but the belt was started to shred and really needed to be replaced. I called around town and found a place that would put my own belt in (I had bought a replacement belt at an auto parts store for $12) for $20! I made the appointment right away and got in.
As I am waiting for the belt to be replaced, one of the older gentlemen there was playing with Sophia (who was 3 months old at the time) and telling me how cute she was. As you can guess, I liked this place even more.
It turned out that the auto parts place had sold me the wrong belt - it was much shorter than the part I needed (they gave me the one for a car w/o AC when I specifically said it had AC!). Well, the owner called a parts place and had them rush deliver the part over to the shop for me while I was waiting and he told them that I had an infant with me and needed the part quickly. When all was said and done, he charged me for the part ($20 - no mark up!!) and $20 for labor. Saved me $100, and they were extremely friendly!
If you need repairs and are in the Eagan, MN area, I can highly recommend Rich's Autofix & Performance, 2980 Lone Oak Circle, Eagan, MN 55121. (651) 681-0788.