There are some lessons to be learned here for sure.. I messed up several wheel bearings and knuckles and whatnot due to my negligence by off roading a car that arguably shouldn't be.. it makes me wonder about the typical car shop in general. I have been flossed so many times I gave up winging and just started making my own shop.
I understand all of this, in fact its embarrassing to say that several thousand dollars was spent 'trying to find a reputable mechanic'.
I want to put it out to all forum members that the most reputable mechanic is you. Even a beginner who studies his car will know more than the mechanic who is on the dolla, and cares little about this car, or that car, etc...
Its not an answer but want to ask with all this havok, perhaps you should become a weekend mechanic yourself?? It begs the question. And I have been flossed too, I've got stories upon stories, because I am soft and laid back. Aka money.
Say I collectively got ripped off three grand with my bills. Think about it, how much three grand could buy tools, if you have any sort of driveway or perhaps a garage. You are the best mechanic, and thats the darn truth.