The Repair Takes Forever
The most expensive "tool" in the shop? That hand and arm that's bolting your water pump back into place. Almost all shops charge a specific rate for labor, so if you're told that something like a radiator leak or a bad alternator is going to take a week, be skeptical. The shop is probably just racking up the hours to overcharge you. Those types of fixes take an hour or two max with the resources they have at their disposal.