Friday, January 30, 2009

The mechanic's tale

Nothing worse than having car problems when you don't know too much about cars.

I wish I'd watched my Dad more as a kid when he did things under the hood.

Taking the car down to the local tire supplier--they've got great prices but they're die hard Republicans and seething about Obama's victory and his stimulas package--I was informed teh front two tires were shot and the back two had about a month left.

They gave me a quote and had them changed, then booked the car in for a wheel alignment.

Arriving the next morning, I said, "By the way, the car makes a strange knocking sound when I brake or it decelerates."

We'll check it out for ya'"

An hour later, I was summoned out to the garage where the car's raised high on automatic jacks and the mechanic pointed to things near the wheel called rods and said "they're broken. New ones will sort your problem."

What can you do? You've got to trust your mechanic and try and look knowledgeable at the same time so they don't smell "idiot."

Two hundred dollars later, I drive home very happy that it's not the transmission which even I know is tres, tres expensive. Halfway home, there's a noise....yes, the old familiar knock sounds again. And then it sounds again and again...only worse this time because there's an accompanying rattle.

This morning I arrive down and the lady at reception who knows every tire and bolt in a car says,"You're back."
"Yeah, it wasn't the rods."
"I'll get Fred."

While Fred examines the car, I wait and seethe as I listen to one of the workers talk about how he and his wife going out to dinner "tonight with their Democrat friends" and they are not going to talk about the stimulus package.

"I hear ya'" said receptionist. "And what about that woman in California who just had eight kids and has six at home and no man. Disgusting, that is."

Yeah, yeah," said her colleague. "Who's gonna pay for them?"

"We are," said a customer. "She's on welfare. Our tax dollars."

I realize this could be true and do have sympathy here.

"They need to lower taxes. That works. I want no government in my pocket," said the receptionist.

Thinking about Bush's tax rebate last summer and how ineffective it was, I just bit my tongue.

Fred comes in. "Can you come out to the garage a sec'?"

This means it's gonna cost me. Sure enough, I'm underneath the car again looking at some other curious bits and bobs that could be space shuttle parts for all I know as he tells me my transmission is leaking fluid and the mounts supporting the chassis are a bit dicey.

The logical side of my brain wonders why he didn't see and mention that yesterday but I nod sagely. I also wonder now the economy's in free fall, are they taking me for a ride. The other part of my brain, the wanna everybody to be nice and caring, thinks they're being helpful and doing the right thing.

"I see," I say as I look into the black oily guts of my car. I really wish I'd watched Dad more often and not thought it boring when he worked on the family car.

It's going to coast another $400.00 to repair ands even then it might be the transmission.

"Give me the quote in writing," I said. "I'm gonna get the transmission checked first.
"Not a bad idea." he said. "We don't do those."

So off to the transmission shop next week.

1 comment:

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