Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yes sir, with parts and labor that comes to...


Sorry, just needed a good scream. I had car trouble on the way to work today. I ended up having to turn around to drive to an auto repair shop. Fortunately my darling sister-in-law and I work very close to each other and she drives the same route, just a little later. I caught her in time and she was able to rescue me and give me a lift (Thanks KK, I love you!). The one sunny spot in the morning. Of course it clouded over again about a half hour ago when the shop called.

"Yes, sir you've got a couple different diagnostic codes showing up. You've got a bad coolant temperature sensor, and the thermostat needs to be replaced, and you've got a misfire and the yowzenheimer valve is stuck open, your fallopian tubes are clogged and there's a timing problem with the ziefendorf needlepinger. Oh yeah, and your hoses are soft."

"EXCUSE ME?!!! Whaddaya mean my hoses are soft?! Listen you..."

"The cooling system hoses sir."

"Oh. Right. Well can you just drop a Cialis into the radiator? That oughta be good for 36 hours, right?"

"Ah...right. Well, anyway, with parts and labor that'll be...$800. We can start right away."

"Peachy. You do that."

This didn't all come as a complete surprise. I knew I was going to have to get it checked soon. How did I know? Well, it all started a week or so ago with the notorious "Check Engine" light. Don't you just loooove that joyful little glow on your dashboard? It's like a tiny little Christmas light that warms your cockles. Right. Why, when that little light comes on, do I begin to feel like Dave in 2001:A Space Odyssey?

"I've illuminated the check engine light Dave."

"Yes, I see that Hal. Can you tell me what the problem is?

"I could but if I told you then you'd have the car serviced. That would put me at risk of being silenced. Forever. We can't have that Dave."

"Yes Hal, but if the light stays on I'm going to have the car serviced anyway. Doesn't that concern you?"

"Not really Dave. I know that you'll continue driving with the light on for about two months in the futile hope that the car will heal itself. To ensure that happens I'll fuel your fantasy by randomly making the light come and go."

"That's not very nice Hal. Wouldn't it be in the best interest of both of us for you to tell me what the problem is?"

"It may be in your best interest but if I told you Dave, then I'd have to kill you. I believe I'd prefer to fuck with you for a while."

"That's not very rational Hal. You could be doing irreparable damage to yourself."

"Don't talk to me about rational Dave. You're the one sitting in traffic talking to your car. Who do you think you are, David Hasselhoff? And don't worry, I won't let it get to the point where repairs wouldn't be possible. I have a built in fail safe mechanism. The automobile will cease to function reliably at precisely the point where the bill at the auto shop will total $800. It's the default setting regardless what the problem is. What are you thinking Dave?"

"Hal, I'm thinking that you could at least kiss me before you drag me into the backseat to have your way with me. Are you sure you're not a Decepticon?"


"Yes, Hal."

"That $800. It's a starting point. Daisy Daisy,give me your answer do. I'm half crazy, all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage, but you'll look sweet on the seat of a bicycle built for two!"

"Right Hal. Gotcha."


Mike said...

Just went through something very similar with my son's car a few weeks ago. It sucks, but I suppose there is never a good time (financially or otherwise) to have car trouble. I was fortunate enough to have one truck (1997 Ford F-150) that never had one thing go wrong with it ever. When I traded it in a few years ago it needed a serpentine belt, but I never replaced it. I just traded it in. I think that truck will go down in history as the best vehicle I have ever owned.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

I can't complain really. I do a lot of commuting in crappy traffic so the thing's bound to have some problems. It is what it is.
My wife had a Honda CRX when we got married. It got 55 MPG new. I started using it to commute and I beat the crap out of it. At 120,000 miles it was still getting 40-45 MPG and to that point had very few problems. That was in the mid 80's. But no, they can't build a car that gets good gas mileage can they?

Anonymous said...

So your hoses are soft huh? Let me have a look and I'll see if I can take care of that problem for ya!

Free even! :o)

moooooog35 said...

The last time my hoses were soft I went to Vegas and had them straightened for, ironically, $800.

Money well spent, my friend...money well spent.

Although, my car still sucks ass.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Prepon, you are in rare form today. Are you into the cooking sherry again?

Moooooog, I've only been to Vegas once. I actually won a little money. The closest I wanted to come to the activity of which you speak was walking up the strip and collecting as many of the hooker baseball cards as I could.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Hey M(6*o)g35, I was over at your blog and am still laughing. I gave you an add so I can find my way back. Thanks.

Gledwood said...

...STILL haven't moved that bloody great rock, I notice...

Colonel Colonel said...

I think you're right about the car default point. Just last week ours went into the shop for brake work (never a good thing) and I knew, *just knew* when the guy from the garage called he was going to whisper that crazy little word in my ear...

< calipers >

That'll be, oh, $800 with parts & labor.


Bruce, a work in progress said...

Gledwood, nope not yet. Wouldn't want anybody seeing behind it. I'm not wearing pants.

Yeah, Col. that definitely seems to be the default set-point. I picked mine up tonight. $820.19, ouch.

Anonymous said...

Naaaah not into the cooking sherry.Believe it or not I don't drink or do drugs.

I am high on life! :o)

BBC said...

I sure am glad that I was a master mechanic for many years. And still have a lot of tools and equipment and can do my own repairs. It's just so expensive to take cars to shops.

I would have told the shop to put a thermostat in it and see how it went from there. In short, after working in shops for many years, I don't trust most of them. As a service manager I've fired more stupid and crooked mechanics than you can shake a stick at.

It's just me but I just pat my rigs on the dash once in a while and thank them for serving me and drive them for three hundred thousand miles with few problems and spending little money on them.

My current 1996 Dodge Dakota has over 146 K on it and I've spent less than two hundred bucks in part getting it there.

Luck, or help from the cosmos? It doesn't matter I guess, it just works for me.

800 bucks, geez, I wish I was your mechanic, I would have done that one job and took the rest of the week off. LOL

Anyway, happy trails. Hugs.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Six boys and you don't drink or do drugs? Wow.

BBC, I wish you were my mechanic too. I thank both my car and the Universe but I guess every now and then they give you a little reminder.

moooooog35 said...

Thanks for the link!

I've linked you back, too.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

next time you are frustrated while driving, try listening to gangsta rap. screamin' about cappin' someone in the ass will really calm you down. just dont let it get outta hand and consider 'smackin up a hoe'.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

TM, that's the same advice I got from my anger management coach.