06 September 2006

Things that make you Go "GRRrrrrrrrr"...

"However more complex they rethink the plumbing...the easier it is to stop up the drain"...Montgomery Scott

With that famous quote from "Scotty"...I just had bemoan my latest "excursion" into the wonderful world of .....AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR.....!

Seems I had a slight problem yesterday with my 23 year old car...after pulling it into the garage, I went to place it in PARK...

Imagine my astonishment, when I did NOT hear the familair "thunk" of the transmission going into gear. In fact, it didn't go into ANY gear...except neutral, as was witnessed by the lazy way the car "wanted" to roll backwards towards the garage door.
Assessing the situation, and finding out that nothing WITHIN the internal linkage was wrong, I looked under the car (no way was I going to get under the car with no parking gear). I found the remains of some circular bushing, grommet, whatever...and figured THIS must be the culprit. I was right...AGAIN!
After a $40 tow (had to flatbed the car after rolling it from the garage with no power) which wasn't a bad price, the service center called and gave the bad news...$76.50 total. That really wasn't that bad. What WAS bad was how the hell a damn $7 grommet can totally and quite effectively DISABLE a 2800 pound automobile!!!

Time was...when something "broke" on a car...it was a pretty BIG "broke"...as in the transmission fell the hell OUT...or the engine tossed a PISTON through the block...THAT kinda shit! The "good kinda broke" where you KNEW it was broke.
Ever since the mid 70s, and the subsequent advent of "computer-assisted" vehicles (ever notice how the word ASS is included in there?) repairs on cars no longer require a guy with a "motorhead" mentality, but rather a damn computer engineering degree from M.I.T. or some other MAJOR university.
And any car that has the "audacity" to shine a light on the dash telling ME that I need to "check the engine" is not on my "A" list! If I drive the car enough...I KNOW the sounds it SHOULD make...as well as the ones it SHOULD NOT make.
I have a problem with ANY car that wants me to take it in "for service" when I know DAMN WELL, all that car wants to do is collude with the service department and cost me more $$$ I don't have for something that doesn't even NEED service. The oil gets changed religiously, as does the tranny fluid (when warranted)....I have the car lubed at the right intervals. I rotate the tires when needed. Hell, I even do a "walk-around" to check ALL my lights, making sure they work, blink and do what they designed to do.

I often think about what me Dad used to say to me..."Son..they don't call them IDIOT LIGHTS for NO damn reason...any idiot that does what THEY say as opposed to what the CAR tells you is asking to be taken to the cleaners!"

Now...it makes a LOT more sense to me than when he first told me..all those years ago!

Happy Motoring!

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