Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Not to beat a dead horse...

...but I STILL think we’re being lulled right now by the forces of resistentialism.

Last month I had new struts installed on my Mazda commute-to-work car. It’s getting up there in both years and miles (156,000 and counting), but the power train seems good and I hate to get rid of it now that it won’t depreciate any more. And it IS economical to drive.

But we all know how cars of a certain vintage can begin to “nickel and dime” you to death with constant repairs. Also they become unreliable, which for a work car can be even worse.

I thought for a while before agreeing to the $500 “upgrade,” but opted to go ahead with the new struts. So it was with a severe sinking feeling that I heard the right front wheel begin to “thunk” and “pop” when I drove over a slight rough spot in the road a few days ago.

My hope that it would “go away” was a vain one, as those almost always are; it only got more pronounced.

At the same time the gearshift lever (manual transmission) began to rattle and felt loose.

My diagnosis: front-end suspension or steering linkage problems, and a failing transmission. At BEST I figured the shifting linkage was loose and getting ready to fail.

Well, DAMN! I just wasted $500 on struts because now I was going to have to replace the car, and new struts do not increase the value of a vehicle with 156,000 miles on it. Especially one that on a test drive will lead the test driver to believe it’s coming apart!

Knowing the odds were 100-1 against any chance of success, I took a look at the car’s right front wheel area to see if I could find anything obvious. Well, DUH! Just by pulling and bumping around on things I quickly found a BIG nut on a BIG bolt that was barely finger tight! A couple of turns with a ratchet handle and socket, and the “thunks” and “pops” disappeared!

Then I looked at the floor-mounted gearshift lever. Well, the rubber “boot” around the base of the handle had pulled out of the plastic floor fitting. I used a screwdriver to force it back into place. It is thick and heavy enough that it helps support the lever and keeps it from vibrating and rattling. That problem was also solved!

Total time to repair: maybe 15 minutes!

No, I am NOT saying I’m a great mechanic! That would be tempting, but would fall right into the... well... “hands”(?) of the resistential forces! Very soon, I predict, I and many of you as well will be hit with MAJOR failures that will NOT go away so easily!

There’s a huge sign on I-70 west of Denver as the highway descends out of the mountains heading east towards Kansas. It screams at you, “TRUCKERS — DON’T BE FOOLED! 6 more miles of steep downgrades!

Well, likewise, I implore you, don’t be fooled!

Our so-called “inanimate” objects are gathering their forces, and when the strike comes, it’ll be a beauty!


Shesawriter said...

My husbands car decided not to start when he got off from work. Five minutes later, he tried to start it again, and it worked. It was testing him. I'm sure of it. ;-)


Ana Lee Kennedy said...

I'm lucky. My hubby is a mechanic for a Ford dealership.

Nankin said...

I have a great friend who had a Buick that kept going "KLUNK" everytime he'd turn a corner. He took it in to the dearler to have it checked out. At the end of the day, he went to pick it up and everything was fine. He asked the dealer how they fixed it...are you ready for this? "We took the bowling ball out of the trunk."

Tnaks for the Giecko gecko laugh. I almost wet my pants laughing. Hey, at least I won the battle with the alram system people.

Anonymous said...

I used to have a mini cooper (the old one) and I swear that car had personality. If I cared for it and washed it and changed its oil every 3000 miles it was fine.

If I missed washing it on a month it overheated so smoke was filling up the car (stopped filled with water, no leaks) the second timeb) the water pump blew up creating an interesting water fountain under the bonnet.

Also the hazzard warning lights would stop working the day before the MOT test (this happened 2 years running).

However iit was the best car I have ever driven.

Anonymous said...

My husband cant work on anything.. Unless it can be welded.. he is far from able to fix anything.. I'm hte handy (wo)Man around here.. I do it all.. For instance..

Today.. Hubby was yelling and cussing Diva's bike.. As the chain had come off and with 3 screw drivers he tried to get it back on.. After listening to him for about 15 minutes.. i went out there to see what the problem was. he was furious.. He turned around to put something down and I had the chain on it in less than 3 seconds.. he said,"HOW did you do that?" I told him it was easy.. needless to say he was a lil deflated that I did something rather quickly that he couldnt accomplish in almost 20 minutes..

kenju said...

Mr. kenju's car is sitting out in front of our house now. We had to be towed last Sat. after the parade, and we discovered that the radiator was cracked. UGH!