Friday, December 29, 2006

The Good Old Ways?

We used to need these signs, when I was growing up. There was a sizable Amish population around us, as well as a large number Mennonites. They had hitching racks outside the stores in town, and sometimes there would be horses and buggies attached to them. The area has grown up too much - the Amish have retreated. The signs still hang, 'cause my little town has become quite the tourist mecca, and tourists love shit like those signs, but it's been probably 15 years since I've actually seen a horse and buggy clopping down the street.

Right now, I'm thinking they have the right idea. I have no right to whine, really, 'cause I'm more fortunate than most - but that's not going to stop me. Yes, I realize that without a slightly more modern vehicle, the trip home could not have been accomplished in the six and a half hours that it took. Still...

When Dad asked what I wanted for Christmas, I said that the best thing he could give me was time - car maintanance time. My Cherokee went over 98000 miles on the trip home, and some things needed worked on. For one thing, it was oil change time again. For another, I'm really freakin' sick of not having a working heater. The air conditioner not working didn't phase me, 'cause I'm usually freezing and I never turn it on. The heat, though, that's a bit more critical.

So Wednesday, I hauled myself and my Jeep over to my parents' house so Dad could work on it. My brother even promised to help. Well, in the course of changing the oil and lubing everything, they discovered that my U joints were about shot. So I had to haul it over there again so they could replace those. Then on my way back to my aunt's, the damn thing overheated and dumped coolant all over the driveway. Then they got the u joints replaced, and it started shaking at 55 mph. Now they're going to change the thermostat to the radiator and I have to bring it back tomorrow so they can fool around with it some more.

And... my heater still doesn't work. Dammit.

If I feel like being really picky about things, I'll whine about the rest of it too. Like how the pull-thing for the hood broke off a while ago, and I'm currently yanking on the fish stringer line sticking out from under the hood to get it open. And how the driver's side map light only works when it wants to. As does the overhead light when I open any of the car doors - sometimes it comes on, sometimes not. And how passengers can open the window occasionally, and other times the Jeep doesn't like 'em and won't listen.

*sigh* I'm just very lucky that I have people willing to work on it for me. I've tried the mechanic route - last year, I dumped over $3000 into the damn thing 'cause my mechanic replaced the radiator (for nearly $400) and then 'discovered' the crack in the block that required someone to machine it out for over $2600 and THEN my service engine soon light came on - and the son of a bitch charged me another almost $400 to replace an oxygen sensor. Rat bastard. My brother is of the opinion that whatever they did to the radiator probably broke the block. Since they charged me $168 to do the "diagnostic" last time - after I told them what was wrong 'cause Autozone checked it for free - I've decided to find someone new. For now, that would be my brother and my dad.

Just for the record - don't trust a mechanic named Sparky. Especially when he's got $40,000 worth of Matco tool cabinents in his garage.

1 comment:

Suldog said...

Sparky? Did he have an assistant named Goober?