Thursday, October 04, 2007

Men and Cars - UPDATE

This must be the week for playground rants. For the last two weeks I've had car troubles. Well, not really car troubles but mechanic incompetence. Five weeks ago I had the tires rotated. And when they air wrenched the nuts back onto the bolts they stripped five of the ten front lug nuts. Three on the right and two on the left. This will be important in a minute.

I've been pestering DH for weeks to change the brake pads. He prefers to do it himself instead of paying someone else to do it. He's changed the van's brakes several times in the last couple years (I'm a little tough on brakes :0)). This time, however, the lug nuts on the right stopped him cold. In fact, he snapped one of the bolts in two. With a manual wrench. And threw out his back in the process. Sweet Pea was sitting on the stairs to the house. Did he call out and ask her to run inside and get me? Noooo. Why would he do that? Pig headed man.

After he finally levered himself up off the ground he forced the other bolts back onto the wheel. I went to Sears the next morning - after playing musical cars to get my girls to school on time - and spent $125 bucks to have those 3 fixed. Yes, we thought about taking the car back to the place that the problem started but...I really didn't want them touching my car again.

So this weekend, thinking the problem was finally fixed, DH got all his tools out, changed the brake pad on the right side and...couldn't get 2 nuts off the left side. He'd loosened them before and didn't think they were stripped. He was wrong. He borrowed an air wrench, forced one of them off, broke the other one, and fixed the brakes. So now I have new brakes and a broken lug nut. I don't even want to think about the rear tires. There's no telling how many of them are stripped.

So at some point in the next week I have to fit a trip to the repair place into my schedule. Just what I needed. There is a lesson in all of this...never get your tires rotated at an express oil place.

Anyone else have car nightmares to share?


In all my angst over the car I forgot to post that we have a guest blogger tomorrow. *slaps forehead* We're very excited to have Rachel Vincent with us! Be sure and stop by.


Jen said...

This just makes me crazy on your behalf, Instigator.

Rhonda Nelson said...

Eek! This is the sort of thing that drives me nuts. I'm terrified of my car breaking down. Seriously. It's a sort of phobia with me. Thankfully my neighbor is a mechanic and if anything goes wrong/makes a noise, I can quickly take it next door and he'll take care of it for me.

Maven LJ said...

I work at home, and my kids are grown, so I don't drive every day. Sometimes my car will sit for a week. If I didn't need food and the occasional trip to Parisian (now Belk's, which I have not fully accepted) I wouldn't need a car at all. So, not long after we moved into this house, the fan started making a funny noise. My husband took it in and a while later the repairman called and said, "The good news it, you don't need a new fan." A critter had decided to build a nest in my engine, and a piece of string had gotten caught in the fan. I should mention that this happened mere months after I found two baby mice or chipmunks in the trunk of my car. (I called my youngest son and he left work to come over and help me dispose of them. That day he was the good son.)

Last year, my husband again took my car in for an oil change. When they went to change the air filter, the guy laughed and started calling all the other repairmen over. Ron had to go look. My enginge compartment, including the little air filter thingie, was filled with empty hickory nut shells. And I mean FILLED. They'd had a feast and left the leavings in my car.

Yes, I live in a wooded area and there are critters everywhere. I suppose my occasionally warm engine is attractive to them.

The verification word is phxemzpd. That should be followed by a low and fast "may cause bloating, headache, sleeplessness, the urge to gamble, and hives." :-) (and of course that one didn't go and I'm trying again. Sheesh.)


Smarty Pants said...

Don't get me started. I have the mystery stutter that no one can fix, although they'll charge me $500 to try. It will work for a couple weeks, then return. Sigh.

I also have trouble with my hubcaps. They never put them back on properly, or they do it too hard and they break. As I stand right now, I have 1 good one, 1 cracked one, 1 with a big hunk missing out of it and one that is gone because the last car place didn't get it on right and it disappeared on the way to the HOD meeting. Of course, the one that vanished with neither cracked nor chipped.

I've noticed newer versions of my car have radically different hubcaps. I'm beginning to think mine are flawed and incapable of taking the abuse mechanics dish out.

Angel said...

Rhonda, I'm beginning to think God gave me the car I have now just to get me over "car breaking down" phobia. Our car was always breaking down on the side of the road when I was young. Add to that, we lived on a farm in the middle of nowheresville before cell phones, and it makes for a lot of walking.

I've always insisted on newer cars, especially with kids, because I don't want to be walking on the side of the road with them.

My newest car, a 1999 Dogde Durango, needed $2000 worth of work before we'd even had it two weeks. Darling hubby bought it As Is, so we had to pay for all of it. Now, it goes dead occassionally. Usually in the driveway, but still... But the last time we had it checked out for this problem, of course it refused to perform. The mechanic said he could check the fuel filter, but it is INSIDE the gas tank, which would have to be removed and cost several hundred dollars just in labor.

Since I don't have several hundred dollars at the moment, guess I'll live with it going dead ocassionally. The big sigh of relief is that it has never failed to start up again. If it did, my hubby would be back at the car lot pronto!!!


PS My first verification was nricd, printed in really big letters. I knew it was a trap. It was way too easy. Sure enough, it didn't go through...

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh man, is this a timely topic. Just paid $400 yesterday to get hubby's Jeep back. Paid $350 a week ago, and another $135 a month ago. It's had a surge problem. Every time he took it in, they'd say, "Oh yeah, it's X. Once we replace that, for X dollars, it'll be fine."

But it wasn't fine. He just got it back yesterday, just drove to work this morning in it, so I guess I'll get the report later. But he tore the dealer up one side and down the other after the last time, so even though this bill was $400, there was another $600 worth of stuff they did that they didn't charge for (because they misdiagnosed it and replaced expensive stuff that didn't need replaced and that he refused to pay for). So we'll see.

And I hope like heck it's done because we want to sell it and get something else.

Maven LJ, be thankful you don't live in Germany! They have these critters there, called marders, who love to get into warm engines. The problem is that they like to shred the firewall and eat wires. Cars have been known to catch on fire after marders were inside. We had a pulsing alarm installed on our car that kept the critters out, but there were other things suggested too -- like dog hair or moth balls. I couldn't rest easy until I had the alarm though. :)

Kathy said...

Good luck with your car woes, Instigator and everyone else! Angel, you know I'm pulling for ya'.

In NJ, squirrels used to eat through car wires all the time in our neighborhood. Car works one day, doesn't the next. That fast!

Interestingly enough and bringing out the... "we must have done good" feelings, #3 was walking to his car after school yesterday and saw a tiny kitten crawl under it. Fearing he'd hurt it when he backed out, he looked for it, tried to get it, even taking great pains to delicately lift it out from its position above his tire and between the rim. The kitten hopped down and he searched for it, finally seeing it race under another car. Ah, be still my heart. #3 left a note on that person's car to let him/her know there was a kitten under his/her car and not to kill it. Sigh. Wasn't that sweet!!!

I'd also like to apologize for my rant yesterday. (Intense blushing)


Problem Child said...

My A/C smells like feet when I first turn it on. The mechanic said it was from moisture buildup, and that I should turn the A/C off when I was five miles from home and let the fan blow the moisture out.

I rarely *go* five miles from home. What, I'm supposed to just do without A/C in 106 degree heat?

I'll keep air freshener in my car, thanks.

Playground Monitor said...

Blogger just ate my post. Darn!

Playground Monitor said...

Let's try this again. Worst car disaster was the new minivan we bought in 1989 just in time for a vacation trip with the inlaws to the Outer Banks. With 800 miles on the odometer, and just 10 miles from their house, I stopped at a traffic light and when it changed to green and I accelerated, nothing happened. I coasted it to an empty lot, had it towed and learned the transmission had gone out. That dealer didn't want to fix it since he hadn't sold it to us. The DH gently (yeah, right) reminded him that the warranty was good everywhere. He also told them we needed a car to take on vacation. They offered us a Dodge Neon -- for 6 people. A little more gentle persuasion got us a used minivan.

A year later the engine control card went out so every time I braked the engine died. That's fun in traffic. A year after that the head gasket went bad. I think we only kept that car 4 years and then traded for a new van from a different manufacturer. I had that one for 10 years with no problems.


P.S. Babysitting is going good. We may try to go to the park this afternoon if the weather hold out.

catslady said...

My cars in the shop as I write. I have to admit it is a 1993 but it only has 60,000 miles which isn't bad. My husband is pretty handy but this one has him stumped. It's intermittent. Starts vibrating badly. I had it out the other day and I didn't know if the tire was falling off, the brakes weren't working or something with the idling. It's never ending with cars lol.

Sara Thacker said...

Ugh, that stuff drives me crazy. I hope you can get them all fixed.