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End results

As I sit here staring at the large cut on my little finger, I'm sort of fuming about the repairs to my car. I spent the weekend making little tweaks that should have been fixed as a matter of routine of changing an engine. Apparently when I decided to supply the mechanic with a new engine, all attempts at being real mechanics came to a grinding halt. Oh yeah, and I had the audacity to ask why, when the mechanic who was working on my car decided to go on a week's vacation, someone else couldn't work on my car? Apparently at that shop one guy works on foreign cars and another works on domestics and never the twain shall meet. Seriously, I'd have been better off when I knew the old engine was shot, to take the train to the farm, get my truck, borrow Rob's trailer, drive 200 miles back to Joliet, coax the dead car onto the trailer, drive it 200 miles back to the farm, order the new engine and spend a week replacing it myself. It would have taken less time and far less money.

Most non VW mechanics don't know how to work on VW engines which is one reason I wasn't thrilled to have them attempt to rebuild it. I've had some otherwise good mechanics royally fuck up an otherwise good VW engine, just because they didn't know about certain little quirks.

So here are some of my complaints:

1. They didn't bother to re-align the headlights when they put them back in. Yes, this is important when one headlight points at the sky and one points straight down at the ground.

2. They didn't tighten the bolts that hold the hood latch to the body. So on my way home from the farm the other night, the hood starts to come open at 75 mph.

3. They didn't bother to clear out the codes that set off the Check engine light. You'd think this would be an obvious thing to do since the event that set it off was the reason you had it in your shop to begin with. The mechanic just told me it was on like he expected me to tell him why. Not a huge deal, I just don't have the tool to reset it.

4. They didn't replace the old belts which is incomprehensible to me since they even said they were going to do it as part of the fee.

5. They didn't replace the spark plugs. They took the ones out of the old engine and put them in the new engine. And they wondered why the idle was uneven after doing that.

6. When the discovered the idle was uneven, they didn't even bother to run any tests to find out why. Turns out it was a combination of the old spark plugs and the Mass Airflow Sensor being dirty. Wanna guess how the MAF sensor got dirty? How about it was taken apart and allowed to sit on the work bench in a dirty garage for a month while you worked on the freaking engine. I swear, it takes 5 minutes to take it apart and clean it and save the customer a ton of worry.

So this morning, I rent a U-Haul truck and go over to pick up the old engine and take it home. Why am I bothering with something that doesn't run? Because the head is worth $100 as a core deposit from the place I bought the new engine. And once I get any usable nuts and bolts taken off the old engine, I can sell the aluminum block for scrap to a recycler. I'll get something back out of this.

And the other thing that galls me is I told the mechanic I was going to send the head back in. So you think having all the right tools there, he would have separated the head from the block for me. You'd have thought. So now I get to do that after I get back from vacation.

And last but not least, he told me the block had been drained of all fluids. Come to find out after I loaded it into the U-Haul truck that he didn't drain the oil. So approximately 5 quarts spilled out all over the bed of the truck when I turned a corner. When i got to the house, I backed up to the garage and literally pushed the engine block out onto the concrete floor of the garage, jumped down and leaned it upright so it would not spill out any more oil. In cleaning up the oil spill, i turned my comfortable pair of Levis into a pair of work jeans only. I doubt seriously that I'll be able to get the oil stains out enough to wear them in public.

Moral of the story, If you can do the work yourself, do it yourself. And don't trust anything to Mickey's Goodyear in Joliet, IL.

T minus 20 hours until I leave for vacation. New Mexico and Colorado here I come.




( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you could use that vacation. Be sure to bring your rain gear. All of it. And an ark, if you have one.
Aug. 7th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
It's a typical August here now. Really hot and really humid so the monsoons will be a welcome change. The rain gear is already packed. I'll be in NW New Mexico part of the time. Don't know if it's any drier over there.

Aug. 7th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Farmington's been getting rain, too, but my place - I'm at about 8000 feet up in the Sangres, above Glorieta Pass - is just about the wettest place in New Mexico right now. I've been getting major thunderstorms up there every night for the past two weeks. Not just the standard New Mexico afternoon showers: Many of these have been all-night rains.

But yeah, the forecast for the northwest part of the state continues to call for more rain for most of the next ten days...
Aug. 7th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
Leave me some contact info if you'd like to get together for lunch or something while I'm out there.

Aug. 8th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
That's probably one of the worst automotive services that I have ever heard! Geez... I'm glad to hear that you're going to be on vacation after all this.
Aug. 8th, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
It's what I was afraid of when it broke down. I've got a much better mechanic down by my farm and also friends who would help me do it myself. But when you are in a strange town, you take what you can find.

Aug. 8th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Damn, bro! That's just plain unprofessinal! Anyone you can complain to there? Or is it just not worth it?

Anyway, hopefully that's behind you now and you can enjoy your vacation!


Aug. 23rd, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
Hey Wander, back yet? Tomyris
Aug. 23rd, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
Sure am. I'm editing the hundreds of pictures I took with the new camera.

Aug. 25th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to those pics. Tomyris
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )