We recently took our car in for service. When I went to pick it up, the service manager had locked the keys inside and was working hard to get the drivers side door unlocked. Just for giggles, I tried the passenger side and it opened. I said, “Hey, it’s OK, this side is open”. The guy said, “I know that. I already did that side”! I don’t think we’ll be going back there.
Some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known are mechanics. Some of them just seem to have an amazing aptitude for their trade. In convinced that it doesn’t stop there. These men and women study cars, problems, solutions and are so familiar with their craft that they come up with their own solutions if one can’t be found.
Others are just plain morons. I include myself in this category. When it comes to car repairs, I take it to smart people I can trust. I’ve written about the disastrous consequences that came about as a result of thinking I could do it myself. Alternators, batteries, disc brakes and starters were pretty simple on older cars, but with todays vehicles, I wouldn’t venture a try.
But that’s not nearly as much fun as writing about the morons. My wife and I had to go for a fairly lengthy drive and I had heard a noise under the hood that made me uncomfortable to go. My neighbor claimed to be a really good “shade tree” mechanic, and offered to take a listen.
He had me start it up, rev it up several times, then excused himself and came back with a very long socket execution. I swear to you, he put one end of the extension on several car parts and his ear on the other. He then declared the car safe. I thanked him and off we went.
As the tow truck delivered the car to my wife’s parents house, I was still cursing my friend under my breath. We didn’t even make it 50 miles before everything died. Turned out the alternator was bad, which just happened to be one of the parts my friend “listened to”.