Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Listen To Your Car

There's something overwhelmingly pleasant about someone actually listening to you. I mean, really listening, and taking your comments about a subject seriously. And that happened to me today.

I have an interesting track record with cars. I'm sure some of you remember the saga of my van, aka Vincent, which went through a variety of problems before stranding me in the middle of a busy road. There were a few times with Vincent that I felt like something was wrong, so I took it into the shop. One of the shops I used to take it into always ignored my comments, did a full diagnostic, and sometimes didn't come near to fixing the problem. On the other hand, whenever I went to Les Schwab they would listen to me, and usually fix the problem right away based on my description. But pretty much every time I ever felt like my car had a problem, I was right. Even if no one else could find it or notice it, further investigation would always reveal a problem.

So I pay attention when I feel like there's a problem with my car. And just recently we discovered that the Air Conditioning on Cody the Cavalier was broken, so we took it into the shop. After the repair, driving home, I had a feeling that something was wrong with the car. It wasn't accelerating properly. So the instant I got back from the shop I called them up to report it. And we scheduled a return after the 4th holiday.

Today I went down to get my car looked at and find out if the problem was all in my imagination, or was for real. To my delight, the owner of the shop came out and we went for a test drive. He immediately figured out the acceleration problem, and pulled the car into a shady area of the garage and popped the hood. And both of us immediately could see what was wrong. The accelerator cable was flopping around loose.

So, I was right. I might have even been able to diagnose the problem myself if I'd been brave enough to pop the hood. But at least my record for listening to my car and detecting some slight deviance from the norm is still very good.

To get me through the rest of the day, the owner of the shop MacGyver'ed up a jury-rigged fix that will keep the car from having the problem for maybe up to a week or two. Heck, it might even hold longer, but we're not going to risk it since we have a drive to California coming up. They are ordering a new part for the broken bit.


Carolyn said...

I wish I had the same feelings on my bike. I didn't realize that my bike chain AND cassette on rear wheel were worn out and needed replacing. Well, if I had trusted the chain gauge that I recently bought for it, then I would have not hesitated to replace chain then. It had said chain was worn out, or close to it.

I def think if going on a long trip, all has to be well with bike or car, or however you transporting yourself by. Or you'll run into problems.