The other side of the counter – Part II

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Every day I get home from work my level of annoyance at a variety of patrons on the other side of the retail counter gets elevated. All I can do is grin and shake my head. More specifically, this series of rants is about a wide range of these goofies. I have selected a few of the prevalent ones that come to mind easily. First, all the “wanna be” and “old school” mechanics. Second, the “this-auta-work” mechanics. And last for now, the “parts emissary”.

The “this-auta-work” mechanics

cheapskate This group is a very wide ranging one. Most of them are backyard and self maintainer mechanics but there are a whole bunch of “professional” mechanics, mainly from used car lots. But some shop guys are just as bad. These guys will do almost anything to quick fix some things rather than just step up and get a good part. This covers everything from trying to patch a plastic radiator tank with glue to trying to fix an overheating Caddy Northstar with stop leak. Not to mention a bazillion bad cooling fan issues being “fixed” with a roll of cheap wire and a plastic bat handled switch. One of my personal favorites. And it also ranges in scope to include the patrons that can’t seem to get a grip on the cost of technology in new vehicles. If the car calls for a platinum or iridium plug it is not OK to put in a carbon steel $2.00 plug in place of the correct $7.00 iridium! Yes, they will screw in … but NO they are not the same. And, yes, the alternator is $200.00! I love the “How come it’s so much? I used to get these for $35.00! Got anything cheaper?” comment. You probably did, three decades ago!

Another facet of this group is the sector that just “had to have” the Cadillac “whatever”, Land Rover or BMW, and can’t step up to the parts and service cost! You gotta pay to play! These cars are upscale vehicles, they cost more initially, I don’t care what you paid for it, it still cost more, get a grip. I’m not a math major but the parts for the over $30k vehicle is probably gonna cost you a bit more than your $10K Dodge Neon. Flat out! Everyone concedes that Cadillac Northstars are finicky motors. They don’t take kindly to overheating. There are literally tons of them on the car lots. Why? Because for the most part they are problem children and more likely they are there because they have a problem. Land Rovers aren’t made here. Jaguars aren’t made here. Land Rover and Jaguar Cars are now owned by a company from India. Cadillac Cateras are really Opel Senators. Yes, you do have to take the while face off the motor in order to replace the water pump. Yes, you do have 4 oxygen sensors. Yes, there is a coil on top of each spark plug. Yes, the voltage regulator in in the body computer. Sorry, running out of breath. Don’t bitch at me about why parts are so high and why it takes so long to get them. You picked the car, had to have it, and I am just the parts guy. Not my issue. There are more and more cars out there that are cooperative imports. The situation is not getting better, it is getting worse.

And for all of you “hipo” neophytes that just had to have an LT1 motor, I don’t want another wide eyed wonder response to the over $200 tuneup (cap, rotor, and wires) aftermarket cost. Those are the cheap parts. I must admit I do love to see it. Oh, did anyone happen to mention you have to remove the electric water pump to do it? What?! You didn’t know? I’m shocked! Not really. Tag! You are it! Had to have it, now it got you. Anything else I can help you with?

So, this entry is dedicated to all the people that supply a whole bunch of entertainment from the other side of the counter. And I will not recommend any shop or used car lot that pulls this sort of stuff! So if you want to know why I am smiling… Well, because you made my day!

Next up The Parts Emissary!

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