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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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car problems

So, while my mom was staying with Z last week, she was driving my car and heard a clunk from the front end, then felt a vibration or shimmy coming from the front end while accelerating at speed. She stopped driving the car, and I took it into my local mechanic last Friday who rebalanced a wheel, straightened a slightly bent rim and rotated the tires to fix the problem. He also noticed that my annual Motor Vehicle Inspection was due, so he did that and gave me a new sticker. Problems solved, right?

Wrong. The shimmy remained, and when I took it to my second mechanic (the one I go to for bigger jobs), he found a freaking broken CV joint in the axle. Essentially a broken axle! Not only did my regular mechanic not notice this, but he passed my car's annual inspection with it! What a joke. I won't be going back to their shop again, I'll tell you that much. Yeesh.

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mimesis June 21st, 2006
would you consider calling your (former) regular mechanic to tell him why he's lost your business? not in the disgruntled customer vein, but in the spirit of education. even if he continues to be crap at Dx for cars, he'll know that he's been caught out.

iamom June 21st, 2006
Yeah, I should totally do that. I know the guys in his shop personally too, which is both why I should do that and also why I don't want to. Frankly I'm a bit shocked that they took so little care with my repair, especially given that we know each other!

But your point is well taken. I'll almost certainly give him a call to let him know what the final outcome was on it.

mimesis June 21st, 2006
if he's any kind of businessman, he'll try to make some sort of offer to retain your future business.

out of concern for your family's safety, please don't gloss over the fact that a major problem was completely invisible to them. missing a broken CV is just unacceptable. even though your car turned out okay in the end, what about the hypothetical car on the road next to you which might have gone to that shop for something just as severe?

i know it sucks to deliver bad news, though. (e.g., i'm getting more and more uncomfortable at the thought of calling my landlord to let him know i'm cancelling the lease renewal, even though my reasons are completely understandable. bah. :/ glad to be finding a new place, but *gah* i don't know how that conversation is going to go. )

anyway, glad the car got fixed for real!

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