The Captain’s Table.
I was debating whether to draw this, or for that matter, post about it. I felt like I needed some emotional distance from the issue before I did. As the weekend dragged on, I realized I needed some kind of catharsis, and this was going to be it.
When I picked up my car, the owner of the shop had a large number of explanations about the car to give me. The good news is that the transmission…the original job I brought the car in for, works, and seems to work pretty well. I took the old car on a pretty lengthy test drive, and that (the transmission), at least, was fine.
The rest…not so much. Despite replacing my entire engine, on the advice that this would solve a problem that I had, but had never actually experienced, there were Issues. Capital I style Issues. At one point this shop claimed that they couldn’t get the car to stay on, or that it cut out while running. I got to experience both…as well as a “knocking” noise that the owner told me about at length, that I had never had. My engine was reasonably well maintained, despite its quarter of a million miles, and I have never had those kinds of sounds, or problems. As rough as it was, I made the decision to take her back to my old mechanic, my proper mechanic, at Culver Automotive, the next day. After all, I had only wanted to drive around in my old chair, in my proper car.
I typed out a virtual book report about the whole drama, for Culver Auto. One page of it was a timeline of what was done, or supposedly done, on the car, so that Dimitry and his crew had some clue where we were. The other was a “checklist” of things that we needed to solve. After a few minutes of conversation, and having heard the sound when I came in (miraculously, as the cold start problem was unsolved by all of that engine drama), we both agreed that it would probably be best to remove this clearly faulty engine. It would be smarter to work with a known quantity, than to correct someone else’s work, and possible mistakes.
I’m going to say again…the shop I brought it to did attempt to make things right. Sadly, I think they just bit off more than they could chew. The owner and I had worked out a very fair deal, to both of us, on the transmission repair…since I had made a “good faith” payment. In short, I didn’t really pay that shop very much at all. Considering that I brought it in for a transmission rebuild, and I got a rebuilt transmission…I can’t complain about that part. At all. Part of the reason I don’t want to name names at this point…I’m too close to it. It seems though that there were clearly points where it could have been said, much prior to this past week, that it was too big a job.
I was nervous that it was too big a job for Dimitry at Culver Automotive as a result, which was silly. My old friend put my mind at ease pretty quickly, reminding me that we have had many Big Jobs in our long business relationship. I asked him if parts would be a problem, as that seemed to be a Big Deal in the past months, where they had never been before. He assured me that there wouldn’t be a problem…we hadn’t had one before, and wouldn’t now.
Even with that, I was depressed and nervous. The last two months have pretty much created that constant state, and in this case, worse. I asked, “It’s fixable, right?”
“Every car is fixable, my friend.”
That was something that I needed to hear. I told him that I understood if he’d need to hang onto her for about two weeks or so, and he shook his head, saying that it probably wouldn’t be so long. He then explained that it being Saturday, they would give the old girl a thorough once over on Monday, and we would talk on Monday about what needed to be done. He also provided me a free loaner car…pretty much negating the draw of shop number two completely.
At this point, I’m stressed out, with the tangible fear that my beloved car will somehow become a “project car.” You know…one of those that sits in the garage, and you work on out of love. Again, my buddy at Culver Automotive seemed confident that this wasn’t the case, and that replacing the engine (cheaper than a rebuild, believe it or not) would resolve many, many ills, such as the knocking and the compression problems. Fingers crossed, although I have great confidence in his shop…they have never let me down.
He was as bewildered at the time in shop as I was. Like I mentioned at the top…I don’t think I’m far enough away from the situation to give a fair appraisal of what happened. Ironically, all of my friends think that for once I was too reasonable, which is hugely out of character for me.
The art, of course, is a visual representation of my feelings this weekend. I’m sure after speaking to the shop tomorrow, my wallet will be hurting, but my spirits will be much higher.