Car Trouble…

800px-Chrysler_Town_and_Country_SWB_--_07-09-2009 I have a love/hate relationship with my car.

I love my van.  It Goghs.  (Snork!  That’s a really old Mom Joke…When Vincent’s Van Won’t Gogh…)  

On any given day ’round my place, it will hold a lot of guys with baseball gear and get them to the game on time.  And on another day, it’ll hold a buncha guys with Tae Kwon Do bags arguing about the variations in Minecraft texture packs.  

It hauls mulch.  

It hauls furniture.  

It hauls friends for a girls night out if I get the short straw as designated driver.  

It is (*cue super hero music*)  uber-useful-van!

Except when it won’t go.  I hate it when it won’t go.  I loathe car repair experiences in general.

This is actually rare, thankfully.  Chrysler makes a good darn mini-van.  (As well they should since they invented the darn things!  Thank you, Lee Iaccoca!)  However, I was reminded of these occasional lapses of going by Bandita Nancy’s visit here to DC.  She had car trouble.  

Now she doesn’t drive a mini-van, for which I’m sure she’s grateful, but her car was not happy when she arrived.  640px-Lewis_Hine_Power_house_mechanic_working_on_steam_pumpWe got it to my mechanic this morning and by late afternoon, it was ready to get back to the good work of serving as Bandita Nancy’s sturdy transportation.  Grins.  Nancy, I know, was dubious, but I told her I had faith in the guy.  

Now this is a hard thing for me, to have faith in a mechanic.  but let me tell you a little story…

The last time my husband’s van wouldn’t go – yes, he has one too as you can see in the “double-parked” snow van scene below – we had taken it to this “new guy” mechanic at a gas station not too far from the house.  I was a bit concerned about this, but we knew the car wouldn’t get far (certainly not as far as the expensive dealership mechanics across town!).  This guy was handy, and not busy, and we needed the DH’s van to be fixed quickly.  There was a ballgame to get to, after all, and I had to go the other direction with youngest son, so BOTH vans had to work.

The young, unfamiliar-to-us mechanic, who had just bought out the grizzled, gruff, grouchy older guy who owned the place, assured us that he could do it.  He could get the van running and running well, for a decent price, and in the necessary time frame.  I’m not sure I’d’ve trusted “old gruff and grouchy” to stick to the timeline.  (He was a decent mechanic, but let’s just say that time ran differently in his shop than it does in my world.)

So we took it in, crossed our fingers and hoped, planning to get a rental car the whole time.

Young Mechanic called sooner than expected.  There was another part that needed fixing.  The DH and I rolled our eyes, thinking we were being scammed, but since we didn’t 800px-Helical_Gearshave much choice, we winced, grumbled, then gave our okay.

Less than twelve hours later, Young Mechanic called to say he was so sorry, that he was still behind and wouldn’t have it at 7 pm because the gas station had been robbed and he’d had to spend time with the police as he and his fellow mechanic had witnessed the robbery and the second mechanic had actually torn off on his motorcycle and followed the robber’s car, allowing the police to catch them!  

Well, hard to argue with that story.  We’d heard the sirens, heard the place had been robbed via the neighborhood grapevine.  

But….no car.

We planned for, and called in an order for, a rental.

The next morning, before the DH had to leave for the baseball game, Young Mechanic called to say the car was ready.  We were on our way to pick up the rental.  Dubious, we 2009 snow 007turned around and went to the gas station/garage.  

There sat the DH’s van, ready to go.  They’d also topped off the fluids and windshield wiper stuff.  He apologized for not having had time to wash it, he said, as they were still working with the management of the gas station to allow them to wash the cars.  

We were agape.  We canceled the rental.

With trepidation, we asked Young Mechanic how he’d managed to get the car done by that morning.

“Oh, I stayed here until about midnight.  I had yours and one other that I’d promised.  If I’d’a had to wait on parts, that would be one thing, but I had the parts.  Big delay was the police stuff.  So, I knew you needed it, so I stayed till I got it done.”

Young Mechanic now has our loyalty.  We recommend him.  Obviously, when a friend needs a mechanic, as Bandita Nancy did, we go to Young Mechanic.  This guy started his business with a van and some tools.  At first he’d go to the customer with his van and his tools and fix their cars.  He built a following, a clientele.  He got a second van, hired another guy who loved working on cars to drive that van and off they went, fixing cars.  

When grouchy, gruff old mechanic with his own sense of time decided to hang up his wrenches, Young Mechanic bought the business, lock, stock and lug-nuts.  How?  He’d been saving up a portion of his receipts from Us_flag_with_eagleevery job he did with his trucks because he needed and wanted a permanent location.

It’s such an American story, isn’t it?  I don’t know Young Mechanic’s ethnicity and don’t really care – he’s as American as American can be.  I know one of his mechanics is either Polish or of Polish extraction because his name, as he told me when I asked how to pronounce it, is Polish.  Another is, I think, originally Kenyan, and the fourth, another general mutt of an American like me.  I asked one of them how he came to work for Young Mechanic.  

“I needed a job.  He’d been open about a week and I came in.”

“He hired you?” I asked.  “Just like that?”

“He was taking down an engine.  I told him where the extra bolt was that was keeping it from coming down, so he hired me.”

Yep.  American as American can be.  

Hire people who are smart.  Hire people who are smarter, or more experienced than YOU are.  Treat your customers right.  Stay late if you need to, to get the job done.  When a good customer comes in and her friend from out of town has car trouble, help them out.  

If you see a customer struggling to put air in the tires, go help.  (Saw him do this one day when I was getting gas, and no, it wasn’t some pretty young thing he wanted to flirt with.  It was a mom with a van full of kids and dogs.)  

Price fairly, and make sure you don’t overcharge for things, because eventually the customer WILL find out.  Give good advice.  Tell the customer “You have to do this RIGHT NOW.  You need to do this other thing, but it isn’t as urgent.  If you can only spend XX dollars to keep it running, spend them HERE.”

THAT is a good mechanic.  That is also a superb businessman.  Worth his weight in gold.  And I assure you, he will make really great money, doing something he loves, and will prosper.  I send him business all the time.  I know other people do too.  He’ll own the whole property before he’s done, mark my words.  Probably still have his fleet of trucks too.

Sometimes, a little car trouble leads you to a great story.  Sometimes, it reminds you that the American Entrepreneur isn’t on the Endangered Species List or as extinct as the Dodo bird!   1280px-Oxford_Dodo_display

All good things.

Have you ever had car trouble when you were out of town?  Did some good come out of it, or was it a terrible experience?

Where is/was the worst place you’ve ever broken down?

Do you know how to change your own tire?  Your oil?  Or do you barely know how to get the hood open?

Do you own jumper cables?

Do you have a good mechanic, or is that as rare as Dodo eggs where you are?

Do you know a great entrepreneur like this guy?

(Photos are either mine or Wikimedia Commons)

Posted in , , , , ,

Comments

41 Comments

  • Amy Conley says:

    My hubby’s best friend is a mechanic, usually hubby works with him on our cars.

    Yes I can change my oil and my tires. I may not be able to fix it, but I usually know what’s wrong and how it should be fixed. I even know how to siphon gas ( don’t ask). Yes I have jumper cables and know how tk use them. I can start the car by by-passing the alternator.

    And I agree, a good mechanic is worth their weight in gold.

    • Amy Conley says:

      and what can the rooster do other than get into trouble?

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Mornin’ Amy! Wow, you are a woman of many talents! Grins. So great that you have a friend who’s a mechanic! That IS worth it’s weight. Grins.

      As to the rooster, as Caren says, he’s a bird of much ego and little substance, but I DO think he knows how to boost cars, so watch out!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Wow, Amy, I’m impressed that you know and can do all those things!

  • Helen says:

    Jeannie

    It is always great when you have a good mechanic we started with our many years ago like yours they were in a garage selling fuel and it was an older man and his sons often helped when he retired the boys took over and they have moved but we still use them and they are trustworthy and do a good job for a decent price and we have recommended them many times as for breaking down yes many times LOL although we have not had any problems getting them fixed and the worst place we broke down once many years ago outside a cemetary in the country although I am sure you would have loved it and yes we did go for a walk around at dusk while waiting for the road service crew to come and get us on our way 🙂 And no I can’t change a tyre or ail I leave that all to everyone else

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      You’re right, Helen, I would have loved the dusky walk around the cemetery, despite the car trouble. Grins.

      How fab that you have someone you can trust, mechanic-wise. It’s reassuring isn’t it? As cars get so much more complicated, it’s hard to fathom fixing ANYTHING yourself!

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    I just had a winter long experience with a car I bought in December, they saw me coming. I bought it from an individual, it seemed fine, until it got cold. I spent the winter catching rides to and from work.
    I found a wonderful garage but my “mystery car”, yes, that is what the mechanics called it, was the bane of all of our existence. It would be fine, start right up, then in the cold mornings of winter, nothing. It would turn over but never catch. They searched, put it on computers to read, it had all kinds of parts changed (all very much needed I came to find out) One time the men came here and had it towed back to the garage and didn’t even charge me for the tow or the part they replaced. Still, it wouldn’t start in the cold. I would get a ride back home and it would start. Lovely. Finally winter was over and I thought, okay, at least I have a couple of seasons to figure this out, I had already spent 3 thousand all together at this point. Nope, went out one morning and it was officially dead, it didn’t care what the weather was, it wasn’t starting. We had it towed to the garage for the 4th time and my BF asked them to check the ground wires, he had heard that this little van (yes, it is a mini van)sometimes had issues with it’s grounding. The garage called me around 11 and said “you are not going to believe this”. RODENTS! The little devils had eaten all the insulation from the ignition wires and moisture was gathering on the bare wire and grounding it out. Finally the wires broke. It has started like a dream ever since. Did it need all that other work, absolutely. Do I love the men at the garage, Absolutely. Do I like my mini van? No, I hate it, it failed me too many times so we now have major trust issues but it does run and run well.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Oh, Dianna, what a horrible experience. But what a GREAT STORY! Who would’ve thought wire insulation was such a delicacy for the mice??

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      OMGosh, Dianna! How weird! I never would have thought of THAT – obviously the mechanics didn’t either! Yikers!!

      Had to LOL about the “major trust issues” – isn’t that awful? Even when you KNOW they’ve fixed it but you’re still dubious…terrrible feeling. :>

      Hope you can come to terms, you and Mini and that in a while you can trade out again to something more trusty.

  • Shannon says:

    The biggest problem I had with my previous car. I was driving about 70 on a highway when the car acted like the brakes slammed on, going from 70 to 40 abruptly. I then jerked back and forth between 40 and 50. I pulled off and got AAA to tow me. They suggested the local Toyota place. I especially despise dealership service because they always want to do a lot of service and new parts. This time was DIFFERENT.

    He asked if I had put in any new parts. I said yes an axle at my hometown station. He looked at it. He said they had damaged the transmission fluid container and that meant my whole transmission was gone. He said to contact the local mechanic. I did. They denied doing anything wrong. The Toyota mechanic faxed them, telling them it was their fault. They said they would pay for the new transmission. So three days later there was a $2, 700 check in the Toyota dealership’s hands. And a day later, I had Amanda back and running.

    I’m due for an oil change. I debating where to take it. I have one mechanic I’ve used for a while but he’s begun suggesting this and that. My friend uses another mechanic. Several people at work have recommended another place near where I work. Sigh. Not how I want to spend my leisure hours.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Wow, Shannon, that must have been scary! And YAY on the dealership. Sometimes they’re a pain, but in this case, WTG to them!

      I’m with you – I loathe spending my time on car stuff. Loathe. It. So good luck with the mechanic/oil change! Yikers. May it be quick, effortless and easy!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      That’s a great story, Shannon, and renews my faith in dealerships!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Jeanne, I love this post! We struggled for YEARS to find a good, reliable mechanic. We have one now, thank goodness! I send all sorts of people their way and they are always, always busy. But so nice and honest and reliable.

    My van (now 17 years old with about 275k miles and running like a top), had an issue back about year 8 where, when it rained, it would die as I was driving down the road. This was before our new mechanic. We took it a couple of places, where they did things like replace the water pump, etc,, and it would be fine. Until it rained again.

    Many hundreds of dollars later, we took it to the garage our good friends use. The mechanic there listened to what it had been doing, then figured out that this tiny plastic part that shields…something or other, had gotten brittle and wasn’t doing it’s job. The part was about $4 and he charged us about $35 for labor. We have gone to them ever since.

    We even take cars we’re thinking of buying to them so they can give us a prioritized list of things that need to be done if we buy it. I recommend EVERYONE do this! We’ve been incredibly happy with them.

    Plus, a woman owns the garage and her son is an ace mechanic. 😀

    Also, my 17-year-old minivan is a Plymouth Grand Voyager SE (the extra-big one). That thing spent its first 14 years hauling my family on vacation, my kids’ friends everywhere, and my many Girl Scouts to every imaginable destination in the Southeast US. The best car I will ever own! I love her.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Gotta love a Chrysler minivan! Grins. I’m so impressed about the 275K miles! WOW!! DH’s van is 14 years+ and has 187K. Its got some rust spots, but otherwise? Like yours it runs like a top. :>

      I’m with you too on the “take it to the mechanic BEFORE YOU BUY IT” plan. The Young Mechanic I mentioned in the post has offered to look at anything we might purchase and give us that kind of run down. Very smart. :>

  • Mozette says:

    What a time you had with your car, Caren! And yeah, they can become a very expensive thing added to a household – but aren’t they wonderful?

    Last year, when I was using Mum’s Pajero, I had great fun! But it guzzled petrol like water. Mum was happy I was enjoying driving…. and then, over Christmas, and NYE break, I had a ball with it too.

    Then, the day came when my cousin couldn’t find her dog, Max, he was old and had been missing since 4am. So, seeing it was stinking hot, we all pitched in and went to help her, including me. I jumped in the ‘Green Beastie’ and took off towards her house. But I didn’t get far. I found the radio was turning itself off and on – and the antenna was going up and down on its own too… very unsettling. And to make it worse, the needles wandered all over the place! Woah!!! So, I took the car to Mum and Dad’s place, parked it in the driveway and turned off the engine. On the way there, I turned off the radio and stopped using the indicator as much as possible to conserve power.
    However, when I turned the key again, the car didn’t even mutter… it was dead. So, at least I wasn’t on the side of the road! Anyway, I went inside and called my folks and explained what happened. Dad said to Mum that she should have taken it in for a service last year… and then I called RACQ Roadside Assistance and told them what happened. They showed up 45 minutes later, and the guy said both the battery and alternator had died at the same time!!! How horrible is that? Well! he replaced the battery and said to not use the lights and keep to the speed limit as much as possible and he booked in the alternater guy that afternoon.
    Well, that alternator guy showed up about 3 hours later at my place (in my unit complex). I had back the 4X4 into my car port to make it easier for him. He took an hour to replace the old alternater with a new one… and all up Mum spend over $400 on her credit car when she could have had a service on her car done for around $700, and it would have been covered.

    Now I have my own car, I’ll be getting a service done on it when it’s supposed to be done, and not when I feel like it… nothing worse than the car screwing upwhen you most need it. 🙁

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Wow, Mozette, you are SO lucky that you were close to your folks’ house! Not that it wasn’t scary, but I have to confess that I find getting stuck on the side of the road so much worse. (Esp. when it’s stinkin’ hot!)

      More importantly though, did they find the dog??

      Glad you’re getting wheels too! I am religious about getting the service on my car. I’m also lucky *knocks wood* that it’s not let me down! Grins.

      • Mozette says:

        Aaah, yes. Unfortunately, they did find poor Max. He had gone outside into the long grass of the back yard to pass away under the early morning light of the sunrise.

        He had been well and should have been put to sleep last year, but my cousin didn’t want to do that… she got herself another dog and he’s a little sweetheart. But she does miss Max terribly. 🙁

  • catslady says:

    I can’t think of anything good coming from car problems. We’ve had tons of them. My car is 21 yrs. old so always fixing it but I like my car (I don’t drive much either lol). Not only does my husband take care of our two cars, he also has taken care of both my daughter’s cars. We have gone through a ton of mechanics when it’s something he can’t get to or it’s just too impossible or the weather is bad. It seems the place starts out great on the first visit but eventually it all goes bad. Sometimes it’s because they hire incompetent mechanics to the time they were sabotaging our cars. Everyone should have a mechanic, doctor, computer nerd and vet in the family lol.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Catslady it’s awesome if you have someone in the family! I think this about doctors. So glad ot have a nurse in the family that I can call and say, “Do I need to worry about this?” Grins.

      Pretty cool to have a mechanic in the family that you could say, “Do I need to worry about this?” Grins.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Wow, Catslady, you’re so lucky your husband is talented with cars!

  • I’ve been fortunate with my cars. The worst experience for me was having a flat on the highway. i wasn’t about to fix it – not with all those cars whizzing by. So I started the relatively short walk to the next exit. I hadn’t gone three steps when someone pulled over and offered me a ride. I hesitated. After all, I tell my kids not to get into cars with strangers. But this is Ohio. Everyone is nice in Ohio 🙂 I got in the car. He took me to the gas station, where the owner guy with a truck took me back to my car and changed the tire.

    Wish I knew a good mechanic. Wish I had a good mechanic in the family. Right now my husband’s convertible is in the shop for a new clutch (ouch!). At least it’s a local shop. I prefer to spend money in my community than at the dealer.

    Nancy, glad to hear it all worked out and your car is back in raunning condition!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Donna! I know what you mean about wishing there was a good mechanic in teh family! So far, Young Mechanic has been pretty good, so we’ll cross our fingers that he stays that way. Hate to hear about the clutch though. That’s an expensive one. :> Love a straight tranny though, so I envy the convertable with a clutch! Grins.

      I can change a tire, but in that situation, I think I’d have done exactly the same thing YOU did! (Up to and including the ride!)

    • Jo Robertson says:

      LOL at you, Donna. I’ll send out the word that there are no serial killers in Ohio!

  • Jeanne, what a wonderful story about your mechanic! People like that are like gold in our lives aren’t they – and far too rare! Reliable, pleasant, competent, honest. Should be more of them. I actually don’t own a car. Heck, I don’t even drive. It always amuses my friends mightily the first time they come to my house. I have a three-car garage. Except it’s full of books. Yup, that’s my definition of a great use of space!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Ha! That’s the best use of a 3-car garage I’ve heard of, Anna! 😀 It’s odd to think of living with no car, though, I’ll admit. Only if I lived somewhere with AMAZING public transportation could I even conceive of it.

      My son just moved to Queens (a borough of NYC) and I *think* he sold his car. I really should know for sure, but I don’t. He and his girlfriend also sold their motorcycles, so they are completely reliant on public transportation and they love it! So far. Time will tell.

      I have to say, though, with his history of speeding and parking tickets, I think it’s a GREAT idea!

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Caren, everyone in NY tells me there’s just no point in having a car. I hope #1Son is having a great time there! Working at a new job I’m guessing?

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Wow, Anna! That IS the best use of a three-car garage! WOOT!! :> And as Caren said, I’d totally use public transpo, and do, as you well know, whenever I go into any big city! Including DC. Grins. It’s just practical.

      However, I’d love to have a garage. Don’t have one, but I can see it being full of books rather than housing the vehicle anyway. Hahah!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      You’re hilarious, Fo! I don’t know ANYONE else who uses their garage to store books!

      Sometimes I think life without a car would be so much simpler. We’d all be healthier from walking or biking!

  • Deb says:

    Van Gogh, hahaha, snork!

    Okay, so this is exactly what America needs today and to encourage. Why are we not encouraging young people to become mechanics or pharmacy techs or flower shop owners, etc? We our a society that turns our noses up at anything less than a four-year college degree. YAY, Young Mechanic, you “Gogh”! Sounds like a success story Mike Rowe would like to know.

    I broke down once only 30 minutes from home, but when I went to the door of the nearest home, the guy found out my husband was a truck driver and driving somewhere in MN, so offered to put my SUV on his flatbed and take me home. Was I nervous? Shoulda been, but I instantly knew he and his wife were okay.

    There are three mechanics in our little town of 925 people and they are always busy.

    Help if I ever have to change a tire. I’ve added oil, but never changed it.

    I just met an entrepreneur over a week ago. My SIL just married him. He is Canadian, but has lived in Texas for the last 30 years. He built his own business from nothing and from the ground up. He builds and constructs metal buildings from little sheds to big sheds to huge barns. And, his name is Abe. Nice, strong, old-fashioned name, I say.

    • Deb says:

      oops, should be “we are a society….”

      For clarification as to why I chose pharmacy techs and flower shop owners, and there are many other worthy occupations….but, I know a young girl who wants to be a pharmacy tech, but it took her many months to get over the societal guilt of not attending a four-year school. That is why I think we need to encourage such things. My own son is going into industrial maintenance because he loves messing around with big appliances, LOL.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Good for him, Deb! He’ll love it and he’ll probably make a great living at it b/c so few other people actually WANT to do it! Ha! I have an acquaintance who stopped being a corporate exec to own a biz doing events (weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, corporate shindigs, etc.) because she LOVED that, and really, ,really, really hated meetings. She’s been inordinatley happy and is doing really well, financially too.
        Just saw a clip on FB of Jim Carrey doing a commencement speech. He said his dad should have been a comedian, but he took the safe route and became and accountant. He got laid off. Carrey said, “If you can fail at something you hate, just as easily as at something you love, it’s a whole lot better to try the thing you love.” (or something to that effect!) So bravo to your son! And bravo to the pharma tech! :>

      • Jo Robertson says:

        I completely agree with you, Deb, and have been saying so to our local school boards forever! We track all kids to college when only about 3% actually go. We need to have high school curricula that prepare kids for a wide range of jobs and interests.

        College isn’t for everyone and more and more these degrees are getting expensive and yielding little.

  • Jeanne, what a great post. Obviously, yes, I have had car trouble out of town.*g* The worst place was on I-85 north of Atlanta I didn’t know that was (more than 20 years ago) the car repair scam center of the country. I assume it’s better now.

    To make a long story short, the guy lied when he said he fixed it. He either didn’t change out the part or put in another defective one.

    Your mechanic, in contrast, did a great job.

    Yes, I do own jumper cables. I knw how to change a tire but am not confident about the whole deal with the lug nuts. I know how to check oil but not change it.

    We do have a good mechanic.

    I know several entrepreneurs like your mechanic, small business owners who do a great job.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Nancy! *Waves madly* So glad you’re home safe and sound, with trusty car riding well allllll the way! :>

      I think the lug nuts are the trickiest part of changing a tire. They’re put on with those air wrenches and are super difficult to undo with a tire iron and levarage. Grins.

      Thanks for inspiring the blog today!

  • Alyn says:

    I haven’t had any car trouble out of town yet. I haven’t had any car trouble at all really. The only time I had one was when I forgot to turn off my headlights at work and the battery died. Thankfully newer cars automatically turns it off once you turn off the engine.

    I am one of those people that just knows how to drive a car. I know how to put in gas and how to put in more windshield wiper fluid but that’s where my car expertise ends.

    I have jumper cables but do not know how to use them. I don’t know how to change oil or tires. I do know how to change the windshield wipers though.

    We do have a good mechanic to go to.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Alyn! I love how you put it – I just know how to drive it – and had to LOL. I’m that way about computers. I know how to turn it on and off, I know how to write in word and use the internet. Making it “go” othewise? Not my thing. Grins.

      Windshield wipers are a pain, and finding that thing for the washer fluid is too, but good to know how to do it yourself. Grins.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Nancy, glad you were close enough to DC to take advantage of Jeanne’s wonderful mechanic!

    Yes, I have had car trouble out of town and more than once. Most of the time competent help has been nearby. One time, however, our car broke down in a small Georgia town on a Sunday. Nothing we could do but wait for Monday. I don’t think there was a single business open in the entire town!

    I can do basic stuff on my car but the minute it gets more complicated I call AAA. That’s why I pay them the big bucks. 😉

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Great post, Jeanne! Ah, the woes of car trouble. Especially with today’s computer driven innards! Dr. Big’s check engine light has been on for … well, let’s just say a long, long time. Mechanic said it was either this or that. We chose that and a thousand dollars later it’s still on. I figure it’s something simple like the computer is malfunctioning and will NOT let him pay another $1000 to fix that.

    Used to be cars were simple enough you could rebuild the engine yourself or fix the radiator or put in a new transmission. No more, though. The cars are smarter than us!