Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No politics today

Because arguing with fans of demagoguery can be tedious. There is a lot of Teh Stupid on the internets. And Y'all, I read a lot of the internets. Sometimes it makes your brain hurt.


I was driving back from the St Patty's Day parade at lower Greenville the other weekend, and right as I was first getting up to speed on Central Expressway, shifting into 4th gear, my clutch pedal went straight to the floor. And stayed there. This posed quite the problem with my motoring experience, from that point forward.

Though the clutch pedal was depressed to the floor, the clutch remained fully engaged. This makes changing gears very difficult, but -- as it turns out -- not impossible. I was able to use a few of the gears by pressing firmly against the shifter in the direction of the gear-slot I wanted, and then slowly revving the engine until the point (different for each gear) where the rpm of the gear matched up to the rpm of the engine. Not a fun experience, in traffic, on the freeway(s), especially given my less-than-optimum physical and mental condition at that particular point in time.

As I got closer to home, stoplights and stop signs became a significant challenge. Stopping, in gear with clutch engaged = engine dies. Engine dying, combined with extreme difficulty of shifting into 1st or 2nd gear with clutch engaged = attempting to start car while in 1st or 2nd gear with traffic honking away behind you = severe frustration and embarrassment.

But I succeeded in getting home without further damage to car or person. And after a tow to the mechanic on the following Monday, and after waiting an entire week for parts, and after paying a hefty sum for installation of parts ($605), the nice mechanic shows me the culprit behind the whole mess:

This is a bolt. It costs $11 dollars. As I remarked to the mechanic, this bolt does not appear to be something you'd think of as likely to fail. He said he, nor any of the people he had discussed the issue with, had ever heard of one failing. Just my bad luck, I'm sure. Probably has nothing to do with my driving style.

But at least I didn't need my clutch replaced. A while back, the people at the dealer, after charging me $180 to replace a (different) bolt that had "fallen out" of my shifter assembly, informed me that I needed a new clutch. They kindly offered to replace the clutch, for the reasonable sum of $2500 U.S. Dollars. I laughed in their faces, called them a few choice names, and went on my way. (Note that, because this incident occurred 2 years and 25,000 miles ago, and I have still yet to replace the same clutch, I believe I may have been justified in calling them "fucking crooks" and "assholes".)

1 comment:

Gleemonex said...

At least you were able to deal with it on the fly ... I'd've been a gibbering mess by the side of the freeway, calling everyone in my cell phone address book and wondering what the fuck I was going to do now. Me = not so much with the mechanical aptitude. Also, I'd've replaced the clutch the first time, because I will believe ANYTHING A MECHANIC SAYS. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Sometimes, I am a danger to myself and to others.