The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

We Are At Their Mercy, I Suppose

We take our cars to repair shops and dealerships and we have two choices: trust what we are told or not.

I have a wheel bearing problem, I am told. That's what the dealership told me. But the bearing was quiet, not like the one I had a problem with on my last car. That one sounded like it was grinding glass. You knew right away there was a problem. I opted to have that one repaired at a Goodyear shop. They did a good job, accepted my 10 year extended warranty, and I paid nothing for the repair. I do not have an extended warranty on my Buick so I will be paying the repair cost myself. Consider me "self insured" on repairs.

While at the repair shop the other day, another gentleman came in with a van with a "check engine" light on his dash.  They took one of those plug-in gadgets and recorded the error number. The problem was going to be expensive to repair and the man declined. The repair was going to run over $700 and he felt it was not worth the money to repair the problem on a van with 136,000 miles on it. He decided he could continue to drive it, as is, until he could have the engine replaced for $2300. After all, the odds were against the vehicle being worth more than $6000 and why spend the money?

While there, I learned that I had a second wheel bearing problem... this one in the right front wheel. Rather than paying for both repairs, I opted to fix the one (left front) that was identified by the dealership, the one that allowed a bit of wobble. You make choices.

I can no longer do the repairs I used to on my cars. I do not have the tools and I do not have the knowledge anymore. At one point, when I was much younger, I could buy a manual which showed me how to repair most anything. Those are gone now. And the cars have become much more complex in recent years. I have a scanner gadget which means I am not entirely at the mercy of repair shops but I cannot repair the indicated problems.

I miss the days when I could tune up my own car, repair most of what went wrong with it, and could diagnose those problems easily on my own.

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