Monday, May 24, 2010

New Old Car

Since my last post much has transpired, I bought a different car.
I am totally against buying new cars. It goes against my thinking. Actually, that is a lie, I would love a new car, but my check book screams, “Don’t look here for any help.”
When I was young, I attended a technical school to become a car mechanic. Because of that schooling, I think I know things and that I think might be a problem. Thinking you know things when you actually don’t know things does not make you know things. And, taking action on things, you think you know, when you actually don’t know things, can lead to learning things you thought you already knew but really didn’t, and that doesn’t always mean you will actually learn things that you thought you knew but didn’t. By the way, I bought this car without having a real mechanic inspect it – why should I? I know things. Are you keeping up?
The number one cylinder was not firing clean but I had the compression checked so I figured a tune up would fix my problem. Well I bought the car and gave it a tune up. Yip, you guessed it, the tune up did not fix the problem. That was not really a problem for me because I know things. I was able to figure out my new old car had a vacuum leak at the number one cylinder. I could fix it myself for $23.00 (the cost of the gasket). This repair is a bit of work, so I got a price from a real mechanic, and the price was $400.00. The big mechanic book that real mechanics have, says it should take 4 hours to make this repair. So, here is the deal; there should be another book for guys who think they know stuff about fixing cars. This book should say in big bold letters on the front, ‘If you try to do any repair listed in this book, you are dreaming, if you think you can do said repair close to the suggested time. Rule of thumb for guys who think they know stuff: take the suggested time and multiply it by two and if your initials are GQ multiply by four or maybe six.
In the past when the book said four hours I would double the time and I figured that would be about the time it would take me to do the repair. Now, that I am older and actually do know things. I know it will take me more than likely 3 times what the book says – no I am not in denial.
Can we talk Grayquill logic for a minute? If I spend $400.00 dollars to get my new old car fixed, I must remember that $400.00 is after tax dollars. So, I will have to earn maybe $500.00 to pay that $400.00 bill. So, if I fix the car myself it is $500.00 I am saving not $400.00. Now I am more motivated. See how that works?
In buying the car and thinking I know stuff, I did not take the car to a real mechanic for an inspection. Yip, there was another problem that I did not catch. But heck, it was only a $36.00 dollar part and the book called for only 1 hour to repair. And so I went right at it. As par for the course I had it repaired in two hours, a bit better than my average. I am all smiles. Oh, that’s right I had a small problem. The repair I did was replacing the electric fan. To get the old fan out I had to remove a transmission cooling line. That was not the problem. The problem came into play during reassembly. Somehow I neglected to reconnect the transmission cooling line. Oops!
Naturally I wanted to see if the new fan would click on when the motor got warm. So, that meant starting the motor and letting things get nice and warm, which of course I did.
I have no idea what I did for the next ten minutes but the fan was not coming on so I decided to take the car for a drive and put a load on the motor – totally logical. I walked around to the driver’s side of the car and what did I find but a large volume of transmission fluid coming out from under my car that stretched from the front tire all the way to the back tire – Yikes!
This could have upset me, but being the positive guy I am and fully understanding the principle that, ‘troubles are nothing more than brilliantly disguised opportunities.’ I decided it was a great opportunity to change the transmission fluid, which of course I did. The book says fifteen minutes. I will let you do the actual calculations for Grayquill time on this one. I will only say this…I started at 9:00 in the morning on the original one hour project (book time) and finished 11 hours later. Just think of the money I saved.
I have to decide before Saturday if I am going to take on the four project, surely the law of averages are now in my favor; don’t you think?
Anybody want to hire Grayquill to do some side work on their car? He works cheap.


Blunt Edges said...

hahaha...u are really funny GQ...n now we have a new phrase "GQ Time" :D

Sylvia K said...

Definitely the best snicker this morning and, hey, I love the idea of GQ Time!!! You have a great sense of humor and you do brighten a gray day -- and it is gray in Ballard!!! Enjoy it anyway!


Anonymous said...

Further to your post "New Old Car", we are pleased to offer you the following employment with "Candid Talkers Anonymous", with an ASAP commencement date.
Job Title: Salesperson of all kinds of faulty items
Job Role: Convincing customers that the said faulty products are easily repairable by self service.
Pay: Commission basis. 1% on each item sold.
You will be placed on probation till you make the first 50 sales. You will receive 1% increase in commission upon successfully completing the probation period.
We sincerely hope that you will accept this employment offer. Looking forward to hearing from you in the near future.

For "Candid Talkers Anonymous"

Betty said...

I "fixed" my car once, years ago, by hitting something under the hood with a big rock. The car wouldn't start, so I tried the rock cure, not having a clue what would happen. But, it worked. I still don't know what I was hitting with that rock. But, you should have seen the look on the mechanic's face when I finally took the car in and described the trouble and my cure.

Grayquill said...

Blunt Edges: This is an awesome day, I graduated from funny to really funny. Of course there is Grayquill time – how could Grayquill world exist if there was not time? BTW - Thank you!

Sylvia K: I think it got sunny in Ballard this afternoon. Thanks for stopping by.

Choco: Geee willikers – you sure pay cheap. Hah, hah. Hah….pretty funny comment.
What was that you said on my last post? Something about how does my mind work? I think the real question is how does Choco’s mind work? BTW - is this Candid Talk Anonymous a 12 step organization? I need to know before signing any paper work, and the commission definitely will have to be negotiated.
Your comment made the post totally worth writing – Thanks for the great laugh.

Betty: Betty! Betty! Step away from the rocks and the hammer. Yikesters, I can only imagine the head scratching your mechanic did that afternoon. You must have been really frustrated to take up car beating. I
am pretty sure somewhere there is a blog written by a mechanic that has a Betty story in it. :) I wish I could read that post!
Nice comment BTW.

Pat said...

I'm impressed by your willingness and ability to fix your old new car. Every time my car makes an unusual (disturbing) sound, or it seems to wibble wobble as I'm driving, my husband says he can't hear said sound..or didin't notice that it was wibble wobbeling.
BYW...he does not use the words "wibble wobble" and would be slightly miffed if I gave that impression!

Arkansas Patti said...

Too funny GQ. Have you figured out your hourly wage with the $500 saved?
Hope you are finally road ready. I had a boyfriend like you that used to scare the poop out of me when my car made a "noise." I knew he would eventually fix it but it would be an adventure.

Grayquill said...

Pat: I knew your husband would never use wibble wobble but I am glad you have the confidence to use such words. BTW whow is exactly is a wibble wobble. I kin do understand what a whobble is but a whibble? is that even a word?
Delightful comment - thanks!

Arkansa Patti: Question - how many boyfriends have you had? or is this the same boyfriend in all these senerios? HAH HAH...
BTW - is doesn't matter what the hourly rate is - it is $$$'s saved and saved $$$'s are always tax free. :))
Thanks once again for a great comment.

Holly Kay said...

This is so funny! Just like my husband's thinking (and actions). Thank GOODNESS he never took any classes remotely similar to mechanics...I can't even imagine the problems that would have caused.

Tall Guy said...

The GQ is good stuff!!

Hilary said...

I have no time to leave a comment now. It should have taken me 3 minutes to read this blog post but GQ time kicked in an I've already been here for 12. ;)

Frank Baron said...

Luckily, I have no illusions about my car-fixing knowledge. I have none. I never will have any.

BUT - I understand financial stuff. As I see it, if you were to pay yourself a modest $10/hour for your labour, you'd not only save money -- you'd make some!!

You're very welcome. :)

You might enjoy this piece I wrote years ago and posted on my website:

Unknown said...

Gosh. This is the most engaging article about fixing a car + positive thinking I ever read. :)

I have no skills at fixing machines and I'd like to make a slave, I mean friend of one who is :)

troutbirder said...

This is the first time, really, that I have not felt bad about my mechanical ability deficit syndrome. Of course, I have tons of repair bills of all kinds due.

Grayquill said...

Holly Kay: Thanks! There is another good reason your husband never took mechanic classes. When a man thinks he is able to fix the broken car – eventually he does fix it and the result is the spouse has to drive an old car that is way past its prime forever and ever. That is all I will say about that :(

The Survivor: Gee….thanks!

Hilary: Even when you don’t have time for a comment your wordsmithing comes to the surface :) Thanks

Frank Baron: You have a great mechanic – why learn! I like the idea of paying myself, I will have to think on that.

Shadowthorne: Thanks for stopping by and the nice compliment. I like you already! :)

Troutbirder: I am glad I could help :)