Car stuff

We’ve gone through a lot of car-related trauma lately.  A month or so ago we had the issue with John’s car not starting sometimes (resolved), and then John had a run-in with a parking garage while leaving work on Thursday.  There was a concrete pillar at the front left corner of the spot, and he was paying close attention to it as he backed out.  He got clear of it, turned the wheel, and CRUNCHED his front left fender into the other concrete pillar, the one at the back left corner of the spot.  There’s a big dent just in front of the wheel well on the driver’s side.  We’re taking it in for an estimate tomorrow morning.

My car is mostly fine, but during my last safety inspection, the guy pointed out that my brakes were on their way out.  This was in May.  John is good with cars, likes working on them, and has replaced brake pads and rotors on several of our cars (among many other, more impressive things, like transmissions), so we finally set the date and decided to do it this weekend.  The front ones, anyway.  That’s what he’s been doing most of the day.  It’s never as easy as we think it’s going to be, but that aside, it’s always worth NOT paying nearly $1000 to have someone else do it.  This job cost us a little over $100 and an afternoon.  And while John worked on the car, I spend a few very pleasant hours on the front steps with my laptop.  I mowed the lawn, front and back, and then I stayed nearby to hand him a tool here, apply a little pressure there, here a rag, there a wrench, everywhere a breaker bar.  The first wheel gave him a little trouble (took over two hours), but, true to form, the second one took less than one hour.  John’s cleaning up, and I’m about to test the brakes.

You may ask why, if John’s so good with car stuff, he’s not fixing the rather large dent in his car himself.  My answer: that’s what insurance is for.

One Comment

  1. Actually, there is a little bit more to my reasons for not fixing the dent myself. Bodywork is hard. It’s not enough to obtain and install the new parts, you have to make them look good too. This is something I struggle with. The new parts (fender and bumper) would need to be painted so that they match the rest of the car, and if past efforts were any indication, it would take me 3 attempts before I got it to the point where I wouldn’t be too embarrassed to drive the car in public. So, if the insurance is willing to cover it, I’d rather stick to fixing mechanical parts, like the brakes on your Tucson.

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