January 20, 2005

Pound Foolish

How do you spell relief? Well, if you're me, tonight you're spelling it b-r-a-k-e j-o-b. After flying by the seat of my pants and relying mainly on the handbrake to bring my vehicle to a stop for weeks and weeks, I've finally handed my car over to the ass-rapers mechanics for a brake job and oil change. I cannot tell you what a load off my mind having brakes again will be; when you're the mother of three, life suddenly becomes mighty inconvenient when you deem your own car too unsafe to carry your children. Mister MacFarland was getting mighty sick of chauffeur duty, too.

This morning, on the way to work, my car barely ground to a stop at all, and the noise it was making was downright embarrassing. I know that every male in a mile radius would have taken my husband out for a horsewhipping, if they could have located the man who was "responsible" for that noise, for "letting" me drive around like that, as I was "obviously" a deaf, dumb, and foolish skirt who had no idea the car screeched like a banshee at every tap of the brakes. My own cash siphon mechanic was shocked that I made it as long as I did. Whatever. Blame whoever you like; I was not using that bloody credit card, and would brook no discussion on the matter.

Hey - fortune smiled upon me this time. And I will pay no exorbitant credit-card interest on this brake job, either. When the man hands me my keys back, I will hand him a wad of honest cash, instead. My plastic remains on ice, and I have once again avoided spending a got-damn dime more than I have to.

Yeah, I'm a cheap Scot bastard. I make an Abe Lincoln scream in agony on a daily basis. It's a lifestyle thing. Debt scares me.

Posted by Queenie at January 20, 2005 08:25 PM

Glad you got it done, and beg pardon for being so harsh at you before. I really did feel for you and yours, there.

On the fixing of one's own brakes, oneself:

Well, there are two schools of thought. One old guy I used to know said he'd work on any part of his car himself, *except* the brakes, because if they failed, he wanted to have somebody to sue.

The other school (to which I subscribe) maintains that the brakes are so important to staying alive and uninjured that you cain't trust nobody but yerself, and should buy special tools and take courses, even, if you feel the need, and hire other guys to do messy dumb stuff like oil-changing.
I've had some BAD brake experiences caused by other people working on the things.

Posted by: Justthisguy at January 20, 2005 09:26 PM

Look, I've already lost two blog children. Abandonment, not death...

...but you see where Momma is going with this. Glad you're being a "safety" girl now. ; )

Posted by: Key at January 20, 2005 09:40 PM

I try to view the inevitable car repairs as 'just another shopping trip', so that I don't resent the cost.

And, I try to psych myself out by saying things like "I'm so excited. I just got a brand new brake job!" (Said in a high pitched squealing voice.)

It never really works, but at least my car stops when I'm through.

I'm glad that your's does too!

Posted by: jmflynny at January 20, 2005 10:37 PM

I just busted 8 knuckles raw replacing my rear brake pads. The pads were easy. It was the freaking emergency brake levers I couldn't unhook. I'm with JTG. I know they're done right now.

Posted by: Dad at January 21, 2005 12:49 AM

From one cheapskate to another, I understand, debt scares me too.

Posted by: BeeBee at January 21, 2005 07:15 AM

But it's the American way to be eyeballs deep in debt! Didn't you get the memo???

Posted by: WarWagon at January 21, 2005 11:11 AM

What matters is that you now have a safe car once again. To be able to get it fixed without using a credit card is just icing on the cake.

Posted by: Serenity at January 21, 2005 01:58 PM

Hell, I woulda made Mr. McFarland drive the brakeless-mobile!! What WERE you thinking? Unless, of course, he rode a bike. In which case, I would have taken the brakeless-mobile.

Posted by: Moi at January 21, 2005 04:24 PM

I understand not wanting to go into even very temporary debt to fix your brakes, but...

Remember that driving the car in that state can result in spending more to fix the problem (or wear on your E-brake) than the interest charges would have amounted to, not to mention the peace-of-mind and lack of aggravation for Herr McFarland.

Not all costs are in dollars, and sometimes being cheap is very expensive.

Glad it worked out well this time, though.

(And if this comes across as nagging, it really isn't meant to. But I know from experience that putting off car maintenance can cost. Fortunately, I don't know that as dearly as a certain friend of mine who never did any maintenance, and killed a few cars that way. I suspect the drugs had something to do with it.)

Posted by: Sigivald at January 21, 2005 05:09 PM

Like, gouging up the rotors with the rivets from the worn out pads, or worse yet, with the metal base below the worn OFF pads...

Yech. Did that once decades ago. Fortunately I gave up on the car before I did anything about it. It would have made a cha-ching repair into a KA-CHING repair, what with new rotors and all...

Posted by: Desert Cat at January 22, 2005 12:57 AM
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