Thursday, January 11, 2007

mechanical failure

from time to time, i get requests from people to help them out with a car problem. it's not like i am a great mechanic or anthing, but i have been under the hood and under the floor pans of several cars in my life, so i guess calling on me to work on your car is better than calling rosco.

my nephew Brett has an older acura that just up and quit the other night. he and my brother had figured out that it is probably the distributor. after fooling with it a bit, they didn't want to throw anymore money at it without getting another opinion. if i'm worth anything, i'm worth a rather opinionated opinion. so i loaded up the clan and drove down to kimswick to the sprawling mansion they have in the hills. (hey, it's sprawling to me, ok?)

i took one look under the hood of that there foreign job and figured i may as well get greasy so i could fool my brother and nephew into thinking that they had done the right thing by calling me. after smearing a bit of motor oil on my hands and a bit across the forhead, i spoke in a very commanding, reassuring voice..."yep, it's busted."

i really did try to figure out if they were right in their diagnosis. figuring that no spark to the plugs could only mean a faulty coil, and that the coil is indeed integrated into the distributor, i feel semi-confident that they need a new one. really, i felt quite bad. i hate to cost people money by telling them to buy something, but i lack the knowledge to make a detailed diagnosis, especially when that includes electronics/computer controlled devices. i'm much more at home when i can fix it with a wrench.

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