Mandaris Moore

I'm not a fan of automotive repair. My first memorys of doing it was me attempting to help my dad work on something on the car. He'd be under there sweating and grunting as he changed the oil and then ask me to go and fetch something from his usually disorganized1 workbench. Unfortunately, it seemed like no matter how quick I was it wasn't quick enough or the part was exactly what he wanted. I understand that it could be frustrating to wait underneath a car in the middle of the summer, but you'd think you'd be a little more prepared (i.e. have the tools ready) for a job that you've done every month.

Now, I don't want to sound ungrateful that my dad wanted make sure that I had some of the basic man skills, because there have been more than a couple times that I've had to change a tire, jump start a car or countless other little things that have popped up over the years. The only drawback is that working on cars with my dad has really left a bad impression on me.

I don't like it.

I cringe when it comes down to the maintenance of it all. I'm willfully and woefully ignorant with it comes to anything beyond the basic maintance. I cry a little bit inside everytime that I have to bring my car into a maintenance shop. When I'm with my other no-car people friends, we complain that there aren't any honest mechanics out there that we can trust.

I mean, I've run into a few who are honest, but they tend to either lose there job (drinking, divorce) or no longer able to work on it (it's complicated). It's shortly after those times that I wish I had taken a class or two on automotive repair. Not only to stop myself from getting ripped off, but to show my dad that I could do it.

But maybe that's a different issue all together.

  1. My dad had a workbench in the garage that he constantly was adding and re-arranging tools on. It was one of those "I know exactly where everything is and if you couldn't find it, someone else must have moved it". After a while, we all learned that this wasn't always the case. 

My wife's sister has just had a horrible experience attempting to get her car fixed. The problem all started when she had a car accident one night1 and the car was totaled. Others would have cut their loses then and there, but I think that because this was the first car that she bought with her own money she saw it as something worth saving2 and has literally spent enough money in repairs that she probably could have bought a new one.

I really feel sorry for her. The world does not have an easy way of telling us wether or not something is good deal and when it comes to mechanics, even if they are honest, it doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. I've run into my fair share of people who simply want to make the most money they can from you. I've heard people say that the price for anything is "what the customer can afford".

What are we doing to each other? It seemed like "Honest work for honest pay" is a forgotten concept in our ever consumer focused world.

  1. It was raining and she was speeding while talking on her cell phone in a sharp turn. She still says that it's not her fault. 

  2. Some would say that are other things that she invests her money and time into but always seem to fail her, but that's a huge bucket of flesh eating worms that I'm not even going to look at.