Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"That'll be $9.99, please"

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 2/28/2006
This morning I took a taxi to work. I (or actually E7) set the alarm for 8:30, which normally leaves me 10 to 15 minutes to get out of bed, get ready and run to the monorail for the 8:57 train.

Well, I turned off the alarm, saying to myself, "2 more minutes, 2 more minutes," and then found myself jerked awake by the sound of the 8:57 monorail going by my window.

Grumbling, I rolled out of bed and made the next monorail, which was at 9:07. Since the 8:57 monorail is the absolute last train that will get me to work on time (9:29!), I had to take a taxi midway. This is nothing new...it's a system I worked out a few years ago to allow myself to catch a few extra winks in the mornings. Unfortunately, I frequently use it in the winter months because it's too cold in the mornings and the heat isn't on.

So I caught a taxi at Katano Station. My taxi driver was not the friendly, chatty sort (which is fine with me, especially in the mornings), so it gave me some extra time to see that there was something wrong with the alignment of the back wheels.

How do I know this?

I can put this down to the fact that the cars my family has owned over the years should have--how can I put this delicately?--been junked a long time ago. I grew up learning about how to keep our cars running, even when other people would have long given up. But what I learned from that has actually helped me over the years. I can tell E7 exactly what is wrong with his car and am right about 99% of the time. Those I've actually had experience with over the years include:

  • Strange screeching noise from the engine (timing belt)
  • Screeching noise when making turns (tires need air)
  • Engine turns off completely with no warning (low oil, cylinder failure, transmission is shot)
  • Clicking noise in engine (blown gasket, worn timing belt)
I know what the problem is...I just can't fix it, unless it calls for one of my Dad's home-grown remedies like using a metal hammer to bang on the engine in order to get it to start again.

So this morning, as I was getting out of the taxi, I wanted to tell the driver that he should check the alignment of his back wheels, but...I had no idea how to say that. So I ended up telling him that his back wheels weren't straight and if I were him, I'd...take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

Dr. Fix-it to the rescue!

2 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

DAD said...

It is always a proud moment for a Dad when his daughter is able to show off her automotive diagnostic skills. I guess you were listening.I know it makes you feel good when you can solve the problem. All older cars (over 100,00 miles) just need tender loving care . OLD Cars like OLD Dads Rule!

kuri & ping said...

Popsicle! I didn't know you were online. :) Away from ebay for the moment? LOL

Yep, I was certainly listening! Don't I sound like a mechanic expert?


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