That’s going to hurt…

automotive-defect-broken-car-wreck-78793.jpegWell, I’ve taken the van in this morning to get the safety inspection.

This is a bare bones inspection required in order for me to be able to transfer our license and registration to this province.  Whatever else they find, as long as I can get it fixed within 30 days, they can sign off on it as a pass.

It failed.

When the mechanic came in, his first question to me was “were you planning on keeping this vehicle?”

There are a lot of little things wrong with it.  Whoever owned it before us didn’t maintain it well.

Here we thought that buying from a dealership would save us from this hassle.  I never thought that the dealership would be the one to screw us over.  I would have been better off buying a vehicle off of LetGo.

Ah, hindsight.  It’s always perfect.

To be fair, the engine itself is sound.  If it weren’t, it wouldn’t be worth fixing.

The mechanic did find where our power steering was leaking.  Apparently, it wasn’t spotted because it’s leaking into something, and not just onto the ground.  It’s not a safety issue, though, so that can wait.

At my request, he also checked my driver’s side door to see why it’s dropping.  The bushings are worn out.  Again, not something that affects the safety inspection.

There were only two things to cause the failure.

One, is the brake light at the rear of the van.  The one that’s above the lift gate.  If it had just been a bulb, it would have been a quick fix, right then and there.

Turns out, it uses an LED light bar.  Which they didn’t have in any of their parts vehicles in stock.  Which can only be purchased new, directly from GM.  Which makes it considerably more expensive.  Also, it would need to be ordered in.

The other failure was with the ABS indicator.  The light has always been on since I’ve owned it, and the onboard computer always has a “service ABS system” warning.  So I figured there would be something, there.

It turns out the problem was with what WASN’T there.

A connector.

It turns out the connector for the relevant wiring was gone, and the wires themselves were tied off.

I had to ask.  Why would someone do something like that?

His best guess is that it had come loose and was dragging on the ground.  Rather than replace it, the person who did it just cut it off and tied off the wires, so they wouldn’t be dragging on the ground anymore.

He also mentioned in passing that he’s not impressed with these systems.  The ABS warning light is on on all his own vehicles, and it’s a common problem.

They did a quick check, and it turned out they did have a connector in stock that should fit.  I gave the go ahead to do both the light (which is when they found out it wasn’t just a bulb and couldn’t do it) and install the connector.

It didn’t work.

The connector was the right kind, all right, but the indicator lights continued to show.  He even drove it around a bit to see if it would turn off.  When they tested it, it kept coming up as erratic readings.

They found where the problems where.

On their own, the cost to get everything fixed really isn’t that bad.  All together, though, it’s going to be almost $650.

The only way we can afford that is if we go into the money set aside to fix the broken power pole.

Granted, the pole can’t be fixed until the ground thaws.  Which means sometime in May.  If we use this money, we likely won’t be able to replace it all of it until the end of May, which means the pole won’t get replaced until June.  My brother was going to get the power restored to the barn at the same time (they plan to paint it this year, and will need power for the equipment).

We don’t really have a choice.  We have to get the work done and the registration transferred.  We’re already behind on that.


Moving out here was supposed to be a help to our financial situation.  All these extra expenses are making it harder for us just to get caught up on extra expenses related to the move.  So it’s extra expenses on top of extra expenses.

It’ll work out in the end.  It’s just going to be a painful ride for a longer time.  Being the cynic realist that I am, all I can think of, what will happen next?  Because there’s always something, isn’t there?

Still, we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and our basic bills are being paid.  For that, at least, I am thankful.

The Re-Farmer

4 thoughts on “That’s going to hurt…

    • Yes, it has been very hard to find trustworthy mechanics. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of garages out here that are certified to do safeties. And the prices they quoted to me are actually very good. It we could do the fixes one at a time, we would, but we can’t transfer the registration of our vehicle without passing safety, so we have to do it all at once. 😦

      My brother has been going to them for many years (it’s where he found our door!). They are often the only place to find good used parts, and they have a reputation for *not* overcharging. So I’m hopeful. I did know I was getting into with an older vehicle that has so many miles on it. :-/ I just didn’t expect to have to do so much all at once.

      Interestingly, while I was waiting, the only other customers that came in were women.

      I’ll be back again tomorrow to get it fix, if the parts arrive in time. I might actually be able to get the registration transferred before the end of the month, after all!


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