What a difference!
I recently wrote about the garage confirming that our van needed a new bearing on my right front tire. On scheduling when to come back to get it fixed, I asked about being able to drive to the city on it, and he assured me it would be fine.
So on Friday, the girls and I were finally able to head to the city for our monthly shop. Last month was a smaller than usual shop, so we had a fair bit of stocking up to do.
While the mechanic assured me it would be fine, that droning noise was still stressing me right out! It’s one thing to drive to town and back with it. It’s something else to drive an hour to the city, then spend several hours driving from place to place, loading the van up with more stuff each time – by the time we got to the last of it, it was getting hard to find room in the van! – then driving another hour home.
I could also tell the noise was definitely louder. It’s hard to tell with such a consistent sound, but eventually you could tell.
We got it done, though, and are once again stocked up for the month!
My daughter was working on the weekend, as usual, so there was that driving, too. She picked up her new schedule in the process.
She was scheduled for Monday.
We were supposed to drop the van at 8:30am, and her shift starts at 9am, so we had to leave earlier than usual. That meant doing my morning rounds earlier than usual, too.
On the plus side, that meant I was there to see a visitor, just before we headed out.
Those are the tips of Cheddar’s ears, and he and the buck watched each other. 😀
So we dropped off the van and its keys, then walked over to my daughter’s work. It meant she got there really early, but there are some staff that start well before the store opens, so she didn’t have to stand outside or anything.
I then had to find somewhere to go for the next few hours.
There really isn’t anyplace indoors to hang out for long, that doesn’t involve spending money. While temperatures in town had reached +4C yesterday (yes, that’s a + on there! That’s 39F), today it had dropped to -14C/7F with a wind chill of -23C/-9F.
Well, I had to go for breakfast, anyhow.
And drag it out as long as I could.
Long enough for me to get a call from the garage.
While working on my tire, he noticed that my brakes are due to be replaced.
Yeah, I knew it was getting to be time. He had looked it up before calling me, so he was able to tell me how much it would cost. It’ll have to wait until next month.
After the call, he went back to working on the van, and I meandered my way back in that direction, stopping at a few stores along the way to warm up and get out of the wind. After a while, I figured I may as well hang out in the garage while he finished, and headed in. My timing turned out to be perfect. He had finished the van and was just setting up an oil change in another vehicle before he was going to call me!
While there, I took the time to ask him about why the part would give out when I’d replaced it maybe 1 1/2 years ago. It should not have needed replacing so quickly. He agreed. About the only thing he could think of was the quality of the part itself, and told me about a garage he’d run previously. When he started working there, they were using a particular cheap brand of bearings. Too cheap. They would start wearing out after only a couple of weeks. They switched brands, and that stopped happening. I told him what my brother had told me about a vehicle he’d had that needed to get the bearings done pretty much every year. On closer examination, it turned out there was some kind of burr that changed the shape of the hub, causing wear on the bearings. He replaced the hub, and never had to change the bearings on that vehicle again. After sharing that, I added that I didn’t think that applied to my van, since I was pretty sure on my van, the bearings and hut were all one piece, and he confirmed this, so it couldn’t be anything like that.
Then we got to talking about my mother’s car.
He is expecting the parts to come in tomorrow. I explained a bit about the… issues… I was having with my mother. Since she wouldn’t be up to coming to the garage, I would have to go to her to get the money. It turns out he doesn’t take checks, because the bank makes it a pain for him, but he was able to give me the exact amount, after taxes, to pass on to my Mom. If she wrote a check to me, I could deposit it right away, then use my debit card to pay for it.
That worked out, I paid my bill and headed out.
Though I only had to drive a few blocks at a time for the rest of the time I stayed in town, I could already feel a huge difference. As my daughter and I were driving home, it was even more amazing. Not only did we no longer sound like a plane taking off, we both noticed significantly less vibrating and rattling noises as we drove at highway speeds!
I am so happy we got this done!!!
Once at home, I called up my mother and filled her in, telling her the parts would be in tomorrow and that we needed to work out how to do the payment. I told her I had the exact amount and offered to come over to her place (in another town) to pick up a check, then go to the garage and pay for the work.
Nope. She wasn’t having that.
She insisted that she needed to see the bill, and everything on it, first. Because garages cheat old people and women. All of them. And was I sure this work needed to be done?
I then spent the next while explaining to her about the condition of the tires, and why replacing the two old tires at the same time as the two broken ones was better for her car, and how I’d been able to walk under her car and see for myself, what needed to be done.
I don’t think she believed me.
So it looks like I’ll have to drive to town to the garage and get a printed out invoice first, then drive to my mother’s town to show it to her and get a check, then drive BACK to the garage to pay the bill.
Which I really don’t mind too much, now that my own van is fixed.
Ah, well. It is what it is.
One down, one more to go.