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>Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 21:58:28 EDT
>From: DOUBLDz@aol.com
>Subject: Fuming
>One more tidbit to share.
>Baby was in for detailing yesterday. Back to a place that did it about 6 
>months ago. I was pleased when I called for her because a lot of the little 
>annoying road warrior scratches were gone. However....
 . . . gory details of monkey lad attack snipped . . .
>Ill be blocking his driveway first thing tomorrow morning.

Awfully restrained response, don't you think?

>And...you want to know what really gets me? The moron (maybe 2 morons) who 
>did these things *knew it* and never said a word or tried to fix it or 
>I am really ticked.
>Dee, I feel sorry for anyone who comes near me tomorrow
>95A6q pearl...blemished : (

Official policy for any vehicle you care about:

"If you touch my car I will kill you. Immediately."

I fully realize that it simply isn't practical for *everyone* to do *ALL*
their own work on whatever they own, but in my limited experience (over 100
cars, over 50 motorcycles, a couple of airplanes, a school bus, various
other vehicular improbabilities), in the vast majority of cases, if you let
anyone touch your car, they will not only fail to fix the original problem,
but make some new ones for you as well.

Since I'm going to wind up fixing it myself afterward anyway, I figure I
might as well fix it myself first, omit the hassles and keep the money.

Here's what I have had done on my 86 5KS:

1) tires changed on removed rims - no air wrenches allowed even NEAR this
car. I'm known as "The real picky guy with the Audi wheels who tips good"
at the tire store. I limit the damage potential by having them do the
*ONLY* part I can't do - the actual tire changing and balancing. I R&R the
wheels and take them there.

2) Windshield changed after insurance claim - with me standing over the
guy, knowing full well that the insurance was going to pay to get it RIGHT,
no matter how much time and effort it took, and the installer knew it too.
Took the Bentley for trim removal details and comments on not scratching
galvanized sheet metal.

3) Wheel alignment at best (and highly regarded) shop in town - with me
down in the pit with the tech, and after he casually said "camber isn't
adjustable on these cars . . .", me handing him the pre-xeroxed pages from
the manual telling EXACTLY how to adjust the "non-adjustable" camber. I'm
"the guy with more service information than we have, and tips good if you
do a good job."

4.) Replaced A/C compressor, charge system with R-134. This one was not a
success - the guy was a driveway mechanic, and he didn't check the system
for leaks. He appears to have left town, which is good for his long-term
survival. Fortunately, he didn't break anything; he just did a crappy job,
which is what I get for trying to cut corners.

That's IT. I do EVERYTHING else myself. I find the car costs me three to
five hours a month, and averages maybe $50 a month in parts and
consumables. Sounds like a good deal to me - I'd spend more than that
waiting around in grubby waiting rooms and on rental cars - and I get NO
nasty surprises like Dee unfortunately got because NO ONE TOUCHES MY CAR

I find the only alternative is to buy some econo-shitbox, run it until it
drops or some monkey lad drops it for you, then throw it away since it is
essentially unrepairable anyway, and go get another one.

It bothers me that there seems to be almost NO competant service available,
but that seems to be the case, and my response is simply to fix it myself
whenever possible. Going to someone else is the LAST resort, not the first
response. I'd really rather not spend my life tending to vehicles, but if I
want them to run properly, I don't seem to have a lot of other choices.

Best Regards,

Mike Arman