I Go Where I’m Towed

Perhaps one of the saddest things in the world is the helplessness you feel while when your car doesn’t start. I pride myself in being a handy guy. If there are things that need to be done around the house such as electrical, plumbing, etc. I want to be able to fix them.

Same goes with other things in my life as well. If my motorcycle breaks down I’ll dig around until I find an answer and try to fix it myself. Some of this is monetary as I try to save myself a few dollars but in most cases I just love to learn.

One area where I am absolutely horrible though is automobiles. Gone are the days where cars were mostly mechanical and where you could get take your car to a mechanic or better yet take an auto mechanics class and at least be able to maintain your own car.

Now most cars are equal parts computer and mechanics. I would think this would make it much easier for me since I am quite adept at computer hardware or software but instead it has made fixing your own car nearly impossible.

With the high sophistication comes high repair bills since you seem to be paying equally for the car parts and the time it takes to train the mechanic. The result has been that we have purchased an extended warranty for each of our cars as a safety net in case something should go wrong.

When my 2006 Honda Accord failed to start the other day with my daughter Tiffany was at school, I immediately went into troubleshooting mode. Car not starting usually means battery problems and with my recent battery issues I was confident I had nailed the problem.

We removed the battery from the non-starting car and took it to have it checked. When the battery came back listing that it was fully charged I’ll admit I was beyond my knowledge base when it came to automobile repair.

The great thing about the Internet and search engines is that there is a very good chance that someone else has had the exact same problem as you somewhere in the world. After a quick search listing the symptoms I was positive that what we had was a bad starter.

Here’s were the problem lies. I am sure I know what the problem is but don’t know how to fix it. I am sure I can learn how to fix it but it would cost time and money. I have an extended warranty and after checking with the dealer a new starter would be covered with no cost.

Well that makes this an easy solution. Take the car to the dealer and have them replace the starter. There is only one problem with this perfect solution. The car doesn’t start to get it to the dealer.

Trina of course had a solution, our car insurance includes towing so after a couple of phone calls a tow truck arrived at the car’s location to haul my car to the dealership.

To a guy, a tow truck is equivalent to waving a white flag. It means you were unable to fix something and you are now relinquishing control to someone else. That is a hard pill for any guy to swallow.

As if I were not feeling badly enough, the tow truck driver had to rub a little salt in my wounds. My car has personalized license plates that read, “CJEFFGO”. The tow truck driver seeing that chuckled to himself then leaned over to my wife and said, “I don’t mean to make light of the situation but Jeff ain’t going anywhere in this car.”

Great, that is exactly what I needed at this particular moment. I stood there and watched as my car was hoisted onto the back of the tow truck and driven off to the dealer. About an hour later we got a call from the service department at the dealership.

The car has a bad starter and needs to be replaced. It should be ready in a couple of hours. Well I guess I can at least find comfort in the fact that I was able to successfully diagnose the problem even if I couldn’t fix it.

One Comment

  1. Abimbola Akanwo says:

    Don’t feel bad…you did your best…

    But perhaps you better change that personalized licence plate…? Just saying…

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