Life is a Highway

Hello again. It’s me, Joey.

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I had the weirdest victory this week. Maybe calling it a victory is a bit of an overstatement, but I’ll take what I can get right now. We got a flat tire. Not fully flat, just a slow leak. When I say slow, I mean in was half way to flat every 24 hours. Not slow, if you ask me. Anyways, we took it to a tire place to see if it was something that we could patch. We pull in and talk to the mechanic. I really don’t like mechanics. I don’t mind the people themselves, but the last time I went to a mechanic in a dealership, it ended with me paying $1,000 for a totaled car. That’s a story for another day.

check_engine_lights.jpgSomething else going on with the car: there are 2 different warning light on in our dashboard. So the guy goes and takes a look at the tire. At this point, I’m already figuring I’m going to have to buy 4 new tires. He comes back after a moment, asking for a key. I was really confused because he already had my keys. He then explained that he needs a key to the wheel. I asked if he meant the steering wheel. He laughed at me. Not with me. AT me.

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Wheel locks look like this

Apparently, our tires had locks on them. I didn’t know this. The car was given to us by Meredith’s grandmother, and she must have wanted an extra layer of tire security. He said that there was no way for him to take the locks off without a key. The guy showed us where the nail in the tire was and told us we had to go to a dealership where they have a master key. Great. The only thing I hate more than mechanic shops are dealerships, but it had to be done.

We set up an appointment for the following day. A pit sat in my stomach the entire time. Like I said before, last time we went to a dealership auto shop, we paid $1,000, and I do not have $1,000 to spend right now. When we called, the lady on the phone said that they would patch the tire for $20. That’s doable. I drove it over over with Meredith and got set up. The guy behind the counter told us that a patch would cost $30. Not a great start.

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Who leaves nails in the road?!

I told the guy behind the counter that the lady on the phone said $20. And then, something amazing happened. He said he would do it for $20! I couldn’t believe that worked! It makes me wonder, what if I said $10? How low could he go? Anyways, he took the car, and we waited. And waited. And waited. He said it would be a 45 minute job. After about an hour, I went up to the counter and asked him what was up. He said that when they looked at the hole that the nail left, they wouldn’t be able to patch it. UGH! He said that they could do something called a plug. Different job, same result. Same cost, so we moved on.

About 5 minute later, he called us to the counter. He walked threw the work they did on the car. Fixed the tire. That much was expected. He then told us that one of the lights on the dashboard was an easy fix. Something about voltage. “How much would that cost?” I asked. “Don’t worry about it,” he responded. No, really. A mechanic fixed something on my car and didn’t charge me for it.  Then, he gave me all the codes for the check engine light. For free. Free!

I walked out only paying $20. I’ve never paid that little to fix my car, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to again. Sure, it may not even seem like a victory, having a flat tire and all, but to me, it’s a big deal. I guess it all depends on your point of view. I found a nice guy who didn’t put me through the ringer. To me, this was a big win, and I really new a few wins right now. That’s enough for me. Ok, that’s all for now. Talk to you next week.

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