Alright, have you ever had one of those days where everything went wrong? Well, today was one of those days! First off, it was about as hot and humid as possible which made everything else just even worse. Right from the get go this morning I could tell it was just going to be one of those days. First job of the day, a Chevy Trailblazer with a check engine light. No big deal there, but after diagnosis, he didn’t want anything fixed. Those type of customers are really disliked by mechanics!
It’s like, why bring your car in if you’re not going to fix anything? Usually those types just want it diagnosed so they can have Mr. Alley mechanic do the job for real cheap. The thing is, those guys usually mess things up and they have to come back to us anyway. In this line of work, the saying is always true, you get what you pay for!
Anyway, on the next job which was a Chevy Corvette. He wanted the thermostat replaced and a coolant flush. Easy enough, right? Wrong! Unfortunately is was a LT1 powered Corvette where the distributor, called an Opti-Spark, is right behind the water pump. You basically cannot do any kind of work there without getting the Opti-Spark wet. Now, for those of you who know anything about ignition components, what happens when you get them wet? That’s right, you have a no start condition or it will run really, really bad. I had both on this particular vehicle! So now, the job is done but the car runs bad, dies out, and hardly re-starts. I’m not going to make any customers happy with that result!
So now I have to try to dry off the distributor which is next to impossible. I decide to let the car sit outside in the sun with the hood up, and wait it out while I got onto the next job. Actually, the next two jobs. They were both in and out rather quickly. One being a brake job and the other needed an oil pressure switch. Back to the Corvette, and luckily it dried out enough to start and run fine….whew!
Got that one out of there, but little did I know I had an even worse job waiting for me. Now, here’s where it gets tricky. As any other mechanic out there will tell you, we HATE having to do other mechanic’s work. When another guy orders parts for a car, and he isn’t there it put them on, and someone else has to do it, that’s about as lame as it gets! Well, guess what I had to do? Someone had ordered a seat belt for a Chevy Equinox, and I was the luck one to have to put it in. Now, this wasn’t any ordinary seat belt. It was the rear center seat belt retractor, and that just happens to be about the hardest one to replace on any GM vehicle. After a couple hours of disassembling the rear seat to get the new belt installed, in the 90+ degree shop mind you, I got another bonus. It ends up, the previous tech under-quoted the job, so that means I’m getting paid less time than I should. That was just the topping on the cake. Needless to say, after that one, I was about done for the day and not going to take on anymore jobs.
So there you have it, a very bad day in the life of a mechanic. And some days are even worse! So the next time you see your mechanic, or see he’s having a bad day, give him a little pat on the back to show some appreciation for all we go through to keep the customer happy!
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