Mick has really been quite a hero the past couple of weeks.
My roller skates broke and he fixed my old pair for me so I could skate while I was waiting for my replacements to arrive.
Since then, my replacements have arrived and been customized to my standards 😉 and I think I actually like the old ones better now… but that’s another story… back to the hero part…
Breezy has needed front wheel bearings for quite some time. I purchased the parts and Mick did the work. We spent the Sunday afternoon together. First I had some things I needed to get off my chest but after that it was him working and me asking questions. Car fixing fun!! Soon we’ll be fixing the rest of Breezy’s littler issues. It’s such a relief!
Since I got him, Lil Bear has had a couple of problems, all of which have been covered by the warranty (so far). The biggest and scariest of those was needing to have the water pump replaced less than a week before my Phoenix Sk8cation in February. No big deal. The problem was fixed and the car drove fine.
Now, for the past month he’s been overheating.
When I first contacted the shop at the beginning, I was told to check the coolant. I did. Mick came to work one day and we checked the car together. The coolant was only a little low, so we filled it and the car drove okay for another week without problem.
Then it started overheating again. I replaced the radiator cap. Sometimes it doesn’t hold pressure correctly and the water can’t flow back and forth between the tank and the radiator.
That didn’t work either.
At this point the solution seemed fairly simple, right? Replace the thermostat.
So I called the shop again and asked if a new thermostat would be covered under the warranty. Indeed it was and Lil Bear was off to the shop again.
The day my car was returned to me, I hadn’t even driven a mile away from the shop before it started overheating again. That was the Thursday evening before Memorial Day weekend and the shop was going to be closed. Anyway, I called the ‘mechanic’ right away to let him know. “That’s funny!” he said, “I couldn’t get the thing to overheat at all but we replaced the thermostat for you anyway. Call me next Tuesday and I’ll put in a new radiator for you.”
Fuck! At this point, my trip to St. Louis was less than two weeks away. Mick and I talked about it and he took it for a day to make sure that my ‘mechanic’ had actually replaced the thermostat like he said.
With thermostats you can’t really tell if they’re new, per se. So, unless there’s a huge amount of buildup (which doesn’t normally happen), it’s tough to tell how old it really is.
Without turning this post into a car-fixing lesson, let me just tell you that Lil Bear ran fine with a dummy thermostat Mick built, but still overheated with the “new” one.
Which could mean one of two things: #1- the ‘mechanic’ never replaced the old thermostat like he told me he did OR (less likely) #2- the replacement thermostat was just bad out of the box. It happens…
I called the ‘mechanic’ again and told him what Mick had diagnosed (but not that I thought he lied about the new thermostat) and immediately I was told that “running it without a thermostat is the absolute worst thing you can do for a Subaru!” During that same conversation I was scolded like a child and also told that the cooling fans could have possibly started turning the wrong way.
I might be a girl, but really?! Do I look that dumb?
And the way that he talked to me…! I don’t even let my real life father talk to me like that any more.
Eventually ‘mechanic’ guy told me he would replace the radiator but he wouldn’t have time until “next week” (this past Monday) – 3 fucking days before I am supposed to drive it to St. Louis for our skate trip!
I called Mick after I had calmed down and told him everything ‘mechanic’ guy had said to me. He guffawed at the fan thing and was very upset I was told “the absolute worst thing to do to a Subaru is drive it without a thermostat”. I am pretty sure we all know that there are much worse things to do to a car: like driving it with a banana in the tail pipe or not putting any oil in after an oil change or setting the timing belt wrong…
So, Mick to the rescue again. I called the shop and asked if they would just give me the new radiator and we would take care of the installation ourselves. Again, the ‘mechanic’ talked down to me like a child but conceded when I told him he’d never have to see me or the car ever again.
Ultimately, it turns out that the shop probably didn’t replace the thermostat because, after replacing the radiator this past Sunday, it was still overheating with the “new” thermostat.
Also, I got a free rear wheel bearing out of the deal. Mick replaced that Sunday, too! Lil Bear was so rusty and corroded it took 2 days and a TON of serious wrenching for him to get that part done!
Last night we were at Mick’s friend’s shop until after 11 o’clock making sure everything was fit to drive halfway across the country and back.
About a month ago Mick asked me what he could do to earn my submission. I was offended by it initially because I felt that I had already given myself to him.
But I hadn’t. I was only “playing house”; giving him my body.
He has since clarified what he meant by that statement and I am now starting to realize some comfort in the vulnerability of letting him help me do something I absolutely cannot.