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Home Auto Repair

January 29th, 2006


Saturday was Cartalk. Actually, it was listening to This American Life. But for me, it was largely my own cartalk consisting of long strings of four-letter expletives.

While most everyone I knew was off skiing, I was remembering the two main components of home auto repair are my own stupidity and a lack of proper tools. Last August this combination caused a poorly-tightened spark plug to explosively eject from the engine south of Salt Lake City.

With rain squalls passing through I lay in Marshall and Megan’s driveway. Although Megan was skiing and Marshall was in Utah at the OR Trade Show, their driveway is flat and only a few blocks from the parts store, shortening the inevitable trip for tools.

The Lemon, a 1992 Subaru Legacy bought without a VIN number check was having alignment issues (long story short: don’t ever buy a used car without a VIN check). I need new tires because of the alignment. To fix the alignment I need new rear lateral links. The previous owner had jacked the vehicle up on them, bending them.

Two trips to the parts store and the help of a neighbor and his garage, a treasure-trove of a miscellany, and the job was completed without having to remove the muffler to get to one of the bolts.

This saved me, according to one estimate, $300 in labor, $100 on parts, but cost me a day of skiing. But I heard the snow, while deep, was heavy and not so great. Maybe they were just trying to make me feel better.

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