Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Cars Suck

This morning I arrived at work to find a message on my office phone, as well as a couple of missed calls on my cell, from Lady Luck. Our car's power steering hose had popped loose - again - leaving a huge mess on the driveway and making it impossible to steer the car.

This has happened four times now, over the last several years.

See, I think a repair shop I foolishly trusted did a crap job of repairing the broken power steering line. There is now a hose, with clamps, holding the two ends of the metal line together. I don't think that's quite right, but it does do the job - usually - in a ratty sort of way.

The last time this happened, I made sure the hose clamp that kept coming loose was on there as tight as possible. I double-checked it the last time I changed the oil, and it was still tight as could be.

So, I rode home again to fix the car, and stopped on the way to buy power steering fluid. I didn't bring my bag with me, so I had to stuff the bottles in my jacket.

This time, the other hose clamp had popped loose. I was already ornery because I hadn't had my coffee yet, so the discovery did not improve my mood (if I'd tightened the other clamp when I was under there last time, it wouldn't have been a problem, right? Live and learn.).

Fortunately, after performing this repair several times now, I've got the hang of it and it takes more time to get the car up on the jack and full of power steering fluid than it does to fix the problem.

Incidentally, I really like that Pennzoil's power steering fluid is blue - it made it a lot easier to tell the hose was still leaking. If it had been clear, the new fluid would have been hard to spot in the puddle of old fluid.

On the upside of all this, I got 60 miles of riding in already today, and Lady Luck made me some toast while I was home.


Baron's Life said...

Doesn't look like you're having a good time with this thing.
I do agree....Cars Suck... in more ways than you know.

bobskoot said...

Cars suck until you need them.

I've needed mine for the past 3 weeks, but still snowed in. Will try to rescue it tonight.

I think the question is which sucks more: cars, or public transit . . . the snow has stopped (for now), but winter has hardly started.

Allen Madding said...

A tip from experience with high pressure hoses and clamps, especially those connecting to smooth fittings without barbed fittings - try putting an extra clamp on both ends. Double clamping usually helps.

John McClane said...

Cars that I have had that suck:

Ford Mondeo. You have to take the engine out to change the clutch.

Volvo 850 T5. A 3 hour job to change a lamp bulb.

MG Midget. You have to stop the car, open the bonnet, turn a tap on the engine block to turn the heating on. And stop the car, open the flaps up either side of the transmission tunnel to move the heating from the windscreen to the car interior.

VW 1302S. You need a bag of cement in the front of the car to stop it sliding on ice or snow.

But the Midget was my best driving experience. And the Volvo was s**t fast.

Lucky said...

Baron - it's a good car otherwise, really. It's just getting old and crotchety.

bobskoot - public transit does suck, but I'm a pretty big fan of it. The problem is, of course, I never wake up in time to use it. :D

Allen - Great idea, I'm going to add a couple clamps the next time I change the oil.

John - the one time I drove an MG I laughed my ass off the whole time - even after driving into a ditch because the brakes had failed. Great cars....