Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Workshop Crap

As advised by my regular mechanic, I brought Nickie to the workshop for a check on the steering rack. This workshop is linked to the dealer shop who sold me the car. As the car had a 3-year or 60,000km warranty, I thought I might be able to make a claim for a new steering rack. But, I never heard or know of any workshop who would dish out a new part for you without giving you some crap. With this expectation in mind, I made an appointment and brought Nickie to the shop. I told the receptionist what the problem was i.e., there was a 'clicking' sound whenever I turned the steering wheel to the right and it only happens at a particular angle. There is a another 'click' sound when the steering wheel is turned back to the centre and also, at that same angle. Obviously, she had no clue what I was talking about but I did not want to spoil her day. The first mechanic that attended to me twisted and turned the steering wheel and heard the sound for himself. He thinks some nuts and bolts are loose. So, with a couple of spanners in his hands, he tightened every damn bolt there was under the engine. The sound did not go away. He called his senior mechanic. This guy came, heard the sound, took the car for a spin, came back and said, "your gantong (shocks) are making the noise." I looked at him and told him that firstly, those shocks are coilovers, they have just been tightened, they have been installed for over a year and not a sound was heard till last week. He looked dazed because he obviously knew that I know my stuff and when I insisted that the sound is coming from the steering rack. So, he called the workshop manager. He hopped into the car with the senior mechanic, went for a spin, came back and said, "Because your car is lowered, there is a lot of stress on the steering mechanism. Also, your wheels are too wide and your camber is not enough. So, it is harder for the steering mechanism. Nowadays, the material used is thinner than last time. So, not so strong. Anyway, your car modified, so cannot cover under warranty." I said, " Thank you. Give me my key please."

Why do all mechanics take car owners as idiots? What makes them think that they can pull all this crap and get away with it? It only proves my philosophy that if you own it, know it. Spending time under the bonnet helps to know you car better. Getting your hands all oily and greasy to help your regular mechanic goes a long way in knowing what goes where and what does this and that. DIY some of the stuff, if you mess it up, don't is never that bad. You can always call your regular mechanic. Lastly, read and do your research. Learn lessons from others and how the problem was resolved.

I drove away from the workshop feeling glad that they did not do more damage. The only irritation I felt was that they put their greasy bums on Nickie seats without even putting on a plastic cover. It's good not to expect too much because you won't be disappointed.