Monday, June 14, 2010

717 Active Resistance

717 Active Resistance

Now that Toyota's bulletproof reputation is in tatters, it's time to hit them while they're down.

The Camry is almost eleven years old. It was built in the year 1999 but it's a year 2000 model except for the driver's side door, which is a 1997 junkyard replacement following an encounter with a highway railing. Little has gone wrong with this car in the decade it's been on the road. But some time ago, the interior fan quit, and that's a repair no one but the dealer wants to touch.

The local dealer looked it over and decided a small electrical part was at fault and replaced it. The part, an electronic resistor, cost something like 28 bucks. But the bill was $140. What? Well, the "book" says it takes 90 minutes to install this part. The real time is 20 minutes. But dealers go "by the book." Think the "technician" (nee mechanic) got a chunk of that $140? Not likely. And this is nothing new.

Once a 1971 Pontiac Grandville, nicknamed "The Forrestal" for a hood long enough to land an F-14, just like the aircraft carrier of the same name, developed an electric chair problem. The electrical seat would not move. A small rubber connecting sleeve between the seat motor and the seat itself broke, rendering the seat immobile. The part was worth 79 cents. But the repair could not be made without removing the seat and then putting it back, which meant welding. The mechanic (in those days they still called them "mechanics," asked if the position in which the mobile seat froze was comfortable. The answer was "yes." so the repair never was made.

That same car's fan broke, and that time it wasn't a resistor, it was the ventilation motor itself stopped working and they had to saw through the fender wall to replace it.

Customer: "Why don't they make a hole or a little door so replacing the fan would be simple?"

Mechanic: "They do, but only on Cadillacs."

Later, "Customer" owned a Cadillac, a living room on wheels. With a V8 engine that threw a rod and died at 80-thousand miles, stranding the driver.

My kingdom for a horse. And a resistor.


--The Broadway revival of "La Cage Aux Folles" has won eleven Tony nominations. The original was a "must-miss" years ago despite a couple of invitations to the theater. At the time, the daily walk to work up 8th Avenue in the 40s was a daily lesson in the transvestite and transsexual subculture, and that was enough.

--There hasn't been a shooting war of international consequence in western Europe since WWII, only places of which you'd never heard in places like the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia. So, apparently, the way to avoid war is to learn geography. Wars no longer occur in places you know, so if you know every place, there'll be no wars.

--Rich at the beer and ribs shop got some cleaning stuff for the kitchen there. Bad news. Like good coffee, good ribs should never be prepared on a clean anything.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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