Thursday, December 29, 2005

The cool has been restored...

A mantra that was coined in my earlier years can now be re-employed.

In high school, Bobina and I, used the phrase:

'safety is cool'

Until recent weeks I was extremely cool. I am talkin' Fonzie cool.
However, months ago my driver side seat belt broke, the pretension spring had essentially broke, without going into a lot of detail, it just broke. And I could not afford to replace it. So, I spent a few hours disassembling the passenger side seat belt to remove the spring and put it on the driver side pretensioner. That worked well for awhile until the same thing happened to that spring.

Well goddamn...

So, I floated around town without actual seat belts. I would strap it on for two reasons. 1) So John Q. Law wouldn't nail me down for it and 2) for the simple comfort of the feeling of having the seat belt on. Naturally, had I been in an accident, I would have been picking teeth out of the dash board or they would have been sponging me off the pavement.

I decided to finally suck it up and buy the belts post xmas bonus. A little history on this. I spoke with my not-so favorite mechanic, who by the way I won't be going back to, and he was going to charge me about $175 of labor on top of the $132 cost in parts. This, times two, was not acceptable or even remotely affordable. Friday, I finally had them order the parts. I was told they would call me when they arrived, naturally as shitty customer service would have it, they didn't. So, I showed up and after standing there for almost 15 minutes, I was given my -prepaid- parts. Not before being asked when I was bringing the car in to have them do it. I told his ass never because I can't afford for him to do it. What an asshole to try and make $350 on a seat belt installation. And on top of it, days before he was going to try and stick it to me for my brakes. He was going to charge me $440 for just the -REAR- brakes, not all four. And that, according to him, was the going rate for replacing parts. WTF? I originally assumed that $440 covered all four, but they called me and said that it would cost another $440 for the front. What a cock smoker.

So, today, I pulled out the trusty Craftsman socket set, grabbed the 14mm socket (because it is a Japanese car and they do use metric fasteners) and started taking off all three of the bolts, and the cover right underneath the seat belt. It took me more time to read the goddamn 'instructions' (they weren't really instructions but they helped) than it did to take the old belts off, and put the new ones on. In less than 25 minutes I had the driver side in and tested. The passenger side took even less than that. And oh how I like the new belts, very nice indeed. They retract a lot better than expected. Nice job MQ.

So, 45 minutes of my time, I saved $350 dollars. Hell, even the local dealership was willing to be cool and do it for FREE to earn my business. Just a tip to those small businesses that I keep hearing I'm supposed to help support. It's one thing to have a slightly higher price because you need to maintain a decent margin for a profit because your vendors don't give you such a huge discount for volume, but when you go out of your way to try and fuck people over, that's when you go out of business. So fuck you TD, you can eat my ass.


Bird said...

Saftey is cool and cool's the rule...

MyKey said...

I just went throught the same shit with my 80's ford F-150. this mechanic was going to charge me $350 + labor to replace my speedometer cable (btw, It still worked, It was just making a grinding noise. I said to hell with that, went to the junk yard, found a used one for $40, and within an hour and a little blood,the little noise was gone... does anyone know if there is such a thing as a good mechanic that won't charge you your first born for something so simple.