Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Than A Minor Meltdown: The Conclusion

So I thought that after yesterday's rant (and yes - I went back and re-read what I wrote and it totally qualified as a rant) that perhaps some of you might actually be concerned about my mental state, my ability to continue with this blog and/or interested in the ultimate outcome of my a/c-less situation.

First things first. Marty and I were in total agreement that Griffin Brothers sounded like a rip-off. So instead, we got up this morning and dropped the Blazer off at Wallace's. Wallace is retired (from what I have no idea) but he is clearly a mechanic (or at least mechanically inclined) and even though he's retired he still does work on cars - at least for those lucky enough to know him. And because he's not a dealer or a fancy schmancy repair shop and because he doesn't have a lot of overhead, he's completely reasonable in the price department.

Let me tell you about Wallace. Wallace lives in a shack off the side of the road. There are chickens running around the yard and a sign that says: Beware of Dog. There is also a dog. Sometimes more than one. Wallace has a small child who runs around barefoot in the dirt yard. There are assorted cars and car parts and car related things around and about. If you are familiar with the David Allen Coe song "If That Ain't Country" - Wallace sort of personifies some of that song. And I say all this not to be mean or judgemental - because that's not how I mean it. I am just painting a picture. Wallace is a wonderful and sweet man and he completely saved my ass. But this blog is called "If That Ain't Country" and Wallace is so "If That Ain't Country" that I felt compelled to share.

So I tell Wallace that "we" think it's the compressor. I don't really think this but Marty does because when I started the car in the garage he heard a noise and he immediately identified it as the compressor. He seemed shocked that I couldn't hear it too and suggested I turn the volume on my radio down about 18 notches. I didn't want to state the obvious which was that I grew up in NYC and have no knowledge or skills where cars are concerned and that turning my radio down wasn't going to help. The only way I know something isn't right is if a light appears on my dashboard. Or it's totally obvious - like the air coming out of the vent when I have the a/c on is no longer cold.

Wallace starts the car, listens for less than a millisecond and concurs - it's the compressor. My first reaction? FUCK. Because really, a shot of freon is so much more manageable than a whole compressor issue. Me being me (and totally neurotic) I ask Wallace if there is something I could have done to cause this. He assures me that no, this is "NOT MY FAULT." Compressors sometimes die. Or fry. Or both. Given that my car is 10 years old and that I have put probably close to 70,000 miles on it in the near 18 months that I have owned it, needing a new compressor doesn't seem so far-fetched. Phew.

Wallace says that he is going to try and patch the clutch first. That's the easy solution. And the cheap one. Otherwise, I will need a whole new compressor. I start alternate nostril breathing immediately.

I'll spare you the rest of the dramatic details...Actually there are no more dramatic details. Long story short? I needed a new compressor. Wallace found one, bought it, and installed it and I picked up my car before 6pm. When I started it, the air blowing out of the vents was cold. Ice cold.

God love whoever invented freon. And God love Wallace because as I said, he totally, totally, totally saved my ass.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


Nancy said...

You KNOW if you had left it with Griffin Brothers they would have had it for three days and you would have spent those three days calling to see when your car would be ready because God Forbid anyone there call you back...
After our move from CA to CT in our dear Dodge Caravan I brought it to our conveniently located down the street Dodge dealer for something minor. Of course, they found different things wrong, including the AC no longer working. That was terribly odd since we just drove 3000+ miles without a problem with it. Suspicious person that I am, I called ex-boyfriend, mechanic whom I hadn't seen in 8 years and asked him to look at my car. Hmmm, it seems the AC was DISCONNECTED. Guess the CA license plates gave them the wrong idea.