Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Why I hate being a stereotypical female

I know nothing about vehicles. I mean, it's like how I am with computers. I know how to drive one, and how to get it to do what I need it to do (except maybe reverse park, but we won't go there). But, with cars (or computers), whenever something goes wrong, or something needs tweaked, fixed or serviced - I have no clue. Not a notion.

Yet, since I am the person in this house with all this free time (ha!), it's me that gets to take the family vehicle for its servicing appointments and the like.

Yesterday I took the car to get new boots. Four spanking new tyres (or tires for my US readers). Once I steadied myself at the counter after seeing the bill (ouch!), I spoke for a few minutes with the guy in the shop. I told him that the steering had been pulling significantly to the right, and that oftentimes I would have to pull pretty hard to the left just to keep my trusty truck on the straight and narrow.

He told me 'that is most likely due to an alignment problem, we can look at that for you'. I asked how long, and how much? 'Forty five minutes and sixty bucks'. Hmm - I had to pick Miss E and her buddy up from Preschool, and didn't have the time - but I don't want misaligned wheels either!

So, the conversation continued. I told the guy that at the last service, Ford told me the truck was pulling to the right because of how the tyres were wearing and it would most likely rectify itself with new tyres since these ones were about ready to be replaced. The guy in the tyre shop says full of disdain 'They ALWAYS do that, tsk. Instead of taking people's money, they just say "it's only the tyres". It doesn't make sense!'.

I'm standing there in this shop asking myself do I need my wheels aligned or not? I'm so confused. Shop guy says 'your tires (since he's American he says tires, not tyres), wear for two reasons, one is that the pressure is wrong [our pressure has been fine, at least no wee lights were on to tell me otherwise!], and the other is that your wheels are out of alignment' Okay, I think, this makes sense to me. But wait a minute. Didn't this guy just tell me that Ford were dumb for not just taking my money and doing a wheel alignment? Does he really think my wheels are out of alignment, or is he just trying to cash in on the (correct) assumption that I don't know any better, and do the alignment whether the truck needs it or not?


What did I do? I took it for a spin. I drove straight down a straight road and the car did not pull in either direction - I even did it with no hands for a few seconds. Straight as a die.

Shop guy told me to bear in mind that 'since your tires are all new and flat [huh? I don't want flat tyres, especially not after the megabucks I just gave you!] that the car is going to want to go straight'

Okaaaayyyy! None the wiser, but happier to be driving straight and not having to over correct steering in any way, I picked up the kids from school and merrily drove home.

Hubs can take care of the big metal baby from now on - he can sniff a spoofer from 100 yards, and he knows what they're talking about into the bargain.


Life As I Know It said...

I know nothing about cars either. I take them in for state inspections, but otherwise, husband is in charge of the repairs.

jennifer said...

I know nothing about cars either, but that tyre/tire man sounds like he was trying to make a few extra bucks.