Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Catmobile back in Garage, but....

The car went to the mechanic yesterday.  I'd never been to this particular shop before.   It is fancy, with so many people up front.  I should have turned around immediately I think.

I like to see a dirty mechanic shop, disorganized, not a store front with a face to the public like a boutique.

Immediately I think their prices will be sky high.  They were.

$105 for diagnostics.  One hour.

$305 to replace the four plugs and one coil pack.   I argued to beat the band with the guy when he called and said it was one plug bad, over the price of four plugs and one coil pack, the latter of which I was unconvinced really was bad.  

I have had several coil packs blow on that car.  Its then running on 3 cylinders and you know that immediately.  Slow or fast speed, well you can't go fast on 3 cylinders, you can tell instantly.  And the check engine light comes on, plus a code flashes on the dash.  Nothing like that happened.

Then, there's the fact, I'd removed the heat shield and the coil pack bolts and pulled them off one by one, with the engine running, and after pulling off each one, the engine sound lowered.  If a coil pack isn't working, the engine will sound the same when you pull it off the plug.  Or so says youtube.  But that's the way I have found which coil pack was bad before.   You can't miss a blown coil pack, when it chatters and lurches and won't even idle or run right.  Well anyhow.

Plus a coil pack and four plugs should cost $60 tops.   That would mean massive part mark up, or labor, for a ten minute job, to replace four plugs and a coil pack, at about $250.  Seemed outrageous to me.  He didn't give.   How can people afford to live anymore?

The bill came with three pages of suggested maintenance repair estimates.

I need to test drive it.  I didn't get a chance last night.  It takes over ten minutes of driving for the problem I was having to show up.

Yesterday, seven cats were fixed at Heartland.  The caretaker of two of those seven, from the 34Colony, drove the 7 to Heartland yesterday morning, and drove me there to pick up yesterday evening, since I'm the one paying for the fixes and you pay when you pick up.  

Besides the two from the 34Colony, a girl, ShabbyTabby, and a boy, Jag, there were two girls from a friend of the 34Colony caretaker, out of Brownsville, who got fixed.  I appreciate very much that she provided $70 to offset the $80 cost for her pair, who are fosters and she will have up for adoption.  Flea and Alice are their names.  I never even got a look at them and have no photos of Flea and Alice to share.

Shabbytabby, a girl, fixed yesterday, from the 34colony

Jag, a 34colony boy.  With these two, 23 cats have now been fixed from that colony. They don't return once caught and fixed.
So besides the two girls from Brownsville and the two 34Colony cats, Waterloo teen Honey was fixed.   She was a loose end, the last unfixed cat at a trailer where everybody else is now fixed.  Honey is sweet as can be.  She spent two nights in my bathroom before being fixed yesterday.
Honey, DLH dark gray  tabby tux female teen, fixed and chipped yesterday at Heartland.
Also fixed yesterday, two more cats from the complex where Zoey and Trouble came from.  I think that will be an ongoing effort to keep that complex "fixed".

There was Boy George, a massive orange tabby male the maintenance man caught.  He got fixed.  And so did Kitty Meow, a little teen female, still very wildish, although she has been taken in there.  I didn't get a photo of Kitty Meow.  She's a gray tabby.   I'd gotten little sleep night before last, worry over my car and the electric bill were the cause, plus knee pain, from all the effort to remove the back seat from the car and clean it plus other labor.  Not only that, Honey, in the bathroom, was crying.

So I forgot to take photos and am not back on my game yet and hope to high heaven the car is actually fixed.  I feel negligent in some ways, if it was just that one bad plug, because when I changed the plugs a year ago or so, one was a bit tight, and rather than force it out, and risk a broken plug, I left it, because the other three were in good shape.  That was the plug that was bad.

Boy George, now fixed.  About time, big guy.
2 Boys and Five Girls were fixed yesterday.  It was a good day for Linn County cats.

Ok, I'm getting dressed now.

The Catmobile and I will hit the road for a little test drive.


  1. Good luck on your test drive. I really, really hope the car is fixed.

    1. So good to see you again, EC. You rested? Have missed you. I really really really hope it runs ok, lol. I one upped your "really's".

  2. Here's hoping the catmobile is back in service again.

  3. The price does seem excessive. Anyway, it all won't seem so bad if the car runs nicely.

    1. It does run, still rugged, rough, bouncy and now vibrates on deceleration, but I can't ask for perfect from my old fart car.

    2. As long as there's some forward motion, amidst the vibrating, bouncing and screeching, I'm good.

  4. Here's adding another 'really'. Best wishes to all.