By Edson McLean
My best friend and I just celebrated a major milestone–we just surpassed 250,000 miles a few weeks ago. We have been in car accidents together in which the tire shot off like a cannon. We’ve been pulled over by police officers together. We have gone off-roading together. We have driven together with no brakes. We have watched 4th of July fireworks from the backseat of the car. Yes, my 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee and I have been through it all and it’s still truckin’… Well, sort of.
Two days after we celebrated this major milestone I noticed the lights inside the car getting dimmer and dimmer. I kind of shrugged it off and said, “maybe the bulb or the fuse is going bad, I’ll get that checked.” A few days later whenever the car would start, it would cough a little and stutter, I said, “maybe the car has the flu, I’ll get that checked.” And although the lights on the dashboard were dim, the engine light came on bright as ever I said, “hmmm, it must be a mistake, I’ll get that checked.”
So it was a clear, black night with a clear, white moon. While I was in a traffic jam at 5:12 p.m., I noticed that my steering wheel was getting a little stiff and the stuttering was coming as frequently as a pregnant woman’s contractions. And then at 5:22 p.m. the car just stopped in the middle of the road during rush hour. As I opened my drivers side door and popped open the hood of the car, I looked inside dumbfounded not knowing where to begin. Then the thought crossed my mind, “I’m going to have to take this car to a mechanic.”
If there is one thing that I hate it is taking my car to a mechanic. I have never walked into a mechanic shop and then walked out feeling great. Until this time. I eventually had my car towed to a place that the tow truck driver recommended. I was already cautious as it was, but I was in a crunch and I didn’t have a choice. The car arrived at 6:58 p.m. and the garage closed at 7 p.m. Dave the mechanic, walked me through a number of possibilities, in fact he opened the hood of my car and walked me through every possibility and I didn’t leave until almost 8:30 p.m. Usually when my car is in the shop, I have a hard time sleeping at night, because I’m wondering what could be the problem. But, this night I slept like a baby. Then Dave the mechanic called me at 10:00 a.m. the following morning and told me that it was a basic mechanism that charges the battery.
I don’t know too much about cars, but I do know that I could have easily been taken advantage of. Dave could have rattled off a list of problems such as the alternator, the battery or a strange thing-a-ma-bob that is only made in Japan and needs to be shipped here in order to be installed, but he didn’t. He treated my car as though it was his and this one experience has changed my outlook on all mechanics and he was definitely THE DIFF.