Grease monkey I am not

Today’s main points: 1. Automotive repair is a frustrating business. 2. I have the best father of all time.

Benji … you remember Benji? My sweet little car? … well, he needs new brakes. I can hear the noise in the back when I’m pressing the brake, and I’m at least smart enough to know what this means. I’m telling my friend Joe, a true and self-named gearhead who recently rebuilt an entire GTO, about how Benji needs new rear brakes. He says, with his typical car-enthusiasm, You know what? Replacing brakes is easy. You could totally do it. Get your dad to help you, and you can learn about your car and save a lot of money.

See how he hit all my sweet spots? It’s kind of genius. First, I’m immediately flattered by his confidence in me. This, I now realize, was not confidence in me, but in the simplicity of the job. Like a toddler, I took it as praise and barreled on. The second brilliant thing he did here was appeal to my sense of feminism. The idea of being that girl who knows nothing about her car is abhorrent to me. Replace my own brakes? Hell yeah. I can do that. OBVIOUSLY. And finally, the save a lot of money thing is pretty critical in my world, so basically, you’ve got the perfect package. I’m all over it.

Daddy, for the record, exhibited a cautious willingness to help. He likes the idea of me being automaotively self-sufficent, especially since I’m on the road alone most of the time. He was not quite so confident about this brakes-will-be-a-breeze scenario.

And people, the one lesson I have learned as an adult is that DAMMIT, my parents are ALWAYS RIGHT. Always. As long as we don’t talk politics.

A few good things came of this escapade, the first of which is that I now know where all of my tire changing tools are located and how to use them. The lugnuts were so tight, Daddy had to find a metal pipe to attach to the end of the lugnut wrench to create enough ... torque? ... to break the lugnuts free.Another good thing: my rear tire will now actually come off. It was so fiercly hanging on that Daddy had to bust it off with a ... whatever this tool is. An ax of some kind.

Another good thing: my rear tire will now actually come off. It was so fiercly hanging on that Daddy had to bust it off with a ... whatever this tool is. An ax of some kind.

Here's the caliper! I know what one is! It's pretty amazing how I can be proud of such minimal amounts of knowledge. But, being terribly zenlike, I have NO EXCPECTATIONS of myself automotively speaking, and so I am delighted with every tiny step.

Here's where the problem surfaced. Inside this caliper, there's a piston that creates the pressure that creates the pinching of the brake pads, which stops the car. You've got to push that piston back to its original setting (it pushes out as the pads wear down, and mine were GONE). Except that Mazdas require a special, mystical took for this procedure. And so now Benji remains dismantled and pitiful. Like the princess in the Neverending Story, he awaits the arrival of the one magical key to his survival. It's all in the hands of my Dad.

And so, my friends, Daddy set off today on a quest to find the enigmatic piston cube:

Good luck, Daddy. May the force be with you.

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4 thoughts on “Grease monkey I am not

  1. First, the photo of your dad taking an axe to your tire is hilarious. We are both blessed with wonderful fathers that will help us with our car troubles. I give you great kuddos for embarking on such a large project. That sucks that you have to order a special tool to complete the job. I hope all works out well.

  2. That tool is a six-pound splitting maul. I was meaning to ask to borrow it while I was splitting up all the trees we had down here. Good thing for you I forgot!

  3. Pingback: Tree house or cabin? « Hello Goodbye

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