23 June 2008

guest blogger

Sometimes I think my car should have its own blog.

Today, after calling for a jump start because I hadn't driven it since Friday, I took my car in to have the gas tank examined. We didn't know if it needed to be replaced or if the seal around the gas tank needed to be replaced. A friend had set up the appointment for me and the mechanincs were supposed to know what the problem was and have a plan to fix it. We were even going to go part shopping together if that's what was needed.

When I drove in, the guy asked me if I brought the spark plugs (translates as "candles", fyi) or if I wanted to use theirs. Off to a great start, eh? I told them my spark plugs were fine, my gas tank was leaking. (From this point on we used the telephone to have a friend translate most of the rest of this--speaking car and Russian is too much for me.)

He went into the pit to take a look under my car at the leaking gas tank still smoking his cigarette. That didn't really inspire confidence. I'm thankful we didn't all explode.

He said he didn't know how I'd been able to drive in because the "frog" (this means u joint...which I still had to look up on google) was half gone. He said it must've been very noisy.

Ummm, no. No noise. Just leaking gas when the tank is more than half full.

I asked if it needed a repair or a new tank (without my phone translator, thank you very much) and he, of course, said I needed a new tank. He would do a complete work-up and call us later with the list of what needed doing.

I found a metro and went home to wait for the list.

The list is: replace gas tank (13, 500 r) and pipe leading to gas tank (12, 000 r), replace u joint, brake pads and brake discs. The grand total for all parts and labor is estimated at 41,500 r--or about $1755. YIKES!

The thing is, the car wasn't making any noises, the brakes probably should be replaced, and I have no idea if the tank and pipe actually need replacing or if it's just the little rubber seal that's worn. I'm hoping that our car guy from school will come with me to the mechanics on Wednesday to give his opinion. (Although, frankly, he doesn't seem to know that much more about cars than I.) Basically, I'm at their mercy. In this land of specialization, there aren't free-lancers who work on cars in general. You take American cars to this place. I don't know where else you take them. It was recommended that I get a second opinion. When I asked who could give that opinion, no one knew.

Sheesh. Not the news I was hoping for today.


Anonymous said...

UGH. that is some serious coin. and i hate this stuff, because i always feel like someone is taking advantage of me, and i just don't know enough to call them on it. hope you find someone who can give you a 2nd opinion - good luck!

Jenni said...

I HATE car trouble. It is just the worst thing, especially if you don't know a lot about cars and suspect someone may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I hope you are able to get a 2nd opinion and can feel more confident about the work being done.

Not a good way to start the week.

Heidi said...

I H.A.T.E. car problems!
Smoking cigarette? Lordy.
Good luck with all that and more!
What's the news on the new apt?

Tami said...

UGH! I hope your friend can help you out. I have a feeling he's trying to pull one over on you. Is there any chance of telling him to just replace the gas tank and you'll worry about the other later?

Rachael said...

Sheesh is right. Surely, there must be some other place! Maybe just having a male with you would change the estimate.

Annie said...

This is very alarming. I would start serious work on locating the second opinion!