Well i been having one heck of a NOT fun time becoming the family mechanic and i can tell you it aint because i want to be or am saving loot but after this experience i simply do not have the TRUST anylonger in taking a vehicle to any local shop around me ever again.
My wife drives the family mini van. Yeah thats the vehicle she made me promise to buy her before she would leave her family and come to Canada. (who would have thought these cars have such powers).
Well i remember being so impressed with the "handbrake" or parking brake as you folks in NA call it. In the mini van its a footbrake and a release catch. I remember thinking at the time wow had my mom had one of those she would not have pulled her back out which she did while yanking on her handbrake way back in the day.
So for some years now i dont drive this van. It gets to go to the shop for all its work etc. But i get into it the other day and man the brake aint working.
Of course my wife never uses the darn thing either so i figure well must be the rust and all and this old truck is getting on but i aint laying out cash for a new one given soon its only going to be the two of us. (hopefully ).
So i decide what the heck we had this in for this problem several times and it never seems to come back like it was when new.
So fresh from a training session on the sons honda i get stuck in and pull off everything except the pedal part. Well i am mystified everything seems to be moving etc so i figure in the end its got to be the front cable (there are 4 cables in this parking brake). Checking underneath this cable has damage and looks like rust got to the sheath and so its seizing in my view.
Well i get to take the underside panel off the dash and proceed to remove the pedal to replace the front cable.
Wait for it guess what.
Little by little i see piece of car key sticking out from between the lever and the rubber stop the lever bangs on when you release it. I go no surely no i am seeing things so i go get the wife to make sure i aint been snorting those solvent fumes from the brake cleaner..
She takes a look and non committingly says yeah looks like something is stuck in there.
So i wiggle and jiggle the lever and next a label falls out and it has my name and date 2006 on it. The puzzle gets more interesting. In 2006 my oldest banged up the van when he was exiting a local bank plaza and not paying attention. The guy he pulled in front of hit him on the front drivers side.
So wiggle and jiggle and eventually out comes an entire dodge key. This key fitted the car ignition suprisingly we have the two original keys or at least we thought we did. Turns out the panel shop must have "lost" the key and replaced it without our even knowing. Why the panel shop would shove a key in the brake pedal i have no idea. Its impossible for it to get into that location without being put in their. Well long story short i replaced the cable which was actually neccessary and all is well with the parking brake.
BUT this was the straw that broke the camels back. No longer will my cars go to any local shops. I will do my own work from now on and if i cannot it means its time for a new one.
Last time i took my Jeep Commander into the shop to have oil change and a rear tailight changed under warranty my vehicle got driven into the wall by the mechanic who had never had his foot on a hemi before. So what was a afternoon repair ended up being weeks of fighting to get it repaired.
Then the "warranty repair" to my heater core has ended up with me having to consider replacing the entire vehicles carpet due to the drainage pipes from the sunroof not being inserted into their drain holes and causing the entire carpet to keep getting flooded.
Their aint enough space here to list all the things i have had to put up with in such a short time. So sorry to all the mechanics but between you and your shop owners you just lost a customer. Now ask me where my shop time has gone lately. Of course this had to be sorted out quickly with MIL arriving this week.