Monday, February 07, 2005

Is it bad when this happens?

It feels like you've left your parking brake on every time you step on the gas, but since you never use your parking brake you know this is not possible. And you especially know it's not possible because when you look down you can plainly see that your parking brake is not engaged.

You drive your friend Eric and his friend Danny (who is visiting from Texas) to Franklin Street on Saturday so you can all poke around among the foo-foo art galleries, and the whole time you are driving there and back you are treated to various combinations of: that weird parking-brake thing, the smell of something burning, a high-pitched whine coming from somewhere deep within your car.

You call your mechanic—the best mechanic in the world who is as honest as the day is long and who can always make your car better for like five dollars—and he's moved his garage so far away from you it's literally not worth taking your car to him anymore.

You take your car to some other mechanic you found on the AAA site, and the whole time you're driving there on Lake Shore Drive this morning in rush-hour traffic (which neither rushes nor moves fast enough even to be called "traffic") your mind is filled with visions of the carnage you will cause when your brakes suddenly develop the opposite problem and they completely give out and you smash into bicyclists and pregnant pedestrians and joggers over and over and over again until you have killed the entire city.

Your new mechanic said he'd call you in an hour or so to tell you what's wrong with your car and it's been almost four hours and you're sure it's going to cost like five million dollars to get your car fixed and you'll be living in a box down by the river before the week is out.

But before you left your car there you stuck all your show-tune CDs in your backpack so those sticky-fingered gay mechanics wouldn't steal your favorite car music—especially your "Jake's Sing-A-Long Mix" CD that features "Ring Them Bells" AND "Maybe This Time" AND "The Lonely Goatherd" AND "Beauty Within" AND "Another Hundred People." (HA! You'll have to steal your faggy music from some OTHER guy with a shitty car, you show-tune-stealin' mechanics!)


Will said...

Might it be your catalytic converter? That happened to me several years ago with my first Jeep Cherokee--the converter clogged up and the engine couldn't exhaust properly. It felt like I was pushing a loads of granite ahead of me and the conveter got superheated and let off a horrid smell.

When i got towed into a mechanic, he said that if it ever happened again, just punch a hole in the converter to relieve the pressure and then go to a shop ASAP to get the converter replaced.

Christopher said...

Your blog is confounding me. First I learn that Iowa is not necessarily a sunshine state. Then I learn that you don't use your handbrake. How can you not use your handbrake? What do you do if you park on a hill? Stick bricks under the wheels?


Jason said...

Christopher, you're forgetting that Chicagoland is flatter 'n the pre-teen chests that rest under socks (which rest under sequins!) in the Washington Middle School production of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

Parking brake? Wha?

Steve said...


I have a very trustworthy mechanic (I've been using him for 13 years; his only fault is he supports Bush :(

Let me know if you need his #.


Derek said...

Hmmm do you use your parking brake all the time? I know that if you never use it and all of a sudden decide to use it it can end up stuck engaged . . . It's a royal pain to fix. This is why, even though my current car is an automatic, I always engage the parking brake . . .

Once with my last car I took it to a car wash and handed the keys to someone who didn't speak English very well. First off he got confused at the concept of using the remote to unlock the car otherwise the car will make loud funfare type noises and refuse to start. Next I watch the car going through the car wash and notice "Hmmm the rear wheels aren't moving" Then I see the guy driving it around the lot with the rear tires just dragging along. Come to find out he never let the emergency brake out before driving it.

I never went back to that car wash . . .

Oh I also remove my CDs when I've taken my car in for service (and paid over $300 to replace a $50 sensor that I could've done myself gggggrrrrr Would've added insult to injury if they stole my CDs too)

BigDubb said...

I'm gonna guess it had something to do with a seized caliper on one of your front brakes. Was the car pulling in one direction excessively. If so this was probably the problem. Hopefully you didn't drive too long with this seized as it will destroy your roter and the pads on the caliper. Even so, it shouldn't be too much to fix. If they don't have to replace the caliper.

Be sure to let us konw the outcome.

This feels like car talk. I think I hear some cackling laughs from two former MIT grads in the background.

wade said...

I home the car is okay and inexpensively fixed, but more importantly I would like a Track Listing of "Jake's Sing-A-Long Mix" CD!