Monday, September 29, 2008

It's alive!

For the past few weeks this is what our evening has consisted of:



Before we left for Philadelphia, our Mazda started making a really crazy noise when you went faster than about 15 mph. It was embarrassingly loud and lucky me got to drive it to work for the two weeks I was still in Utah and Sean was in Pennsylvania. I took it to a mechanic to see if he could diagnose the problem. Well, that nice man told us he was "certain" it was a bearing on the clutch that needed to be replaced. I stuck it out with the noisy car and decided Sean could deal with it (since it is his other true love) when we got home. Thinking we're being proactive, Sean orders a new clutch and it arrives on our doorstep the day after we get back to Utah. We had the clutch replaced. The noise didn't go away… in fact it was worse.

We took the car to another mechanic for another opinion. This one says he's "sure" it's the transmission and proceeds to tell us for a mere $1200 he will replace it. Um, no thanks. Instead, we made a memorable trip to a pick-and-pull yard out in the boonies west of Salt Lake and picked up a used transmission for $250. Note: I thought it might be a fun little adventure to go to the pick-and-pull yard—WRONG. We stood in a greasy "reception area" for 45 minutes and listened to employees tell dirty jokes in Spanish. I told Sean I would rather saw off my own arm then go back.

So we got the transmission replaced with the used one we bought. We're all stoked to go pick it up and have two cars again. Yeah, would have been cool if the transmission was the actual problem! The mechanic scratched his head and says, "It's a mystery. We just don't know what's wrong." Thanks buddy—really helpful information. Probably good we didn't PAY YOU THE $1200 FOR A NEW TRANSMISSION THEN!

At this point I was ready to blow up the stupid car and tried to convince Sean to buy himself a truck. I knew getting rid of it would be hard for Sean since this car has been his little project (turbo, suspension, exhaust, etc.), but I didn't want to keep paying for people's guesses of what might be wrong. Miraculously, Sean found a guy in Ogden (we'll call him the 'blessed one') who had a lot of knowledge and experience with Miatas. After driving the car for about five seconds he told Sean the problem was the differential (don't ask me what it is because I don't know). He offered to sell us one at a much lower price than anything we could find online, and knowing my hesitation about paying for more car parts we don't really need, he even said he'd buy the part back if it didn't fix the problem. When we picked it up, he taught Sean how to replace it himself and told him to call with any questions or problems. Now THAT is an awesome mechanic!

So like I said, we've been down in the garage for the past few weeks. I set up a beach chair and read a book (I told him he can't be under the car by himself for obvious reasons) and Sean wrenched away. Luckily, with the help of some friends (Sam, Rob) and my brother, the car is finally put back together… and… and... wait for it... the NOISE IS GONE! Can I get a Hallelujah people? The Miata lives on!

8 comments:

Mark + Courtney + One (eventually) said...

Yeah for the Miata! It will live forever. I hate mechanics too. I had a grinding noise in my gears. They told me it was transmission and it would cost 1800 to fix. I told them to put it back together and now the noise is gone. Who knows, it may come back but for now I'm just happy I didn't have to spend that much money.

Cassi said...

Obvious reasons for not being under the car alone...? I don't get it. Is it in case the car falls on him? I'm confused...sorry I'm a little slow.

Tenise said...

You are so funny. I'm glad you got it fixed. :)

Mark and Lachelle said...

Car problems SUCK! Luckily, we found a great mechanic who rarely charges us for labor! It's awesome! But I feel your pain. Car troubles are the worst! Do you know what else sucks? Loud freaking upstairs neighbors that jump up and down!!!!!!! (Sorry, just venting on the elephants that live above us!) I wish they'd stop though, it's really getting on my nerves right about now!

Zach said...

Hey, I've been having a problem with my Grand Am... think I could get Sean to look at it? :D

Seriously, though, it's a deep and abiding love that a guy has for a car that really is difficult to explain. I felt the same way about that old 280ZX. (Even now, I get all tingly thinking about it)

Jenny Ricks said...

Cassi: yes, I just didn't want him working on the car alone in the garage in case the car fell off the jack stands or something-- someone's got to be there to call 911! Since he didn't always have a buddy with him, I spent many hours hanging out in the garage just making sure he didn't die-- you know, because I kinda like him :)

Grant and Taryn Layton said...

Yes...I still remember when the engine of the silver bullet fell on Grant's head, just WEEKS before our engagement pictures. He had a pretty good gash but luckily his hair pretty much covered it. You can risk letting your baby's daddy having car parts fall on him! Glad it's working again though :)

RobHeidi Family said...

I can see him now getting champagne sprayed all over him as he wins his first race! Watch out boys...Sean is back in town!