Thursday, August 20, 2015

Car To The Shop

     Yes, it's time for my (oooooo) Lexus RX300  to go in the shop (it's a high-mileage 2000 model, so you can stop the plutocrat jokes right now).  The brakes have been funky and I hope I have not waited too long.  I'll probably ask for an oil change while it's in, and there's no telling what else they may find.

     Hoping this won't be too painful.  The last nice experience I had with front disc brakes was when I discovered I could replace the disc brake pads, etc. of my MGB using common shop equipment -- C-clamps and wood blocks.  Most cars are not built that way, which lends some credence to my theory that the MGB was built so the owner could indulge the thing as a hobby; when I say "could," I mean, "had better," because if you treated one like a Chevy, or how I treat my Lexus, you'd be walking a lot.  With other cars, I'm lucky to get them in for service before I have ruined the rotors. 

     Meanwhile, the Lexus itself has been moving along with a degree of ghastly silence, luxurious comfort and utter smoothness that approaches that of the ten-year-old, horribly-painted (looked like a brush job, possibly with house paint) Jaguar XJ-6 I bought in 1991.  Considering that the Lexus is twice as tall and relatively five years older (and, alas, was not lovingly assembled at Coventry by doughty yoemen), that's impressive.  Car & Driver called it "a quiet, ingratiating vehicle whose on-road poise and wholesale absence of truckishness do much to overcome its paucity of off-road skills."  Probably not the thing to climb over boulders -- but it sneers at chuckholes and we have a lot more of them than rugged hard-rock country hereabouts.


pdb said...

I used to take a lot of pride in doing ALL my own automotive work, even when that meant a lot of weekends under or bent over the car, a lot of skinned knuckles and a few missed days of work.

These days, I'm luxuriating in being a checkbook mechanic, but I still do my own brakes and oil changes.

Roberta X said...

The B was the last car I understood well enough to work on.

D.W. Drang said...

I used to maintain all my own vehicles. The M151 Jeep, the M880 and 1028 pickup trucks, the M1009 "Blazer", the deuce-and-a-halfs and 5 tons...
Then the HMMWV came along and I despised that POS so much I can barely bring myself to put air in tires anymore. Really, Der Schwarzes ('eneggar and 'kopf) are idiots for loving those things.

And, really, between the heavy computerization of cars these days, and dire threats of voiding warranties AND violating copyright if you DIY, even the above average shade tree mechanic (which I never was anyway) may be better served by paying someone else to do it.

Anonymous said...

My wife has a 1999 Lexus and it has been the best car she ever owned. She was told once by a service guy that until she got over 250.000 miles on it, service would be minimal.

Worst problem she has had so far was when a dirt-dobber (mud wasp) built a nest in the fuel tank air exhaust line and she could only put a few gallons in the tank before the gas pump fill nozzle cut off.