“He said the oil is leaking from the exhaust pipe and that the thingamabob on the valve has to be adjusted.”

courtesy of morguefile

courtesy of morguefile

I do not mind dropping our cars off with our mechanic or waiting in line at the inspection station (a couple of days after my sticker expires) to get the cars inspected.  I will even withstand Jiffy Lube pushing all of the unnecessary extra services on me when all I want is an oil change.

But please.

Do not make me listen to the mechanic explain in detail what is wrong with the car and what he proposes to do to fix it.

It is a complete waste of his exhaust-smelling breath (though a real nice guy) and my overloaded 50-year old brain.

My brain was capable of storing the two languages I speak fluently, as a youngster.  My left hemisphere even allowed me to understand many of the other romance languages.

Mechanics however, ain’t happening.

He lost me at hello.

The minute he begins to explain his findings and recommendations, the lights in my brain go out.  It is an instant power outage.  A transformer explosion of sorts.

I just see lips moving and hear a garbled hum coming out of his mouth.  Yada..yada…yada.

I have explained this to my husband but with his very busy schedule, the task usually falls on my lap.  To make matters worse, I have to take the information I just “learned” and recap it quickly for my husband between his meetings.  Ha, ha, ha, ha!!

This is usually how it goes;

“Well, he said something about oil leaking from the exhaust pipe or was it a gasket?  He also mentioned that the valves haven’t been adjusted since 60,000 miles ago and that non-adjusted valves will be the death of our 1999 Honda CRV (that I keep begging you to get rid of),  if we don’t adjust them.  Oh, and he has to replace some little switch on the thing-a majiggy but he has to do it on a cold engine.  He also added that the noise you hear is due to some damaged connecting-rod doohickey banging together and that he is getting a used gizmo to replace our existing thingamabob.  He also said the car won’t be ready today and that he can give us a break and only charge us $3,650.”

To which my husband responds,

“Why do we have to adjust the valves?  I swear we did that in 2012.  Are you sure that’s what he said?  What did he say about the transmission drain plug and chunks of metal that are falling out?  How much is that going to cost?”

Well, my dear husband and trust-worthy mechanic,  I have no idea what either of you are talking about – nor do I care (I just want a car that can take me to the mall and out to eat.)

Don’t make me be your middle man. I guarantee you, all something will be lost in translation.

Today, when the mechanic called, I tried really hard to listen.  I even had a pen and paper and jotted words down as he rapidly went through all the jargon.  I swore to myself that I would not behave like a mechanically challenged woman.  

After he finished with his yada,yada,yada, I asked him to repeat everything he had just said.  


After a very long pause and a hearty inhalation of his own breath, he began to spew out the same information.  I tried to jot things down again with the hopes that I would catch what I had missed the first time. “Yup, yup.  I see.  Right. Of course, I understand.  Yes, I agree.  That’s exactly what I thought our car needed.”

Tomorrow, I will be receiving another call with the final recap of the work that will be done on the car.  

Kill me now.

17 thoughts on ““He said the oil is leaking from the exhaust pipe and that the thingamabob on the valve has to be adjusted.”

  1. Hehehe… yes, this is pretty much how it goes! Hilarious 🙂 As I have no choice but to see to it myself, I’ve become good and nodding intelligently. And what irritates me even more is when the mechanic assumes that just because you’re a woman, and you don’t know about mechanics, you also have faulty powers of observation. It took me several weeks to convince them they had damaged the ABS (braking system) (since the error light came on strangely AFTER they had serviced it). It took three repeat visits for them to finally take it seriously, fix it at no charge, and apologise. If I’d been a man, it would have been dealt with on the first round. Grrr…


  2. Why are you in charge of that stuff? Next time, sell it, and go get yourself a new car. It doesn’t even have to be new. That’s what I did last summer, when John went away for a week. The salesman told me that the old one went to a better place! 🙂


  3. hahaha-yep, some things are just best left to the men. My husband is studying electrical calculations this week and he keeps trying to have a casual conversation about them with me. I feel like I am listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher. that bill sucks though.


  4. I feel your pain, Maria. Having a trustworthy mechanic is so important because even if you can’t understand their language, you know they’re not going to rip you off. You’re so right about Jiffy Lube. They try to do everything under the sun once they get your car into the bay. I stopped going to them years ago. Good luck!


  5. Sounds similar here. Except the reason I have to do all if this goes like this: “Hey, while you aren’t doing anything at work today (hello, I work 50-60 hours a week and he’s retired) get the oil changed and ask them about ____ (this is where I say, write it down after I’ve already blown my own gasket about “when you aren’t doing anything”).

    I figure if something doesn’t get fixed, then maybe it will shudder to a stop and THEN we can replace it. Of course, my luck would be that I’d be stranded somewhere.


  6. I am so on the same page with you! The only thing I would have understood in that conversation is the $3650 and “not ready today.” The rest of it would make my brain bleed. As I tell the mechanic, “I want it to turn on when I turn the key and stay on until I turn the key back again. The rest doesn’t matter. Can you make it do that, or not?”


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