In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Nice try

Quite a surprise came my way this past Tuesday. Despite having my car’s exhaust system repaired in August, I found an increasingly loud and unpleasant noise coming from under my car while driving. There was a hole somewhere in the exhaust system and it was getting worse over time. The inconvenience of having it looked at finally overcame the inconvenience of dealing with it every day, so I brought it in to a repair place on Tuesday. It was going cost more than $700 to repair. Not only that, but there were a few other items they strongly suggested I have taken care of as well. I did, and the whole episode cost me $1106.

Talk about a surprise expense! Happily, I was in the midst of preparing for the income tax I’d have to pay so the car repair was no great hardship. I was planning ahead by saving for my taxes so I will still be able to gather the required funds with no great hardship. But still, I hope surprises of this nature are few and far between!

That I had the exhaust system repaired less than a year ago is more than a little disappointing, however. I didn’t go back there as my experiences with the place after the exhaust work was less than satisfactory. I stopped in because an oil change place managed to break my hood-release cable. They fixed it, but also claimed my brake lines were leaking. They may very well be as I’ve had to top up the reservoir on occasion. What bothered me is they showed me the area where the brake lines were damaged. There was a large wet spot around it. To my amusement, there was also a large puddle of brake fluid under the car. It was perhaps 20 cm in diameter. For so much brake fluid to have leaked out in the ten minutes the car was there, the problem would have to be far worse than I’d imagined. I smelled a rat, and despite their warnings of the danger, I told them I would not be having the repair done, thank you very much.

In the nearly nine-months since their warning, I’ve topped up the reservoir twice, and have no trouble at all. Given the amount of brake fluid in the system, I’m certain the puddle and wet area on the car’s underside was pure fabrication. Wonderful. Happily, I wasn’t taken in by it, nor will I be returning.


Privilege, not merit




  1. Shawn

    Brake fluid on the floor and a wet line is the oldest con in the book. They also used to squirt motor oil on shocks and claim they were leaking. If your brakes were leaking that bad, you would not stop so good and your brake light would surely be on. Topping up the brake fluid is normal as the pads wear and the pistons extend to fill the gap and fluid fills up behind them.

  2. Kat

    Oh my god! That’s criminal! I hope you’ve warned friends about that particular shop so that they know to avoid getting cheated. Damn… I can’t get over that!

    Too bad my dad doesn’t live in Ottawa. He’s the only honest mechanic I know.

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