Monday, October 03, 2011

Splash Panel

They also help protect my modesty
One of the Splash Panels under my car came loose. Those things are partly to keep road debris from jumping up into your engine, and partly for aerodynamics. At least, I think that's what it's for. In any case, I'm pretty sure they shouldn't drag the ground at highway speeds.

I went to a generic mechanic. "Sure, we can fix that," he said. "Oh, no, wait, actually we can't." It seems the panel doesn't simply attach with a bolt and screw. The bit of the car frame where it attaches is hollow, so it's some sort of fancy "snap fastener". "That particular part has to come from a dealership," he said.

I went to a nearby dealership. "Sure, we have those in stock," the guy said. I asked "How much?", and he waved a hand dismissively. "We usually don't even charge for something so simple." I said that was great, and then he casually mentioned, "It'll be about two and half hours."

"What?!?" "Well," he explained, "We get a lot of cars in here on Saturday, and I only have two mechanics. I have eight during the week."

"So," I said. "You deliberately schedule fewer mechanics on the day you know you'll have the most business?" He looked at me like I was crazy. "Don't judge me!" Then he stomped off.

As good as new?
So I got some Zip-Ties. How hard can it be?

Turns out, not too bad. However, the same things that make bolts and screws impossible make zip ties difficult. I wound up drilling a couple of holes in the thick plastic panel so I'd be able to attach the zip ties.

Nearby, my neighbor was having a garage sale. "How much are these books?" "How much for the pool table?" "What's with the moron next door, power drilling under the front of his car?"

My neighbor glanced over our way. "We don't talk about him."

I grinned. I'm famous!


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