— 6 March 2005 —

Salt + $667 = Get me outta here!

As a general rule, since we only have the one, I don’t usually look at the back of our car.

When we car sit for Claire’s mom I am the one who usually ends up driving her boat-like minivan. As such I have the opportunity to view our car from a different point of view when I pull into the drive way. Two days ago I did such and had occasion to exclaim, “Not again!”

I could see a piece of the muffler hanging down with much rust. This will be the third muffler since moving here to the middle of the Midwest; the middle of the Midwest where they still put actual salt on the roads during winter.

When we got the current muffler installed, I made the promise to wash the car more often during the winter. In Alaska, you don’t really have to wash very often because they don’t salt the roads and you don’t want to stand out as a shiny thing amidst all the dirt… it’s simply gauche. I kept my promise and washed much more often, always selecting the underbody option. Doesn’t matter apparently.

I can imagine it was a rock that bounced up and dinged the muffler. That little scratch allowed the rust to set in, and after so little time (but enough that the warranty doesn’t cover a replacement of course) we are in need of a new muffler.

The dealer wants to charge $667. Outrageous! They have to replace every thing from the catalytic converter to the tailpipe. Which is a lot, but $667? Given what needs to be replaced, plus labour, I could see $300. But even that seems like a lot.

I will have to replace the muffler before a new job will present itself. But I think I need to get a new job before I have to replace the new muffler. Enough with the salt already. I don’t know who is in the pocket of the salt distributors around here, but there are many alternatives. Perhaps I should send the bill for the muffler to City Hall.

Nah. Not only would they not pay it, they probably wouldn’t appreciate the irony.

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