Featured: A Breakup Letter to My Garage

A Breakup Letter to My Garage

By Adam Kaslikowski
June 26, 2013
5 comments

Dear Garage,

I can still remember when we first met. I was immediately taken with your friendly demeanor and oil smell. We hit it off immediately, and you seemed like the answer to all my prayers. We’ve had some good times since then, you and I. The oil changes, the carburetor tuning, and who could forget the custom exhaust?

But it’s a been a long time since then. Things have changed. You have changed. Suddenly you weren’t been as excited when to see me walk in the door. You started to charge me for little things that you used to throw in for free. If I’m honest, you’ve even let yourself go a little. What really gets me though is how uncommunicative you’ve now become.

I don’t think I’m asking for much here. When I give you something to do we normally agree on a reasonable timeframe. We both know this is a guess, or as you always put it, “an estimate.” I understand these timeframes are dynamic and that I’m not always the priority for you. I really do understand these things. What you don’t seem to understand is that I just want to be kept up to date. I just want to know how things are going and hear from you. It makes me feel better and it helps me trust you. So when six weeks go by and I don’t hear from you—when I’m the one picking up the phone every other week—it makes me doubt you. It makes me doubt that you care about me anymore. Don’t you value our relationship? I’m trying not to turn my back on everything we’ve built together, but it seems like I’m the only one trying here.

I think it’s time we parted ways. It’s not me, it’s you. I wish you all the best in the future, but right now I need someone who understands me and where I’m coming from. You could have saved our relationship just by picking up the phone, just by caring a little, but you couldn’t do that. I hope you find someone else soon. I guess we’ll always have the head rebuild…

Photo Sources: flickr.com, flickr.com, flickr.com, flickr.com, flickr.com

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Ryan Lopez
Ryan Lopez
9 years ago

why did they post this and why is your comment so long

Josh Clason
Josh Clason
9 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Lopez

Why the questions?

Alex Clise
Alex Clise
9 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Lopez

why the lack of punctuation

Alex Clise
Alex Clise
9 years ago

Adam, you’re better off without it. We all knew your relationship was doomed, but you seemed so happy in the beginning, we didn’t have the heart to say anything.
Honestly though, knowing that more and more drivers are ditching the overpriced, overworked, and over-revered auto garages for DIY, shade-tree wrenching brings a smile to my face. The shop I used to frequent was great, even the 30 minute drive was worth the first-name service and overwhelming knowledge they seemed to possess. I even called them once during a DIY caliper replacement, and they were happy to answer my questions! I remember well, the moment I broke up with that mechanic, it was after the evening I spent replacing a spewing radiator in my old Cadillac. Even though that friendly, family owned garage was ultimately honest, fair, fast, and accommodating, I realized I could save tons of money on parts while giving myself a busted-knuckle education. At first I was afraid… thinking I’d forever be alone under that shade tree with callused fingertips, and bruised knuckles, but it turns out there’s a whole network of us! And we’re all willing to lend a hand and a little moral support.
Don’t let anyone tell you that late-model cars are too complicated to work on. When you tear away the plastic shrouds, the new systems are virtually the same as they’ve been for decades. They’ve been updated, and made more efficient, but they aren’t alien technologies. Even if you don’t know what a MAF sensor is for, or how to clean one, someone does, and they’ll tell you… for free!
Yep, the wealth of information at our fingertips is astounding. Every mechanical or electrical issue I’ve had with a car or small engined appliance in the past few years had a solution somewhere online. Whether it be a make or model-specific enthusiast forum, a DIY Q&A site, or a youtube tutorial, you can find anything from a head gasket replacement on a Fiat X 1/9, to small carburetor cleaning & tuning, to a professional looking back-yard paint job. It’s all out there if you’re willing to look for it, brave enough to make a few mistakes, and prepared to go to work in the morning with traces of grease caked under your fingernails, but with the pride of having mended your own car.
The same can be said of the online parts sources. Most parts for late-model cars can be found at prices very close to wholesale if you do your research, and know where to look. For classics there’s ebay, enthusiast classified listings, online swap-meets, etc… Again, it’s all out there.
Sure, you don’t get a labor warranty or, in many cases, a parts guaranty, but I find that the fulfillment I get from replacing that water-pump or even a simple oil-change outweighs any fear of faulty parts or shoddy labor. After all knowing it’s on your shoulders if something does go wrong makes you work that much harder to learn the process and do it right!
So, tell your mechanic you need some space, get out there, get dirty, and learn something about your automobile and yourself!