Reason Number Four Bazillion And Three Why I Hate Computer Controlled Cars

There is a reason my internet handle is Bustednuckles.
I have been a mechanic in one form or another for over thirty fucking years now.

I have worked on so many different kinds of machinery, cars, trucks, boats, equipment and Heavy trucks that I couldn’t list them all.
I got to thinking about it one day and about the only things I haven’t worked on are aircraft and submarines, seriously.

I even went back to school at 29 and got an Associates Degree in Applied Science for Automotive Technology with honors to learn how to work on computerized modern cars.
I then worked at a Lincoln/Mercury dealership for ten years.

I can say with some certainty that I absolutely detest newer cars.
They are absolutely fucking miserable COCKSUCKERS to diagnose and work on.

Today I got reminded why I quit working on the motherfuckers.

My sister in law has a 2005 Volkswagon Jetta with all the bells and whistles.

Six months ago the timing chains broke while she was trying to start it. Long story short, after days of hassling with the decision of what to do about it, she had a dealer find a used engine to put in the fucking thing.
The repair estimate was the same amount as a used engine plus removal and installation.

Volkswagon had a problem with that engine wearing out the chain tensioner prematurely and instead of coming out with a fix, they started putting different engines in them so the people with those certain model years were good and fucked.

A quick internet search on the subject will result in myriad horror stories of the $3500-$5,000 dollar repair bills and part time mechanics begging for technical help on how to replace them.

So two days ago the Sister In Law calls my wife, crying about this fucking car acting up again and showing symptoms of the same type as last time.

This is the same poor woman who just racked up $4,000 in vet bills for an old fucking cat she had that she wound up having put down anyway and who is not only still making payments on the engine swap but now has thirty grand in student loans to start paying off.

You can of course see what is coming here.

My wife started in on me to go look at the damn thing.

I have been working my homesick ass off lately and on my ONE DAY OFF, the last fucking thing I want to do is drive fifty fucking miles to go look at a car that I probably won’t have the slightest idea of how to fix if it is broken, nor the time to anyway.

So, being the nice fucking guy I am, after working until two o’clock this fucking morning, I head over there.

First, I told the wife that I didn’t have a code scanner and needed one because her check engine light is on and I need to know why.
These things aren’t cheap.

To my ever living amazement, she told me to get one!

Luckily, Harbor Freight is right on the way and just happened to have several in stock.

I ain’t stupid, I called first.
So I swing by and pick up one of these babies;


For the uninformed, not all code scanners are created equal and those cheap fuckers you see aren’t worth spit.

This one however, has the shit ya want.
Not only will it scan the cars memory and tell you what codes are stored, it will actually let you monitor the input sensors to the computer in semi real time so you can see what the engines computer is looking at.

You can do this while driving down the road.
It will also let you capture the screen when you see an anomaly in the data and clear the codes to turn the light off.

I have been wanting one of these fuckers for years but always told myself that I couldn’t justify the cost/benefit ratio because I don’t work on these motherfuckers for a living anymore.

So, I get over there with the scanner and a stethescope to listen and see if the timing chain is rubbing on the case.

After checking a bunch of stuff out, I hook it up and tell her to start it.

It starts kind of rough and the check engine comes on right away.
Beep beep, boop boop, bingo, the computer has detected a missfire on cylinder #1.

Who the fuck knows why, it ain’t sayin’.

Could be lots of things.

I clear the code and have her start it again.

Runs like a top.

Come to find out, this replacement engine only has about twenty thousand miles on it so the odds of the timing chain assembly being fucked up are pretty slim.

I tried and tried to get that fucking thing to act up again but I will be damned if it would even sputter once.

Drove it around while watching the data parameters and everything is optimal.

Are you fucking kidding me?

One fucking time, the engine misfires for some God only knows reason, the Check Engine light comes on and and she panics, I get to spend two hundred fucking dollars on a scanner, drive fifty fucking miles on my day off and all I had to do was plug it in and clear the code.

That’s it.

NOW, do you understand why I fucking HATE computerized cars?

She thought she was going to have to have it towed to the dealer again and the engine was shot and on and fucking on and extra bonus fucking DRAMA, because the computer saw a glitch in the data stream from a fucking input sensor and OMG, ARMAGEDDON!

This is why I personally only own and drive cars that do not have this unnecessary fucking horseshit and can not, for the life of me, understand why any sane individual would buy a fucking automobile that has the computational capability to basically drive its self like they have these days.

Do you know that a POS 1990 Ford Escort had more computer technology in it than the Lunar Landing Module did?
True fact.

The shit they have out now is truly frightening to an “automotive technician”.

It ought to scare the living shit out of you as a consumer.

People wonder why it costs so much to get their fucking car repaired.
The average mechanic these days has enough technical training as a medical practitioner and has to buy many thousands of dollars of tools to keep up with the pace of technology and the ever changing fastener technology.

I want to leave you with something to think about here.
On one hand, consider all the whiz bang technology they have stuffed into the modern automobile just for the sole purpose of increasing fuel mileage.
Forget all the other electronic add ons, just fuel mileage.

Now consider this.

The Ford Model T was first produced in 1908 and had an estimated fuel economy of between 16 and 21 miles per gallon and would run on gasoline, kerosene or ethanol.

That was a hundred and five years ago.

The newest car I own is a 1983 GMC Caballero.caballero

GMC’s version of the El Camino.
It is in very good condition, has a 3.8 liter V6 with less than 125,000 original miles on it and got an estimate 19-21 miles per gallon when brand new. The only thing electronic on that motherfucker is the ignition.

My 1964 Sprite gets over twenty miles per gallon and there ain’t a fucking thing electronic on that little bastard.

You people just keep on buying newest and bestest computerized shit.
When it breaks down,

Apparently Being A Red Neck Is Not Exclusive To The Southern States Of America

Hey, the heater in my Ford is like lighting a match in a blizzard.

I have to wear gloves because of that cold assed plastic steering wheel and wear a Hoody for the fifteen minute commute.

Crazy enough, the dude got government permission to do this, like that would EVER happen in this fucking country.


Kinda Cross Posted at Fixer and Gordon.

And So It Begins

You know, that marriage thing.

It’s been over a month now and we are having our first real disagreement.
Right off the bat, let me tell you she is absolutely right.

That, however, does not deter me

I can be a stubborn sonofabitch.

As you who stop by already know, I have been putting serious miles on my old Ford F-150, about 1500 miles a month the past few months and the damn thing only gets 15 miles a gallon.
I have a great friend who occasionally goes to car auctions and gets vehicles pretty damn reasonable so I told him I wanted some little beater with a four banger and a five speed so I wasn’t getting killed on gas.

Months go by and lo and behold he calls me yesterday and tells me he has a 1990 ford Ranger that qualifies.
It ain’t pretty, one door has a big dent in it and he has an early 80;s El Camino too.

Both are painted flat black primer.
I drove the Ford and it has some issues but it is a runner.

Me and him go back a long ways and cash usually isn’t an issue, shit, I owed him eighty bucks for seven months and never heard a word.
I had a riding mower given to me, I gave him that and a Moped and all is good.

Anyways, we are at the folks today, helping them pack up and move a bunch of stuff into the garage before they leave and we move in and my Pal shows up with the El Camino.

It ain’t real pretty but it runs good and it ain’t completely beat to shit.

Disclaimer, I have been a Ford guy for many years now but I have also owned two El Camino’s back in the day and loved both of ’em. A 71 and a 67, the 67 was my favorite but it had a straight six and three on the tree, something a kid under forty wouldn’t have a fucking clue how to drive.

Anaway’s, again, back to the current dilema, I want that Chevy now, after bitching about fuel mileage for months.
My commute is only ten fucking minutes now but the wife is throwing a fit about the gas mileage on it.

Yes, it has a four barrel carb, I made sure of that on the test drive down a residential street before I even opened the hood.

It also has a hard top over the bed and a built in water leak better known as a Sun Roof.

There are a bunch of wires hanging under the dash and no stereo but I was an automotive electrical specialist for ten years and that doesn’t phase me.

My pal Steve will throw in a radio, I will trade him the old F-150 and we will make a deal.

Unfortunately, the wife seems to think this is a bad idea and she is just as fucking stubborn as I am, if not worse.

I might not get any nookie for a while but I am going to get that El Camino.

A guy has to do what he has to do.
I am keeping The Beast, my 67 Ford Highboy 4 wheel drive.
It’s ugly too, paint doesn’t make something like that run better or get better mileage.
9 MPG, uphill, downhill, loaded or empty, I keep it around for the nasty winters we get around here.

Do ya know anyone with too much money and not enough sense?
I have a 1964 Austin Healey Sprite for sale now. Apparently I am currently limited to two toys at this time.

2 door convertible 1275 engine bored out .040 over with less than 2000 miles , rebuilt trans, all steel tilt front end, not stock, as a matter of fact, I can think of only one bolt that I haven’t taken off this car.

No interior, has a roll bar and is turn key.

She is going to pitch a fit but there is a reason I call myself the Ornery Bastard.

Any prayers for my continued safety would be greatly appreciated.

I can see sleeping with one eye open for a while is in my future.

Not My Personal Best

Gotta give me credit for trying.
Today was not one of my best.
The truck I tried to fix fucked up less than twenty four hours after I shut the hood.
The guy had some tire store put a winch on the nose of an F-250 and they had to move the power steering cooler, which is what caused the problem with his A/C condenser, the PS tubes rubbed a hole in the side of it because where the winch went was where the cooler was originally and it has some seriously fucked up molded in brackets, which only fit where the winch went in.

They tried to jerry rig it with some tie straps and I tried to re rig it but the new condenser has screws going up both sides and I tried to do it in the truck.
I couldn’t see the fucking screws and it kicked the damn thing off at an angle and rubbed a hole in the brand new condenser in less than twenty four hours.

So, after having a couple of smokes and a beer, I dove under the prick on the side of the road and spent two and a half hours and several bucks out of my own pocket , two trips back to the Weasel Den for tools and two trips to the hardware store to re rig it yet again just to get him by until after the wedding.

Nothing like laying on the side of the road in direct sunlight and eighty degree weather, with hot transmission fluid running down your arm, trying to figure out how to fuck some other mechanic to make ya hot, tired, pissed off and thirsty.
I made some changes, had to buy some tubing and clamps, rig up some rubber mounts and curse like a sailor but I am sure he will be able to drive the jacked up thing until after I get married and then I will fix the thing the way it should have been done the first, and second time.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I opened the hood because they have those cute little rubber covers over the front of the truck covering everything up.

I will make it right, at no charge to the guy.
I figure another six hours for a job that should have taken about one.

Live and learn when working on four wheel drives.

Ya can’t say I have no morals, at least some anyway.

In the mean time, that whole not smoking thing went away at light speed and for fucks sake, at eighty degrees and already pissed off, you bet yer ass I had a couple of beers.
I had to wrap a towel around my bald assed head to keep the sweat from blinding me every twenty seconds.

I told The Wife I would be sober at the wedding, she had better fucking hope I don’t have to work on any God damned rigs on the way there, we will both be late because I will walk first.

Yo, Eh, Fixer, Gordon,Bob,Get a Load Of This Ignorant Fucking DoucheBag.

,This is just so fucking typical.
 Get the fuck away from me you ignorant sonofabitch, before I open the drawer with all the pretty hammers.

Ya wonder why I am all done with this after thirty fucking years.

If you think for one second that this is a parody, I can absolutely tell you for a fact, I have had quite a few, very short, conversations exactly like this in the past..
 Back in the day, I was just as ignorant about vehicles. I can remember the day someone asked me to hand them a grease gun and I had no Idea what the fuck he was talking about.
I certainly could not afford to pay anyone to fix my broke down fucked up pieces of shit cars that I was buying for a hundred bucks.

Ya wanna know what?
I went and bought Chiltons manuals, bought a ton eighty of beerto pay for badly needed help  and begged some of the best for advice and to borrow a tool here and there.I don’t call myself Bustednuckles for any small reason, I learned the fucking hard way. I also went to the school of hard knocks and over the last thirty years spent about eighty fucking grand on tools and roll away tool boxes.
I have seen what lies underneath the skin more than some doctors and bled a lot of of my precious blood,sometimes to excess.

I have worked with  broken arms, wrists, thumbs and ankles.
Doctors some time they think they are pretty smart. When I come in for stitches on my thumb or other digit an you put in three and tell me to go home?
I tell you to put in six because I am going to work in the morning.
This is a true story.

They get pissed off at ya! Excuse the shit out of me, I got a living to make here, and a fucking Snap On payment, every. mother. fucking. week. Oh, by the fucking way, now I gotta pay you too.
At one time, I was paying more for tools than I was for a fucking house payment.
I was damn humble when I needed help and I had been wrenching on things since before I hit puberty.

You come into a shop like the  arrogant cocksucker below and you will be damn lucky the guys from the tow company will show up to pull it out of the lot next week.
Ya see, like you have heard your whole life, it’s who ya know.
Shoot, someone parked four damn cars in front of yours and we can’t find the keys.
Called in sick today too.

Let me give you a piece of advice you would be wise to pass on to your children;
Don’t piss off your mechanic, your doctor, your girlfriend,your carpenter,electrician, plumber  your Mom or your fucking Lawyer. as  a matter of fact, don’t be rude to anyone who performs any kind of service for you.
  I will give bonus points to the next person that tips the gas station attendant that stands out in the weather all day and night like you do that big titted bar maid, I do. Been there, done that, in a Blizzard, on Christmas Day.I know, hard to find a big titted bar maid pumping gas in a blizzard on Christmas, you get my point
I have fixed more fucked up shit for free than I can remember, I can also remember shit like this that got you to call a cab than I give a rat fuck about.

 Now, to see what inspired this little rant;

Yeah, right at the end there, I would be showing that fucking dumbass where the chrome muffler bearing fits with the high flow squeegie sharpener.
That and the door, I like my hammers too much to waste them on something like that.
Ignorance and humility will be miles ahead of stupidity and arrogance in my book, every fucking time.

I know of what I speak, ten fucking years at a Lincoln dealer. There are some arrogant mother fuckers in those places.

Sorry, your parts are on back order Maam.

I Need A New Drool Cup

The old one is cracked after I dropped it when I saw this;

One mint condition Boss 429 Mustang with 4,400 original miles, it even has the original Bias Ply tires.

Can you imagine?
It’s on Ebay and you can “Buy It Now” for a measly five hundred and fifty grand.
I knew a guy who had one of those when I was in high school, it was ten years old at the time and still one bad assed motherfucker.

Cross posted at Fixer and Gordon, natch.