February 2013


Erin called us recently from The Cain’s Ballroom to inform me that her car would no longer move forward.  As luck would have it, she coasted right into a parking space.  We hurried up there to give her a car to get back to OSU with and I drove it home.  It would go sometimes and refuse to move at other times.

I managed to nurse it to the shop although just barely.  It was quickly diagnosed the following morning as a $2500 rebuild job.

Which made me wonder as I have often wondered before:  why does nobody ever repair a transmission?  I am old enough to have had this happen about four times and at no time did any mechanic ever offer to “fix” it; only a complete rebuild.

This is not what happens to any other part of the car.  There are many potential repairs to the engine.  Various individual parts can be replaced and/or repaired and even the engine itself can be tinkered with to an amazing extent without ever costing anywhere close to $2500.  I’ve even heard of having engines rebuilt for less than that.

Not transmissions though; only rebuild.  I’ve asked every mechanic I’ve ever used why and I’ve gotten many different answers – they usually involve something about the transmission being to hard to get to that by the time you’ve hoisted the engine out of the way or done whatever else, you’ve spent enough labor to make it feasible to just rebuild the whole thing.  But this doesn’t really ring true for some reason.  I can’t see why a manufacturer can’t design some access into the thing that might allow some service.  That last mechanic told me that the case and all the gears inside are all original – they only replaced the parts (clutches) that were worn.  Surely some sort of access hole could be a part of the design much like the oil pan underneath the engine.

So I continue to wonder.  It’s a pity that the CarTalk guys have retired.

This weekend was a busy one.

In addition to completing the redo of Evan’s bedroom (now our guest bedroom), Erin paid us a quick visit to pick up her car (after having had the transmission replaced – ouch!), Evan called us to tell us that he and Cassie have set a date and a place, Paige had her baby, and then the Super bowl to top it all off.

It was an event-filled weekend.  I’d kind of like to spread these things out if I can but this time, everything happened at once.  Still fun though.

We decided to get a bit more aggressive with the redecoration and renovation (kind of a hybrid of the two actually).  I got home one day and Mel had decided to move all the stuff out of Evan’s old room and scrape the popcorn off the ceiling.  So that project was born all of a sudden.

Together, we worked on it and finished on Saturday.  I re-floated the ceiling, the walls got painted (closet too!), the photo-mural got taken down, trim all painted, ceiling fan replaced, and carpet cleaned.  It’s like new now.

I moved the furniture back in although I’m working on a queen-sized bed and so it will eventually get all redone again.

I guess we’ll redo the main hallway next along with the guest bathroom ceiling.  I don’t look forward to doing the master bedroom and bath.

That attic cleanout completed successfully.  I even went so far as to drag the shopvac up there and vacuum up all the dust and splinters which has probably been there since the house was built.

We took many loads to Goodwill, threw out even more than that, and took 214 pounds of paper to a shredding company.

It’s super-clean now.  Feels good to have that done.