Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wrench Wench round table...

I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop after a long and busy day at the shop… I spend so much time here I should be paying rent. In fact, when I tell my staff that I’ll be spending the day at my office – they know that means I’ll be here glued to my computer and buzzing from my non-stop consumption of iced tea.

Tonight, I’ve come here to write… It’s the only place I can get any writing done and I’ve had *really* bad writer’s block recently. So I set up the computer and opened a clean new file and sat…. staring at a black screen… wondering why it is that I can talk about cars for hours and yet when I sit down to write it all goes running to hide in the dark corners of my mind.

The woman next to me saves the day. She motions at my shirt and asks if I work there or if it is just a cool shirt for fun. I’m still wearing my uniform. I tell her not only do I work there, but I own the business. She is obviously excited – tells me that she used to be really interested in cars and used to think she might want to go into mechanics. I share with her that I’m stuck thinking of things to write about…see if she has any suggestions... and soon there is a group of 3 plus me having a small automotive 'round table' of sorts. Each takes their turn asking a question and than I go off… the “rambling wrench wench” teaching and explaining away. An hour later… and I’m back at staring at a black screen – stuck again. So strange!

So here are some tips from the conversation…. ;) it’s only a little bit of a cop out!

I had a chip in my windshield, washed my car and now the whole windshield is cracked!

You’re driving down the road and a rock flies at you and hits your windshield… what to do? First, once you are at your destination take a close look at it - but don't touch! If it is a chip (there are no little lines or ‘legs’ coming out of the center of it) you have a good chance that it won’t spread, but it might still be worth having a glass place repair it. They essentially fill the chip with a special material that keeps it from spreading. I’ve heard that you can fill it yourself with crazy glue – but I’ve never tried it and doubt that it will last long term… for a run in your stockings maybe – but your windshield?

On the other hand – if it’s a star (there are legs or lines coming from the center) – than it is just a mater of time before the star becomes a crack and spreads across your windshield. All it takes is hitting a bump at the wrong angle or washing your car with cold water after it’s been sitting in Arizona’s 120 degree heat!

Getting it fixed sooner rather than later is a good idea. In some states you can get a ticket or fail your state emissions inspection for a cracked windshield because it really can be dangerous.

Before you run and call your insurance though, check with your agent. Sometimes it will increase your deductible and make it not worth it over the long run to go through insurance. And generally I advise staying away from the glass repair folks that approach you at the car wash. I’m sure many of them are wonderful and reputable – but there have been lots of insurance scams uncovered with less than honest glass companies. Instead ask your family and friends or your favorite mechanic for a recommendation, or check consumer reviews online. Most places will come right to your work or home and will take care of billing it to your insurance for you making it really convenient so you have no excuse! If you choose not to use insurance expect to pay between $150 and $450 depending on the year make and model of your car.

So much for writer’s block! Since I’m so long winded…. I’ll save the other tips for another day.

Stay tuned! ;)

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