Thursday, March 21
I wake up well before dawn. Since I don’t own an alarm clock, last night I set my mental clock to wake myself up at 6:45 in order to have time for coffee and breakfast before driving into Wickenburg. I have an 8 o’clock appointment to have brake work done on the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
Back in Borrego Springs, California, several weeks ago, when the PTV was in a shop for an oil change, I was told I should see about new brake pads in about a thousand miles, that they only had about 30%-40% left.
After lying in bed half asleep, I decide to check my phone clock.
It reads 6: 23. Good. I have plenty of time. I reheat the pot of coffee I made yesterday. Bridget and Spike are still asleep . . . Bridget because she’s always a morning sleepyhead and Spike because he doesn’t hear me bumping around.
I fix a cup of coffee and boot up the laptop.
I glance at the time in the lower right-hand corner of the monitor. It reads 7:39! “Ackkk!!”
Darn, which is right? The phone or the laptop? Oh well, there might not be time to figure it out online. We’d better get going in case it really is 7:39.
“Good morning, little babies. Time to get up.”
It turns out the phone clock was right.
So we arrive at Craig Motor Craft an hour early. A lady is mopping the office. (I later learn she manages the office and her name is Linda.) I put Bridget and Spike in their black suits and take them for a walk up the sidewalk, annoyed with myself for leaving my camera at home.
I do feel good about getting the brake pads replaced. The PTV will be all set to take us up and down mountains. The crew is ecstatic to be taken on a leash-walk again. They feel special walking on a sidewalk on-leash. Spike marks all around the block and Bridget tugs this way and that. It’s another beautiful morning in Arizona.
I expect the brakes to take at least two hours.
I’m prepared for the wait. My kindle is in my purse. I sit in the PTV and read until the shop opens, and then the crew and I go inside. Linda makes up the ticket and I sit down to resume reading. Bridget and Spike take their cue and lie down on the tile floor.
This is gonna’ cost a chunk of money but it has to be done. I hope they don’t try to snowball it into a job bigger than it really is. The book occupies my mind. Time passes.
Linda interrupts my reading with great news.
“You don’t need front brake pads. The mechanic says they’re fine. He’s checking the rear ones now.” I’m very surprised.
I go back to my reading. Time passes.
The mechanic walks into the waiting area.
“Your rear brake pads are fine. You don’t need new pads.”
“What? I don’t? Gee, at the last oil change I was told to get new pads in about a thousand miles.” Then I add, “I tow a trailer with that van all over the place . . . mountains . . . I want good brakes.”
The mechanic shakes his head.
“You can probably go another 20,000 miles on those pads, as long as you don’t ride the brakes, and it looks like you don’t do that.”
Linda chimes in.
“We don’t want to do work for you that you don’t need.”
The bill for checking the brakes is $70 which I pay happily. The mechanic asks me if there’s anything else I need. I hesitate. He says, “I’ll go check your belts and hoses.”
When he comes back he tells me the hoses are fine. I have only one belt and it’s good, too.
“You mean the infamous serpentine belt?”
“Yeah,” he replies smiling. “You don’t want that to break.” He repeats that the belt looks good.
As I pull out of the parking lot, I’m amazed. What was that one thousand mile warning all about? Gee, this is great! I’ve got peace of mind and it only cost me seventy dollars. Of course it wouldn’t have cost me anything at all if I hadn’t been told . . . Oh well, water under the bridge.
Up the road I pass a thrift store.
I zip around in a U-turn. A short while later I’m walking out of the thrift store with a DVD of “Pirates of the Caribbean” that cost two dollars.
Back in the PTV, I look at my phone clock which I’ve learned to trust. It’s 10:40. I realize the crew and I never had breakfast. I’m hungry, but smiling, as I turn the wheel for home.
FYI: Craig Motor Craft, 12 South Tegner Street, Wickenburg, AZ, a family business since 1966, services cars, trucks, and RVs. Phone: (928) 415-0527