It’s the weather, and the other guy

All the excuses you need to know so you can feel better about yourself while paying outrageous prices to fix your car.

Viable Excuse No. 1: It’s the weather … and the other guy.

Mechanical things break down and wear out. Electronics when subject to salt water and vibration fail. Here in New England, your car and its parts are affected by both categories.

Springtime brings pot holes (vibration to your car), winter brings salt. Salt is dumped in ever-greater quantities on our roads as people lose the skill for driving on snow-covered roads and stop buying snow tires because they expect the road crews to clear roads faster and faster as the years go by. Salt mixed with water and put in contact with dis-similar metals makes electrolysis. Electrolysis eats the softer of the two dis-similar metals. In the car world that is your copper wiring. The most exposed copper wiring is your cars ground straps. Computers hate not being grounded … and you hate it, too, when you have to pay $17 for a new ground strap and $750 for a new computer and $255 to figure out that a corroded ground strap blew your cars computer. All because people don’t want to drive slower when there is snow on the road and do make sure their politicians know the roads weren’t cleared fast enough for their southern road driving expectations. I would like to recommend not putting any salt on the roads for a few storms. Let the people who have moved to New England and not learned how to drive in snow all crash into each other. The herd will get thinned and the rest of us can go back to using snow tires and not replacing expensive electronic parts on our cars, but I’m not so sure that message would go over too well in Concord.

So, the next time you have to pay $1,000 to replace a computer, just remember … it was the weather, and the other guy’s fault for not learning how to drive in snow. You still have pay out the big bucks, but don’t you feel better knowing it’s not your fault.

Nick Rowe has more than 20 years experience in the automotive industry. He has worked at Volvo, Dodge and Jeep dealerships and is currently one of the mechanics at Horseless Carriage in Milford.

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