Since starting this blog I have confessed a few things. Recently I confessed that although I had the merchandise and video game for Ghostbusters, it was years later before I actually saw it. And now I have something else that I need to confess. Before I go into this, you had better be sitting down…
Although I have always considered myself a Holden guy, you know, one who is a fan of the Australian manufactured car and the V8 Supercar drivers that race using the Holden chassis, I am not really that much of a rev-head. Sure I appreciate cars and I know why so many people are into cars more than just as a means to get from A to B, but the truth is, I am not that much into them.
I took to getting my driver’s license later than many of the other kids in my year at school. It wasn’t until it started getting awkward with my dad always driving me and my girlfriend everywhere when we were 17 and 18 years old that I decided to go and get my learner’s permit.
A few months into learning to drive, my girlfriends dad took me to a car-yard to find my first car. My own father wasn’t a car lover himself and what I have found over the years is that those guys who had dads who were into cars in a more passionate way than simply owning one and washing it on a Sunday afternoon tended to be into cars, whereas many of my friends whose dads weren’t car heads didn’t become a car enthusiast themselves. My girlfriend’s dad was a car lover. He had done up a few in his life and could often be found under the hood, or even under the car itself, tinkering with things that I wouldn’t be comfortable with myself.
As he knew a thing or two about cars from the early Eighties, and those were the cars in my price range as an 18yo with about a grand to his name, and a job that could afford me a loan to get a five grand car, I was only too happy to have him join me on those laborious car shopping expeditions.
Although it wasn’t really much to look at,
I we settled on a beige 1982 Holden Gemini. A few months after I got my provisional license and I had been driving on my own without a licensed instructor or full licensed passenger giving me pointers, my girlfriend’s dad decided it was time that I learned how to service a car myself. He taught me how to do a grease and oil change, how to bleed the brakes, add this fluid and that fluid, how to tighten this and loosen that; and then came those words that sometimes repeat in my head on nights I wake up in a nightmarish sweat;
“We need to go get a carby kit…”
WTF? Exactly WTF… But this was back in 1992 which way before WTF was part of the general vernacular outside early users of what went on to be the Internet. Oh how I would have loved to have the Internet in my late teens. Anyway, I digress…
A carby kit is a whole lot gaskets and O-rings and other
useless useful crap things that you would find in a carburettor repair kit. So it was off to the spare parts shop to go and buy one. I wish we had the Internet back then and I could have just bought it on Partsales.
Partsales is a website where you can find parts for cars. it makes sense that they called is Partsales because that’s exactly what you’ll find for sale on this site; parts. Go check it out if you want to save money on buying parts for your car.
The best part is, you can enter the exact details, make, model, year, even the badge type to make sure that the part you need fits your vehicle with accuracy. I tested this on a part for my car and it worked. It doesn’t just have to be big parts that a mechanic, auto electrician or smash repairer would fit; you can find spark plugs, windshield wipers, car seats, or whatever you might need for your car.
I was really lost in this shop because I didn’t know what I was looking for. When we got back from the car parts shop I had to pull the carburettor out of my engine, pull it apart, wash the parts, dry them off, stick it back together with new gaskets and other parts, and then put it back in and hope that my car would start.
My own dad, as long as I had known him (which had been all my life up to that point, and even now) always had company cars. At at least one of the places he worked at, the company had a big enough company car fleet that they had their own on site mechanic who serviced all of the company cars. My dad never had to pull his carburettor apart and put a carby kit through it. And I’ll be honest with you, when it came to servicing my own car, that part of car ownership sucked.
I had been driving my first car for exactly a year when some crazy dude in a big car, with a big roaring engine decided that he thought my engine would look better in my front passenger seat than in the engine bay and he proceeded to smash into the front of my car with such force that my car was an instant write-off, and I was kind of lucky to be alive.
Without a car of my own, I borrowed one and then set off to the car-yards once again in search of my new set of wheels. There were lots of features that I wanted in my new car, and as I had picked up a job which saw me getting paid a decent wage, I had three times the budget of the car I bought only 18 months prior. I wanted air-conditioning, ABS brakes, an at least four speaker stereo, power steering, colour coordinated bumpers, and the most important thing that my car needed to have was based on something that my girlfriend’s dad told me as I completed that carby kit business;
“You know, you can’t do this and don’t need to do this on modern cars. All the manufacturers are putting these bloody electronic fuel injection systems in and you can’t service the cars yourself…”
To him, that was a problem. To me it was a case of…
“Can I help you sir?”
“Yes, can you tell me which of these used cars have EFT?”
“All of them…”
“Perfect. I’ll take that one.”
Sometimes I wish however, that I was more mechanically minded. I wish that was more interested in pulling things apart and fixing them instead of getting a guy in to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle many handyman jobs, and I can service the pumps that I sell in my day job when I need to, but when it comes to the nitty gritty part of that work, I think it’s best left up to those with more knowledge and aptitude.
But if you are inclined to do service work or upgrade your car, you know where you can go to find quality parts from the leading manufacturers at the cheapest prices; Partsales.
This post was in collaboration with Partsales. All the ideas were my own. Well, maybe not the crazy idea to get me to service my own car. I won’t be doing that again…