Friday, June 4, 2010

Do I look like I’d be worried about airbags?

A couple of weeks ago the missus advised that the airbag warning light was on in the warning lightcar, and I should probably get it checked out.
So I dutifully booked an appointment at the dealer and blocked off an entire day to get it there, wait for it to be repaired, and get back home. Of course with German engineering “ve can do nussing until ve checks zee compooter, yah?” Yeah, check the computer, and ring up another $109 for plugging it in and getting a readout. Whatever.
Two hours later I get the dreaded phone call. The problem has been narrowed down to somewhere behind the drivers console.  It could be anything from a $2 wire to a $2500 air bag assembly, but to find out would take 2 hours labour to take the front dash apart. And of course another 2 hours labour to put it all back together. At this point the ca-ching of the cash register is ringing in my ears and I’m trying to recalculate the monthly budget using all my fingers, balanced against the fact the car is 10 years old and worth about as much as I had in my wallet at the time.
So, figuring that we all got along just fine before airbags were invented (primarily in response to North Americans’ refusal to wear seatbelts) I declined. The service rep took exception to that, going on and on about safety, and crash protection. Just before she got to the “you vill be zorry”, I shut her up by saying, “I ride a motorcycle. Do I look like I’d be worried about airbags?”
Then I fixed the warning light by putting a small piece of black  electrician’s tape over it.

11 comments:

  1. Hahahaha - I share your pain! Love the approach.

    A friend reckons the phrase "That'll be $1000 (NZ) Sir" is the first utterance at any auto service centre

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  2. Point well made. And I've got to say, for as long as I've been riding I've never looked at it that way. :)

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  3. The great problem with gadgets is once you've bought them you expect them to work and a non functioning gadget makes the avergae Western male crazy. I have seen this sailing and motorcycling and it takes great strength of character to emply the black tape solution.

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  4. Geoff - $1000 (in any currency) does seem to be the magic number.

    Giest - Glad to have opened your eyes to a new perspective. :)

    Conchscooter - "Strength of character"? And here I though I was just being cheap! Thanks for the lift.

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  5. This puts it in perspective Canajun! I've got a couple of lights on in my dashboard, and yet the car is doing just fine - I may have to use your solution!

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  6. Airbags only prevent a very small amount of actual injuries anyway. False sense of security for people that don't do math.

    Hilarious story:)

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  7. Troy - You're right. The stats I've read don't show much, if any, improvement over simple seat belt use. And best of all is to pay attention to your driving so hopefully you need neither!
    And thanks for the compliment.

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  8. Great post! Made me laugh! I try to avoid dealerships when I can, whether it's for my work truck or my motorcycle.

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  9. Ken - Thanks. The problem is these things are so full of electronics these days they're almost impossible to do anything beyond oil changes and keeping the tires inflated. But I still prefer to do whatever I can myself.

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  10. Ya know, you don’t want to take the chance that it goes off accidentally. So here’s my fix, free of charge. Get a 16-pound sledgehammer; hit the front bumper until the dumb bag goes pop. Get a knife and cut it out. Like you said; you ride a motorcycle, what do you care about a dented bumper?

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  11. WillyD - Good plan. There's been more than one occasion I've wanted to take a sledgehammer to that car (usually when I have a $2000 repair bill in hand) and now I have a reason!

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