The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 June 2007

Your basic comedy of errors

Once upon a time I had a 1975 Toyota Celica named Dymphna, and she needed a new starter. The shop looked up the part number, and was horrified to find that there were two different starters applicable to that model year: Toyota had made a running change during that year, and the Dymmer was a June car, so she'd get the newer version. Which would be no big deal, except that the change was so late in the year that the supply of version 1.1 starters was never all that big, and in her 190,000 miles with me she chewed up three of them. I have long suspected that the fourth unit was her original starter, rebuilt.

A curious little contretemps of this sort befell Gwendolyn this week. I was having some A/C work done, and in the process of mounting the compressor the tech inadvertently bent the low-pressure hose. No big deal, they said, we'll put in a new one, no charge, but we'll have to order it from the parts depot, and in the meantime, you just keep driving that G35 we lent you. Of course, I'm fond enough of the G to make this a nonissue. The new hose came in, and it didn't fit the compressor: eventually they decided that the compressor itself was damaged. They called around to local Nissan stores and located another compressor: still mismatched. Finally Nissan/Infiniti HQ in Tennessee airlifted some parts that fit.

After I got home, I pulled up the online service material at Alldata, and the part number for the low-pressure hose is the same as the one on my invoice (no charge, as promised), but there's an intimidating notation at its side: "To 9/00." Apparently Nissan screwed around with this model all year: my car is late enough to have the side airbags, which weren't available at first, and the later instrument panel (with only one dimmer control instead of two), but too early to have the nav system.

Oh, well. Even supermodels sometimes wind up in the wrong size — briefly.

Posted at 7:54 PM to Driver's Seat