Some time last weekend, the garage started smelling like pancake syrup. Since I haven’t been carpooling with Mrs. Butterworth or anything like that, I concluded that there was a coolant leak, which I ultimately traced to the very top of the radiator, where the cheap plastic crimping was behaving in a manner characteristic of cheap plastic.
The engine hadn’t overheated or anything — no trips over twelve miles were taken, which probably helped — but I am disinclined to allow threats to a fancy-schmancy aluminum engine to get beyond NISCOM 5, and the dealership was booked solid for several days, so I sought out a local shop, preferably one not overly far from me.
And so I landed at Priebe’s Auto Clinic, tucked away on a side street near the Habana Inn, qualifying as “not overly far.” I was armed with the handy rationalization that Nissan knows this engine of theirs hardly ever breaks and therefore charges mucho dinero plus a body part to be named later for any of the ancillary equipment. Last price list I had showed $515 for the radiator plus an hour and a half labor, which comes to somewhere on the wrong side of $700 before you do anything else.
Obvious leak was obvious. I also had the hoses replaced on general principle, and, having calculated that based on prior experience Nissan’s OEM battery would go dead probably this weekend, had them bolt in a fresh Interstate Mega-Tron Plus, which costs about the same and offers about 200 more of those mysterious cold-cranking amps. Total tab for all this: just on the wrong side of $700.
I admit to having forgotten one minor detail: what with the new battery and all, I figured I’d have to redo the radio presets, but it did not occur to me that the fob for the door locks would not work until the car was presented with the proper key and started at least once.
Incidentally, if you patronize this establishment, and I suggest that you do so if you need their services, you’re likely to encounter a fellow named Steve Miller. Do not mention anything about the not-even-slightly-related band.