Wednesday, July 01, 2009

the tranny show


I was going to count the ballots on the 13 factors we have been discussing this past week. But it appears that the absent President Jose Manuel Zelaya may have confused them for pre-marked referendum ballots when he scooted out of Tegucigalpa.


As soon as I can retrieve them, I will finish up the series.


But we do have one piece of unfinished business involving the transmission in my Escape.


When we last left this tale in
geared for success, I had talked with the son of the mechanic who had been recommended to me. The bottom line on sábado was: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."


However, I had enough information that the transmission was about to fail (including some fascinating information from my brother that 2001 Escapes are prone to transmission failures).


I was on my way back to the mechanic, but I ended up at a specialist. There is a shop in town where transmissions issues are referred far and wide in this area.


Even NOB, I am accustomed to specialists for cars. We have tire shops. Brake shops. Radiator shops. Oil change shops. And, of course, transmission shops.


The fact that Mexico follows the same tradition should not be surprising. This is, after all, the land of butcher, baker, candlestick maker. All in their own specialty shops.


I pulled up to a nondescript building and was directed around the side where I found what must have been close to 30 bays filled with cars and trucks, each with their transmissions pulled.


I wish I had taken my camera. The operation was as organized as any Porsche shop. The pulled transmissions were lined up in close order drill formation that would have made George Lucas suffer from clone envy.


I explained the problem. Out came a computer to check the electrical connections. All was well.


The owner himself offered to do the next test: a drive to listen to the transmission. He tried various maneuvers -- always listening with an obvious attuned ear.


His diagnosis: nothing wrong. But he did not like my description of the sounds I had heard. Rather -- he did not like what the sounds may mean.


His suggestion? Drive to Manzanillo and return the truck to his shop without turning the key off. He will then run another test.


I need to take Jiggs to the veterinarian in Manzanillo on Thursday (jueves) for a minor operation. I will followup on the transmission issue when I return to Melaque.


There is no logical reason why I should feel comforted by this process. If the transmission is going to fail, it very well may fail on the two hour drive to and from Manzanillo.


But I now know it is a potential issue, and I can work around it. If it fails. It fails.


And it will be on a better road than through the hills to La Manzanilla.


Then, I can get back to counting my ballots of Where Should I Live in Mexico.

9 comments:

Constantino said...

Sounds like you have found a decent alternative to your intermittent problem. Life is an intermittent problem filled by solutions and moments of contentment. Hopefully we can skew the latter a tad more!
There is always a new Honda option!
Glad to hear that Jiggs is going to see the Man, hopefully all will be good for him.
Cheers!

Darrel said...

Glad to hear you found a good transmission shop. These are really the only guys who know anything about automatic transmissions. I called a customer of mine that has a transmission shop here in Bend. Most of the dealers and car lots in town send their work to him. In Bend you can get a rebuilt transmission from Ford installed with a 3 year warranty for between $2,200 and $3,000. I don’t know if you can swing the same deal down south.

Laurie said...

I am happy you are counting ballots, just make sure you are within the bounds of the constitution when you do so. This was the problem with our former president of Honduras. And he had a ridiculous moustache.

Steve Cotton said...

Constantino -- And don't forget improvisation.

Darrel -- I hope I can forestall discovering that bit of data.

Laurie -- My count will be as honest as a Chicago politician.

Todd said...

We too have an Escape, the 2002. Thankfully not the same history of transmission problems.

But our biggest problem is trying to find 5-20 oil down here in Mexico. Have you been able to find some in your neck of the woods?
If so, we may have to visit soon!


Steve, as an aside, you might want to be a little more careful about the naming of your posts.
"the tranny show" might bring you readers looking for something else!
LOL

Todd

Beth said...

Perhaps a car wash and a vaccuum of the interior would help.

1st Mate said...

It's good you found a specialist. I don't think any mechanic can be expert at all aspects of vehicles, especially in Mexico. We, for instance, can't find anyone who can work on a water-cooled VW van.

I'm wondering if the hilly road to La Manzanilla was the reason you were hearing that noise. Melaque is relatively flat.

Constantino said...

Todd needs to look back on one of your first posts in your new land....Tranny show is more than Todd knows......Well at least a female impersonator show...

Steve Cotton said...

Todd -- A local mechanic keeps a supply of exotic oils on tap for his "English-speaking customers" -- as he is so fond of saying. As for the title, there are seldom errors when it comes to drawing in the readers. (See Constantino's comment.)

Beth -- Inside jokes about dirty vehicles. Hmm. I wonder how that will play in Melaque?

1st Mate -- There is no doubt that the stress of that hill on the transmission had some effect. There are a few hills between here and Manzanillo. We will find out tomorrow how the test drive goes.

Constantino -- You are correct. This blog has ventured to the outskirts of the entertainment world -- but only once -- in Melaque.