The $400 Rubber Mallet

Ryan was on call last night, and since he didn’t need his car, I decided to borrow it. Of course, it broke while in my possession. Classic.

Pretty much I went out to the car on my lunch break, put the key in the ignition and quickly discovered that the key would not turn. I have had some experience with old cars, so I did the ol’ “crank the steering wheel to the left and right really hard” maneuver a couple of times and tried to turn the key again.

No luck.

To make a long story short, Ryan (post-call and running on 1.5 hours of sleep) came and picked me up at work. Knowing that we needed a tow 2 miles down the road to our car place, Ryan called AAA and they told him our Illinois AAA coverage was expired, but he could get coverage for a year for only $50…plus a $15 initiation fee.

a few hours pass…

The tow truck driver finally gets here and asks Ryan what the problem is. Ryan explains the situation and the guy says, (wait…to make the story more interesting we’ll give the tow-truck driver a Boston accent) so the tow truck driver says in his Boston accent, “Oh yeah, that’s a Daimler/Chrysler curse.” The guy proceeds to stick the key into the ignition, tap the end of the key with a rubber mallet a few times and voila! – the car starts up just fine.

“From my experience that’s the first sign that your ignition is going…you’ve only got a limited number of taps left.”

So Ryan drove 2 miles down the road to the car place where they told him they would gladly replace the ignition for a couple hundred bucks and while the car is there, it would be a good idea to get the Serpentine Belt replaced as well…approx $120 more.

And that is the story of the nearly $400 Rubber Mallet


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