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Janurary 2nd, 2000 Article
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I hope everyone was able to make it through the New Year without too much of a headache, caused by self inflicted over consumption or the Y2K bug. In reflecting on some of the changes I have seen in this past century, naturally I relate more to vehicles. I have seen a real change in how people deal with their vehicles. Generally I have seen vehicles go from being a valued item that was treated with the utmost care, to something that is just considered a necessary evil that is largely ignored until it breaks down. Vehicles have become a lot more reliable and this in itself has caused vehicle operators to ignore them more. Now-a-days, people tend to just hop in the vehicle and head off on a trip, with little more fore thought than filling the fuel tank and checking the oil. I can remember when preparing for a trip involved, loading the trunk with the necessary tools, jack, tire repair equipment, spare parts, antifreeze, oil, and numerous other items that may be required. It was not unusual to have to stop and repair a tire right on the side of the road. We did things like patch tubes, install tire boots and even replaced complete tire and tube assemblies in order to complete a trip. And this was for a relatively short trip of 2-300 miles. A trip of that length was usually planned as a full day trip. Now people are able to just go and cover the same distance in just a few hours and think nothing of it. It wasn't very long ago that people used to service or get their vehicle serviced EVERY MONTH. This service included oil and filter changes, and a service inspection that usually took about an hour or more to do.

When I started working in a service station as a Lube Technician, I was EXPECTED to do 8-10 services a day and I really had to hustle in order to get that many done, without having to stay late to finish. Now, people EXPECT to have a service done in 15 minutes or less and all that gets done is an oil and filter change. Vehicles used to get Tune-ups AT LEAST twice a year and that included; spark plugs, points, condenser, air filter, fuel filter, adjust carb and timing, test battery, generator and starter. Now vehicles are able to run for years without even changing the spark plugs. I even recently heard from a person who thought a fuel filter on a fuel-injected vehicle would last the life of the vehicle. (Needless to say, we are not capable of that YET and he caused himself some serious problems.) I can remember when vehicles were ALWAYS washed on weekends and polished two or three times a years. Now I know of vehicles that never get washed unless the dirt is too thick to be able to see the colour and hen the vehicle is just run through a quick wash.

Buying a vehicle used to be a process that required saving money for months or even years, so when the purchase was made that item was treated equal to the money spent. Now people can just go out and buy a vehicle with a price tag in the 5-digit range, with little more effort than a signature on a contract. So because there seemed to be little effort involved, the vehicle is not treated with any importance. But, I still have a problem understanding how someone can go out and spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a vehicle and then just LET IT go to He--. However that same person worries for hours about a few HUNDRED dollars they have invested somewhere. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!

Within the next few years we are going to see vehicle become just like many household appliances in that they will be run until they quit and then replaced. Heck, I am so old that I can even remember taking radios out of vehicle and getting them repaired. Now we are just asked to throw in a new one.

"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - Janurary 2nd, 2000
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 2000

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