November 10, 2009

Salvage Yard #2 (aka A Needle in a Haystack)

A few weeks ago, my car failed to start. After much discussion and investigation we realized the problem was the starter. We are very blessed to have not one, but two neighbors, that are very handy and generous with their time and skills. We went to AutoZone and bought a rebuilt starter for $125 which our neighbor installed free of charge. This saved us at least a few hundred dollars.

Of course, this is not where the story ends. A week later, as Peter was driving my car home- in the rain- the wipers stopped working. After a bit of investigation the problem was easily identified. The wiper arm linkage had snapped and unfortunately was beyond repair. Our local autoparts stores do not carry the item and the dealer will charge us $220 for the part alone. We turned to Ebay and found one for $50. But were still hoping to find a better deal. After a few phone calls we learned that the salvage yards only charge $6 for the part- if you can find one.

Peter ventured to one salvage yard alone but to no avail. On Saturday we headed to yard number two. Entering the premises we realized the admissions fee was $2 so we fumbled through our wallets to find $4. To our surprise, when we approached the ticket lady she informed that only Peter would be charged admission. I suppose my lack of tools and outfit let her know that I would not be salvaging any parts. I did help to identify Acura's and Honda's which I seem to have an eye for. Unfortunately, after tearing apart 6 cars we were still left searching for a matching part. We found wiper arm linkages that were too short, too long, and oddly shaped. We did not find what we were looking for. So, if you have a spare wiper arm linkage that you'd like to sell for a '99-'02 Acura TL we'll take it. But, since we're already $2 invested in this project, our best offer is $4.

Also, on an unrelated note: Last weekend we attended a party at the Molly Fontaine Lounge for a dear friend who was celebrating her birthday. Molly Fontaine's is probably the coolest place in Memphis- and they know it. But, who cares? If you haven't been you really should visit.

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