The Bruising Brake Job – UnderhoodService
Connect with us
Close Sidebar Panel Open Sidebar Panel

Engine Compartment

The Bruising Brake Job

A retired lady, who had been in several times before, needed a brake job on her little Buick. I said sure, why not, I could do that for her. I put the car up on the lift, checked it out, and gave her an estimate.

The little lady waited in the lobby for me to finish with the brake job. She talked a bit with my wife, and was very friendly towards all the staff and other customers. I finished the brake job with a trip around the block to make sure  everything was working just fine. I didn’t notice anything wrong, and parked it out front for her.  But the next day I was in for a whole new side to this lady.
As soon as she opened the lobby door she started in on me.  “You’ve got a problem to take care of!” she angrily told me. “That problem is me! After I left here yesterday my car has made a noise every time I hit the brakes! Now what are you going to do about it?  I expect things to be right, and you are not going to get away with screwing up my car! 

I’ll have you know I have connections in this town.” She ranted on. “I’m never coming back here again. To think, all the work I have given  you, and now this!  You are the worst mechanic I have ever been to.”
Wow, what can I say, what can I do? This lady is putting up a frontal assault and I have no choice but to defend my honor. Dare I brave this gauntlet? Should I even speak? Or should I bow and ask for mercy?  I chose…. “Let me take it around the block once ma’am and see what I can find out.”

She insisted on going along so I could be finger poked at the moment the noise happened. Oh, there was a noise all right. It was coming  from the passenger seat. And yes, there was a “thump, clank, clank, clank, thump, thump” when the brakes were applied. This lady never shut up all the way around the block. I used exactly the same course I drove the previous day just to be sure I didn’t miss anything. I couldn’t wait to get back to the shop. My arm was sore from all the poking, not to mention ringing in my ears.
At the shop, we both got out of the car. I went directly to the trunk. She was right there with her non-stop verbal abuse. I opened the trunk and there was the noise.  A loose 6 pack of soda was sloshing around in the trunk, namely the thump, the clunk.

I asked her “Did you happen to go grocery shopping after you left my shop yesterday?”

“Why, yes I did.” She answered. “But what does that have to do with my brakes?” I handed her the sodas and told her that this was what was making the noise. If she would like to drive around the block one more time while holding on to the soda cans I could prove it to her.
Nope, she wasn’t buying that. I believe she was more upset with herself. All I got was that look my kids would give me when you catch them with the cookies, and they deny being in the cookie jar.  The lady never said another word to me. She put the sodas on the front seat and drove off.

I hope those sodas went down just fine. A little apology would have been nice. Drink up lady, I understand.
Scott “Gonzo” Weaver is the owner of Superior Auto Electric. He is the author of the book “Hey Look! I Found the Loose Nut”, that can be purchased online at or at

Click to comment