So after the wolf whistling episode, which I have to say Matthew did handle very well and I’m sure it will become one of those family memories that we speak about over Chrissie dinner when we are old and decrepit, we headed off to get Matthew’s vehicle from the repairer.

I let Matthew handle the mechanic at the dealership, not just because it was his vehicle but because I really detest dealing with most mechanics. It used to be that mechanics saw a female walk into the garage and they figured they could deliver any bullshit and it would be believed, but in this day and age it’s changed. I wont suggest it’s all mechanics, some of them have to be decent but there is still a large number of them that see a woman walk in and they start to speak as if it was them alone who invented the car. I’m sure you know the sort, they use all sorts of technical terms in an effort to make you feel dumber and ask questions that they can answer seamlessly.

The conversation goes something like this. “We had to replace valve spring on cylinder two but to that we had to remove the cowling, the rocker cover, the tappets, the manifold and the head because there wasn’t enough room under the bonnet without everything come out.” Now under some circumstances that might not be incorrect but all the mechanical terms are there to have you ask questions so they can prove they have more knowledge than you.

Although I have to tell you this one. A long time ago I took a predecessor to the Beast into the dealership in a town not unlike the one we were visiting, in fact quite very much like it, because it was having issues. When I got it there the mechanic tried to tell me that the reason the engine randomly cut out when I least wanted it to was because the flutter valve in the cavity of the fuel canal that feeds the reserve pump for the oil canister was faulty. Now I may not be the world’s best mechanic but I do know my way around an engine so of course my bullshit meter went off the scale and I couldn’t resist asking the guy to show me the flutter valve. Of course he couldn’t and of course he tried to bullshit me to hide his original bullshit and of course it didn’t work. Strangely enough I didn’t get any follow up calls from that mechanic to see if the job he’d actually done, which was replace the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) or in other terms the computer fixed the problem either.

But alas I think I got caught up in a Dean-ism again. My apologies back to the story at hand.

Matthew and the mechanic spoke for what was probably twenty or thirty minutes, at the same time I found myself a seat out of the wind, which was dying down a little bit, but in the sun and just relaxed in preparation for our long drive home. I wasn’t in fear of falling asleep, but I tell you it would have taken so little to actually let myself nod off and catch forty winks.

By the time Matthew was ready to hit the road it was just after 2pm, not that much later than I expected and still within a reasonable time frame to get us home by late evening.

“All good?” I said as I opened passenger side door and climbed into the Nissan that Matthew had pulled up next to the seat I was relaxing on.

“Yeah they’ve replaced the computers, replaced the control boxes and replaced the dash panels.” he replied.

I hadn’t seen this particular vehicle of Matthew’s, I knew he had it but I hadn’t seen him since he purchased it so it was my first time riding in it. It was nothing like the Beast but I have to say it was better than the fancy rental he’d gotten rid of.

“That seems like a lot of cost for a few gremlins in the system.” I said.

“Yes and no. Apparently they contacted Nissan Australia and pled their case, Nissan Australia quickly ran out of options and they decided that replacing what they did was the cheaper and quicker than trying to trace the gremlins that they could possibly never find.” Matthew took off from the dealership and started our return trip.

“But it wasn’t really that quick.”

“Well it was for them. Nissan gave them the go ahead to replace everything under warranty so there was no cost to them. The time frame they had it, as I mentioned the other day, was because they had to wait for parts for the computer and electronics to ship from Spain because there was none in Australia. The labour in replacing the bits was less than eight hours, the rest of the time they’ve just had to keep her stored and out of the way.”

“Fair enough.” I said. “It’s good they replaced it under warranty. Can’t imagine those parts are cheap.”

“Surprisingly enough the ECU and the control boxes even though they are pretty much the brains of the whole vehicle are relatively cheap, only a few hundred bucks each. But the guy was just telling me the dash panel was worth twelve hundred, retail!” Matthew replied as he took the left turn towards the highway out of town.

“Geez, how do they justify such prices?” I asked without really expecting Matthew to have the answer.

“They don’t really have to justify it. If you need it you need it and you just have to pay for it. Although it makes me realise how lucky I was getting it all done under warranty.”

I agreed and settled in for the long trip home.

Previous Outback Rescue story here.