Today I was having a discussion with a lawyer friend and he was just lamenting how most Nigerian mechanics rip many motorists off by improper repairs and or repairs that are done with wrong or substandard parts.
But one of their more sinister attributes is their penchant for telling motorists; “make we commot am, e no de work anything for the motor”. Meaning; it doesn’t have any function in the car so let’s remove it.
|See the bolt for the missing linkage on the upper part of the shock absorber.|
But I usually tell them that the white man who spent countless hours researching and inventing and perfecting these systems are definitely not stupid. So for me, whatever is removed from my car is replaced with the exact replacement part. And replaced in the same manner!
Some weeks back, a lady brought in her car for fixing and part of the repairs was to replace a missing suspension linkage to the front passenger side. Kai!
|Look close to the red jack stand and see the dangling anti-roll bar.|
She had been driving the car like that without a linkage because her previous mechanic told her he couldn’t find the replacement part. And she could be driving the car like that!
In as much as her car is an American model not common here in Nigeria, all we did was just search through the second hand parts market for the exact part. When we didn’t find the exact one, we got another one that could carry the weight of the car and matched perfectly. This was much better that driving the car without a linkage as the anti-roll bar in the front didn’t have anywhere to be latched onto so was just dangling and not providing the anti-roll-over functions.
Imagine the lady driving the car and makes a sharp maneuver and the car rolls over, the ‘yeye’ mechanic will just be at his workshop feeding fat on people’s money and endangering their lives and waiting for the next unfortunate customer.
This is not to lay a blanket accusation as there are still some of them who are diligent in what they do but the proportion who are giving the good ones a bad name is simply too much.
Though a great level of blame should be laid on the doorsteps of the car owners who mostly know next to nothing about their cars and some…. care less. Yet forgetting that it’s their lives and properties that are at stake.
|See the other side of the car still with its original linkage intact.|
We all need to be paying more attention to the antics of our mechanics especially when they are effecting repairs on our cars.
A case that comes to mind is that of a friend whose father has been crippled for over ten years now just because his driver collected the man’s car from the mechanic and both of them embarked on a trip without confirming what the mechanic did. Along the way, the wheel lug nuts they mechanic failed to properly thread back gave way and the wheel pulled out sending the car into several roll overs. The result? A paralyzed head of the family who had to be prematurely retired from active service.
|The new linkage after it had been fixed.|
Always ensure you learn more about your cars, have a good, genuine relationship with your mechanic so that he will never have the mind to do or expose you to things that might endanger your life.
More importantly, ensure you patronize good, well trained mechanics so that your life, that of your loved ones and properties will be in a safe, operational car.
Please share your good or bad mechanic stories with us.