Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's best not to ask

We took the golf cart in for an oil change and new filter - more than 3 weeks ago. We also asked the mechanic to fix the brakes, as we could barely stop when going forward down a hill, and could not stop at all when backing out of a sloped driveway. The cart came back, all happy with new oil - a purring motor. The brakes were tight but still much better than they had been.

And we've been paying for it since.

First something happened with the accelerator - we'd be driving along at normal speed and then suddenly the cart would speed up and start back-firing. Miguel would have to keep letting his foot off the gas in order to slow down - resulting in a very jerky ride. On, Off, On, Off - our bodies lurching forward each time. It came to a head the evening we were going out for rounds. We got to the corner on the block next to us, and the brake pedal hit the floor. No brakes, nothing, not even the little bit we'd had before we got them 'repaired'. We went back home and Miguel headed out alone on his moped. Loco was thinking that it was a short tour, he's used to going from one end of the island to the other.

The next day was Sunday and Miguel decided to try to drive the cart again. Still no brakes, but in the daylight, with light traffic, we were able to do our rounds using the jerky motion all the way (on, off, on, off). Our old golf cart didn't have brakes for a while either, and we really didn't need them most of the time. But with this cart and the problem with the accelerator, we needed brakes.

Somehow we managed. Until we got to the curve by the new Chedraui. There, on both sides of the street were groups of teens cheering and handing out candy to passing vehicles. With full acceleration and no brakes, we were dismayed that one of the kids came right up to me as we were passing by and tried to hand me some candies - unaware we were unable to stop or even slow down. Miguel told her to move aside - "no frenos!". She stepped aside and we blew past, backfiring as we went.

That was enough to rattle the nerves, we weren't going to take any more chances. On Monday the mechanic was called to come by and pick up the cart. Obviously he needed the cart at his shop - but how to get it there? He asked "no brakes?", and when I confirmed, he flinched but the next thing I knew I looked out the window and the cart was gone. I also asked him to fix the bucking bronco - the nasty habit the cart had of jumping whenever we took off from a dead start.

And so it came back in a day or so. "All fixed".

Or was it? After a trip out to Garrafon, we drove the carpenter to his place where the cart simply died. Since it was a Sunday, Miguel tried to fix it himself, without success. The next day, heading to Cancun, we sent the mechanic over to fix the cart, and if possible, leave it for us at the ferry. It was so nice to find the cart in the parking lot when we got back, "all fixed".

Until the end of last week, when we were out by the airport and suddenly the headlights went out. We pulled over, and Miguel fiddled with this and with that and finally found that the cable to the headlight switch had broken off and was just dangling. Being the electrician that he is, he found another orphan end and stuck them together and bingo - we had headlights! Off we went, continuing on our journey.

The next morning (Saturday), I was going to the market. I backed up the cart, put the gear in forward, and the cart was dead. Not a sound. Must be something electrical (hint: the headlight cables?). Another day without the cart, another day for no tour for Loco, another day for Miguel to do rounds on his own.

We called the mechanic. Please replace the switch for the ignition (which was in bad shape from kids playing with it), replace the light switch, and fix the electrical problem. By 4 pm the cart was back home. "All fixed".

Sunday the cart was great. Yesterday the cart was great. Until Miguel got a flat tire in the afternoon - but those things happen...sigh...

Today Miguel was out all day with the cart. Tonight was Loco's turn - he hadn't been on the cart since last Friday. I had baked pumpkin pie and had my hands full with dishes of pie to deliver to friends at two locations. I also had hold of Loco's leash. Off we went and made our first delivery. But when we tried to pull out of the driveway, the engine died. We had lights, but no motor.

Are you flipping kidding me? It was all I could do to protect the dish of pie, control Loco who was bouncing around on and off the cart, and hold the flashlight from my cell phone so Miguel could look under the seat. We also called the mechanic - he couldn't come until morning.

So we pushed the cart over to one of the homes Miguel manages. I collected the plate of pie, my jacket, my purse, and with a strong desire to give the cart a swift kick, we left. Miguel walked Loco home and I hailed a cab to make the pie delivery.

And that's all I have to say about it.


Ann said...

So sorry for all your troubles with the cart!

KfromMichigan said...

I think you need a new mechanic! Good luck!

Life's a Beach! said...

I hadn't been keeping up with blogs, so now I know what you were talking about tonight! Grrrrrrrr. So maddening!

Sue said...

Changed the mechanic - check!

Maddening - check!

Still without wheels - check! (and don't know how much it's going to cost to fix this time)


sharron Gray said...

Can you tell me the cost for a month, Jan. or Feb. for one person?
I think I wrote you before but I have totally lost the mail so sorry if I am repeating my question.
I am a canadian who just moved to San Miguel but need to be by the ocean for awhile.


Linda said...

I think you nee3de a brand new cart! (but it would take a BIG lottery win, I'm sure! ;-)