Tire and Lube Work

I've mostly worked only on the top part of cars since I've been working on them. I'm familiar with alternators, serp belts, thermostats, water pumps, radiators, head gaskets and so on. I don't know everything about them, but I've done work in those areas on a few of my Chevys. The Sonic is going to be a wild experience for me when I finally dig into it because GM didn't engineer it like the other ones (1998 Camaro, 2005 Monte Carlo). 

Anyway, going underneath cars to do oil changes and working with tires are both foreign and new tasks to me. Many people viewed those tasks as the easiest tasks one can do, but they were challenging for me because I'd never messed around underneath the car too much. Recently, I've had the pleasure of learning how to do that kind of work. I like it, but the labor is highly physical. It's a bit like working out at the gym, but for an entire shift. I work muscles that I haven't worked in years. Getting used to that was the hardest part of the job. I was tired as heck my first week, and I  hurt. I can feel myself getting stronger already, though. 

People think oil and tire changes are easy, but they're not always as such. Sometimes, the manufacturer puts the oil filter in a place that only an acrobatic genius can get to. That adds a lot of time to the job. Sometimes, the previous shop over-torques the drain plug, and the current tech must struggle to get it off without breaking or stripping it. 

Tire work is pretty physical too, and it's not a five-minute procedure. First, the person has to separate the old tire from the rim. Then the individual has to put the new tire on the rim. Then there's the balancing procedure, remounting, etc. That doesn't even include the time it takes to find the new tires, perform courtesy tasks, and enter various information into the computer system. Additionally, all that work requires the person to lift, carry, and handle tires while they are seated on heavy rims. 

Both jobs can be equally demanding on the body. As far as time goes, people just don't understand what's involved until they have to do it. I used to wonder what took so long when techs had to change my tires and so forth. Now I know. Even the fastest and most experienced person can take a while if a problem arises. 

I enjoy the work very much, though. The day goes by fast, and I'm in my own little world. I work with a very supportive team, and I have awesome supervisors. I'm getting stronger every day.  I'll probably be pretty muscular in about 30 days or so, lol.

Timiarah Breaks Her Silence

Timiarah has been silent for a while, huh? Yeah, well... you know. 

This week was the first week I started learning about my Chevrolet Sonic. It took me a long time to stop missing my Monte Carlo and start appreciating the good points about the Sonic. No, the Sonic isn't in the same class as a Monte Carlo, but it is in a class of its own. The thing has great gas mileage, and it still has awesome traction, which makes it super-fun to drive. I complain about the stick shift all the time, but it's kind of like a novelty to people when they get in my car. They're like, "Hey, that thing's a stick shift?" and "Oh, this is a stick shift?"

Yeah, mon. It's a stick shift, and I actually love shifting it and such, but only on the open highway. The open highway is my best friend. When I'm on the open highway is when I have to turn on some hardcore Thousand Foot Krutch. TFK is one of those "Christian rock" bands that nobody can tell is Christian, lol. Actually, their lyrics ARE about "God" and stuff, but they still rock hard. It's hard to tell what they're about unless you're really listening to the lyrics. I liked their Oxygen: Inhale CD because they sang so many sweet songs to the Heavenly Father. Too bad their fans complained, and they hardened it up for the next one. I still like the hard stuff too, though. I admit it. 

Anyway, the Sonic is a great car, but GM designed it all crazy like. They have the alternator sort of underneath the car, and the belts are hard to get to. I would have to remove a wheel and crawl under the car to get to the alternator... seriously. I guess they didn't want anyone to work on the vehicles themselves, but you know me. I want to get at that alternator just because they made it so difficult to do so. Not only am I going to swap out the alternator, but I'm also going to find a way to do it from the top of the car and not the bottom. Good times.