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BangShift Question of the Day: Am I The Only One Who Hates Wrenching On His Wife’s Daily Driver?

BangShift Question of the Day: Am I The Only One Who Hates Wrenching On His Wife’s Daily Driver?

You know it, I hate it, and the Chrysler corporation built it. My wife’s 2004 Pacifica is the pure definition of a fat, underpowered, half thought out design for a car that seemed to be the hallmark of the Mercedes/Chrysler “merger of equals”. We all know how that worked out with the Germans sucking Chrysler virtually dry before leaving its rotting corpse on the side of the road to be “saved” by what might have been the worst assemblage of management talent in the history of the automotive industry. The car does have one thing going for it and that’s the lack of payments we make on it. We actually loathe the idea of a car payment more than this car although after yesterday I am rethinking that.

I spent the day doing struts and other various projects on the car and frankly hated every minute. My few moments of victory came when I was able to use standard sized wrenches on some of the wonky metric bolts holding the struts in. They were beefy jobs so a 13/16th handled the work that a 19 or so millimeter was supposed to do. Remain seated, metric wrench….we got this.

I suppose I should have some feeling of reward driving the car after the job and feeling how much better it rides and cruises. The idea of knowing that Kerri and the kids are all safe and sound going down the road, etc, but I didn’t have that Ozzie and Harriet moment. Instead I parked the thing after the test drive, literally said, “F-You” about half a dozen times to the car while still inside it, and then went to gulp beers. I simply hate working on this thing. From adding air to the tires to doing brakes, suspension work, etc, this porcine van-like weird car thing makes me angry to no end. Am I the weird one here or are there others in this cult?

Do you hate wrenching on your wife’s daily driver? Hell, do you hate wrenching on your own daily driver? I wanna know. Maybe I just need an attitude adjustment. Know what? I’m going outside right now to sit in the car and curse it a few more times. That should make me feel better.

BangShift Question of the Day: Am I The Only One Who Hates Wrenching On His Wife’s Daily Driver?


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26 thoughts on “BangShift Question of the Day: Am I The Only One Who Hates Wrenching On His Wife’s Daily Driver?

  1. redneckjoe

    i almost shot our furd escort the other day, tracing down a bum wire.
    what a PITA!
    i totally understand where your coming from.

  2. John T

    yep, I totally agree. Dunno what it is, but every car my wife has owned for the last 20 yrs has been a total pain in the arse. Whats worse is she’s been my ex wife for 15 of those last 20 and I STILL end up fixing her crap. I remember the worst though…she had a 1967 or so Toyota corona that crapped its motor. We were broke as students, bought another whole car for 50 bux – only thing wrong as a missing dizzy….yeh, right… crazily enough it was actually a true story! pulled the dizzy out of hers, dropped it in and fired it up. Then the fun started – it was a manual, hers was an auto…did the whole thing in the dead of winter, pissing down with rain, had to remove the spigot bush from the end of the crank – that alone took days…and once it was done, I realised I’d screwed the seal in the tranny….a new seal had to come from Japan, took 6 weeks and 214 dollars….

  3. Milkovich

    I’m convinced you can drive a brand new anything cheaper than a keeping a VW with over 100k on the clock alive. The only way they’ll sell you any spare parts is as a sub assembly that costs roughly as much as a kidney transplant. “Egr valve is acting up? You need part number “TOPHALF” that’ll be $400!”… if the fan control module burns up? You need part number “FRONTCHUNK” that’s $800. I’d hate to see what you have to buy to get a real part like a valve seal or CV boot. Love them or hate them, at least with GM you can buy ONE and only ONE part, right down to the fasteners.

  4. phitter67

    Yup. My daughter just dropped off her Grand Prix. Window stuck down, water leak, rear brakes, and the ignition key sticks. They never move all the way out.

  5. tigeraid

    Could be worse. My wife doesn’t drive. Which makes me a chauffeur. I’ll take mechanic over chauffeur.

  6. Matt Cramer

    Wrenching is a lot less fun when you have a tight deadline and a car that’s not very rewarding to drive.

  7. GuitarSlinger

    Ahem Mr Lohnes !!! Get your freaking history straight . It was Chrysler that drained the life blood out of Mercedes .. not the other way around … what with Chryslers never ending ability ( still to this day btw ) to take every bit of quality technology and design Mercedes gave them and have it become ” Lost in Translation ” turning it into crap ! Fact is … it took a good five years for Mercedes to get back on its feet quality wise after ‘ dumping ‘ Chrysler …. whereas Chrysler’s quality has now remained exactly the same ( lowest in the US barely a notch above JLR at the bottom of the pile ) now under its third different owner .

    As far as working on the wife’s wheels ? She is my wife … her safety and well being do come first … so guess what ? I’ve got no problem what so ever maintaining her wheels . As a wise older gearhead imparted to me years ago … ” Keep the wife happy and you’ll be happy as well ” Wisdom worth listening to …. unless of course you like being miserable 😉

    1. Remy-Z

      I’m gonna throw a wrench in this. Mercedes convinced Chrysler to the merger right when Chrysler was rolling fat off of a line of hot sellers (LX cars, Ram, a successful minivan run, the “cloud” cars). What did Chrysler get out of it?

      SLK platform for the Crossfire (your argument wins there. Ugly underperformer.)
      E-class platform for the LX (Chrysler win, both sales and quality)
      Pacifica (though I’m not 100% how MB was involved with that craptastic pile)
      Sprinter (sold well as a Mercedes and Freightliner as well.)

      What did Mercedes get out of it? MONEY. Mercedes didn’t need a damn thing that Chrysler had. Where they failed was that Mercedes would not allow Chrysler to develop models and to add better parts. That’s when Chrysler quality fell off of the cliff, Chrysler became a money pit, and Mercedes quickly sold Chrysler and holdings off to Cerberus. Mercedes choked the life out of Chrysler, causing a stagnant period about 2005-6 that saw many models as carryover years. That’ll kill any automaker.

      1. Bob Holmes

        NERF is right. Chrysler had a crap load of cash that Mercedes sucked out and then left the corpse for someone else to clean up.

    2. LXbuilder

      Not a chance, from someone that suffered at the hands of the great Dimebag Benz from the inside at Chrysler. You Sir are wrong, wrong, and wrong!


    My wife’s daily drivers tend to be either my old daily drivers (she doesn’t drive much) or something I picked out because she doesn’t know cars and other than astheics and mileage doesn’t care too much.

    However the idea of wrenching on a daily driver is kinda sucky because you need it to work on a timeline, “improvements” are generally only bolt on type deals for the previous reason, and you do care about how fast it goes through gas, eats tires and so forth. All in all we put up with slighly higher consumption of parts and gas to have cars that are decently fun to drive. Unfortunately that makes them generally low volume cars that are difficult/expensive to get parts for… price you pay for a glimmer of fun on the way to the grocery store and work everyday.

  9. Remy-Z

    Luckily, the wife both will work on her vehicles, and a Silverado SS and a Fox Mustang aren’t too bad. Could be a LOT worse.

  10. Threedoor

    I don’t mind working on my wife’s car, its easier to find parts for than any of my stuff and generally the same to work on and breaks down much less than my junk. Go Sidekick!

  11. bkb

    My wife’s DD is a Jensen Interceptor… Its a joy to work on other than the slimy undercoating that blackens your hands when just thinking about it… My DD on the other hand is a 2002 PT cruiser. Although I appreciate the design’s utility (Ive put 200K on it so far) there is 0 joy in working on it. The good side is parts for it are about as cheap as they can be and its as simple as a model A (a fuel injected model A) Too bad everything is crammed in under a hood that is way too small for decent access. Getting 30mpg on my 130+ mile one way commute is worth the work though as is its awesome carrying capacity and ice cold AC. Just don’t stare at it too much once you get out of it.

  12. thatismytruck

    I loved working on Wife’s previous DD. It was my old 96 Roadmaster Estate. just bought her a Trailblazer SS though. We’ll see if I like working on that one. doubtful

    btw: my DD is an 06 Charger RT. I don’t like working on that. I do like driving it though.

    Obviously, I love working on our toy!

  13. JP.

    Well it all depends what kind of daily your misses has…
    I dont mind wrenching on my wife’s daily(s) ( she has more ).
    The newest one she drives is 26 years. None of her daily’s is stock, from tripple carbs to a supercharged V8.
    I only can assume I am not the only one in the world having a wife with more octane in her blood than the one she is married with.
    I love my wife….

    So what was the question, cause I don’t know what youre talking about….

  14. NewEnglandRacFan

    I don’t hate working on the wife’s vehicle, I hate that it takes time and funds away from the toy. I don’t like being told 2 days before it needs a sticker that it needs 4 ball joints, 2 hubs and other crap.. and having to buy 800.oo on parts all at once.

  15. 3nine6

    No prob, Wife’s DD is an ’05 Camry bought new. Now has 170k+ miles. Other than routine stuff (timing belt @ 90K) brakes, tires & oil changes, this car takes up very little time, effort or $. Every once in a while she mentions a new Highlander. I remind her that the Camry is PAID FOR.

  16. Bob Holmes

    I absolutely hate working on daily drivers.

    And there’s nothing like still working on the POS at 2am knowing you need to use it to get to work in 5 hours. I’ve come up with some creative fixes in those wee hours of the night when something unexpected came up.

    The wife’s horsey ladies always want me to work on their cars, no way.

  17. cyclone03

    wifes dd is an 05 BMW 330i,it has about 120k on it now and everything seems to wear out at that time,I changed all the coolant hoses,the surge tank,2 power steering hoses,2 ideler pulleys,a form fitting PCV type hose that tripped the check engine light,it now has an oil leak that seems to be part of the crankcase vent system…it seems to never end.
    Funney thing is it’s not the magic untouchable car the dealer wants you to think it is and the parts guy at the dealer gives me a “club” discount that puts the part cost just tax above the online prices I’ve found.
    The pain comes from EVERYTHING is behind something that has to be removed before you can get to whatever it is that needs fixing.

  18. speedy

    YES the last was the biggest pile
    a 02 STS Cadi-Hack

    I would like to choke the brain trust who thought soy-base wiring harness
    was a great idea… yea if you were a mice
    don’t get me started
    Northstar will go done in automobile history as the worst platform GM ever had
    mark my words

  19. James

    You know what I hate the most about working on my wife’s car? Halfway through the project realizing she has a warranty! I’ve never bought a new car in my life and didn’t even think of it, just dove in with the wrenches.

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