189. The Oil Change (2)

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Andy, Moe's younger brother, called late Wednesday morning. Andy told Darwin that he'd checked out the Buick for needed repairs. "Go ahead. I'm sitting down," Darwin said.

Andy said the car needed new pads on the front disc brakes. It needed a new fuel filter. It needed new coolant. It needed new windshield wiper blades. "How much are the blades?" Darwin asked. Andy said $12. Darwin said that he'd buy them at Wal-Mart and install them himself.

"Is that it?" Darwin asked. "What about the plugs and wires, and the transmission fluid?" Andy told him that they were all okay. "But I thought I needed to change the transmission fluid every two years or so," Darwin said. Andy said only if it had a burnt odor. "We can't find a leak in that tire," Andy said. "Oh, one more thing, I strongly recommend a new battery."

"But that's a DieHard, and it's still got two years left on its 100-month warranty," Darwin said.

"That battery is over six years old," Andy said. "You're already on borrowed time. I can put in a new Interstate that has a 75-month warranty, plus it's 100 percent guaranteed for the first two years."

Darwin thought about it. He hated to quit on a battery that still had lots of life in it. But, if the DieHard failed, and something bad happened to Gilroy, Denise would kill Darwin. Denise was Gilroy's mom and Darwin's girlfriend. He asked how much the new battery would be. "$137.46," Andy said. Yikes, Darwin thought. "So what would that bring the total price to?" he asked. "$593.74," Andy said.

Although Darwin had been hoping for a $300 bill, he told Andy to go ahead. Andy said he'd call later. If there were no glitches, the Buick would be ready by 5 p.m. I hope there's no glitches, Darwin thought, because I can't afford any.

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