Drive like you have no Brakes (Part One)

About three weeks ago the water pump in my 2004, Dodge Ram, 3500 dual wheel 4x4 turbo diesel truck blew and I had to replace a clogged fuel filter. The bill was $800.00 but my heartaches were not quite over. Owning a big ass diesel truck has it’s downside. When they bust it costs you. Two weeks later I heard a rubbing in the driver side rear wheels. When I went to apply the brakes I could hear the rotors pads against the rotors, ever so slightly. Not good. I took it to “Rick Jones Auto and Tire,” a chain repair shop here in Ft Myers, Florida. They put it up on a lift while I waited in their “lounge.” The manager, Dave, a very nice acting guy came and got me, took me into the garage and showed me why I needed new rotors, pads and calipers. Then he took me back to the front counter and wrote me up an estimate for $1,150.00. After he peeled me off the ceiling, he told me he could do the job right then while I wait. How lucky can a guy get? He told me the truck was unsafe to drive and he couldn’t just let me go. Not a good thing to tell me. I wondered how much time I’d get for choking an auto repair shop manager? After the short struggle to get Dave to give me my truck back I made it home alive.

I was forced to drive the unsafe two ton truck for the next week while I worked and waited to be paid for a prior carpentry job I had finished. This is life for The Wanderer who lives hand to mouth. Back and forth everyday to Naples I drove to finish the present job I was working on. To conserve what was left of my rotors and pads I adopted a different style of driving. I drove like I had no brakes. I slowed down, no matter who was on my ass, so that I had to put the least amount of pressure on the pedal to stop. I went so slow around corners I didn’t even have to use the brakes. You see if you keep grinding the rotors down and the pads, eventually the piston from the calipers that push the pads against the rotors go through the rotors. You come to a very sudden stop then. I didn’t want it to come to that. I stayed so far behind the cars in front of me I could go for many miles on I-75, speed limit 70mph, in heavy traffic, without so much as tapping on the brakes. I started to enjoy driving. I stopped caring about darting in and out of traffic from lane to lane to get ahead. Time slowed down and in a good way. I got to think about stuff. I no longer passed cars only to find them pulling up to me at the next stop light. Instead they passed me and I pulled up next to them at the next stop light. They never look over at you. It started to occur to me that if everyone drove like this, you’d get better gas mileage, there would be no road rage, many less accidents and a lot less dead people and…. your brakes would last a lot longer! The bonus would be you could also enjoy the ride. So, my friends, my message for you is to SLOW THE FUCK DOWN and enjoy the ride. Drive like you have no brakes.

Stay tuned for “How I got my $1,150.00 break job done for $300.00.”

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