Friday, February 18, 2022

Success.....I think....

 8:07 am - Friday - February 18th - Newell House, AZ - 43° F, 27% humidity, wind 2 mph out of the east by northeast......crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 70° F.  On this date in 2010 TLE and I were standing atop Sandia Crest at 10, 678' near Albuquerque, NM.....↴

After posting my latest missive, and fast walking 1 mile with TLE I headed into Wickenburg to visit the local Napa Auto Parts store, and also O'Reilly's to pick up some automotive parts for Tom.  As it turned out the rotors, and brake pads Tom had ordered were identical to the ones Amazon had sent, and I knew they would not work.  It appears my particular model of 2001 VW Beetle (2.0 sport turbo) either came from the factory, or was upgraded at a later date to heavier duty rotors and pads.  All the markings on my calipers show VW/Audi on them, so they appear to be OEM, I guess, but they are definitely different than stock, which is what everyone keeps trying to sell me.  

My stop at O'Reilly's was more fruitful.....the parts Tom ordered were ready, and I was able to 'borrow' a brake caliper tool set for the rear brakes on the VW.  I watched a couple of videos on replacing the rear brakes, and the guy suggested you could borrow this special compression tool needed to compress the caliper cylinder from O'Reilly's.  Sure enough they did have it, and I borrowed it.  Of course borrowing in this sense means you leave a $65 deposit (the value of the tool set), which is refunded when you return the tool.

As I wrote previously, the reason I was replacing the front pads and rotors was because I'm getting a little brake 'chatter', or wobble when I apply the brakes at speed, and that usually means a warped rotor.  It's also been 8 years since I had a complete (front and rear) brake job in at Higher Ground Autoworx in South Lake Tahoe, and I figured why not just replace everything.  The kicker is the front pads are not that worn at all (amazingly), and the rotors really look just fine, except for that wobble thing.  I decided to call a local brake place (Brake Masters in Surprise) to see what it would cost to 'turn' them, or as they say "resurface them".  The cost quoted was $15/rotor.  These rotors have never been 'turned' and there is still plenty of material, so it's worth the $30 to 'turn' them and see if that gets rid of the 'chatter'.

I removed both rotors, and headed into Surprise around 1 pm.  I also needed to drop off the Amazon rotors and brake pads at the local UPS Store, so after dropping off the rotors I headed over to the UPS store, which is about 3 miles away from Brake Masters.  The guys at Brake Masters assured me it would take about an hour to "resurface" the rotors.

As one might imagine, the UPS Store at mid afternoon was quite busy.  There were about 10 people in line in front of me.  Those rotors and brake pads are pretty heavy, so I had to keep finding places to set them down as the line shrank in front of me.  Finally, about 20 minutes later I was at the desk letting the nice lady scan the 3 QR codes for the two rotors (separate packages), and pads.  It took a couple of minutes, and I was on my way.  By this time 40 minutes had elapsed, and one of my least favorite things to do is sit in auto repair lounges, so I stopped off at the local Goodwill, and browsed for about 30 minutes before heading back to Brake Masters.  True to their word, they were pulling the 2nd rotor off their machine, and handing both the "resurfaced' rotors to me.  I asked what the total cost would be and the guy says "If we generate a billing in the system it will be $32, including tax, but if you have $20 cash we'll call it even"....wait, what?  I couldn't get that $20 out of my wallet fast enough.  By the way, Yelp gives this store 4 stars, and they deserve it!

It was closing in on 3 pm by this point, so I put the rotors in the back of the car (I borrowed Tom's Honda CRV), and headed for home arriving there about 20 minutes later.  I hadn't done my afternoon fast walk yet, so I took care of that, then began to reinstall the freshly "resurfaced' rotors.  The acid test will be to take a test drive, and see if the wobble is gone.  

I didn't have time to do the test drive as it was 4:45 pm by the time I finished putting away my tools, and were were going into Wickenburg with Tom, Darlene, and Wade to celebrate Wade's birthday at a local Mexican eatery named Anita's Cocina.  I hadn't had anything to eat all day save a bowl of Cheerios around 12 pm, and I was starved.  I ordered their two taco plate, and a glass of ice beer for me while I'm  We had a very pleasant time eating, talking and laughing.  A nice ending to a successful day.  Now to test drive the VW!

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