As I login to write this I realise I still have the rest of conference to write about, but it’ll have to wait for another day.

Yesterday a rather exciting, although expensive, thing happened. To fully understand just how exciting this thing is, we need some background.

When I arrived home from conference, one of the first things I did was start up my car, to check it was running ok ready for work the next morning. Although it was a little reluctant to start, everything seemed to be fine. It wasn’t until the next morning when I realised just how wrong I was…

Monday morning was a typical Sydney summer morning – even at 6:40am it was quite warm outside. No problem I thought – I’ll just crank up the air conditioning in my car and all will be well. So I did, and I was driving along waiting for the car to reach a nice comfortable temperature.

And waiting.

And waiting. I turned up the fan speed. Still the car’s interior remained warm. I put my hand in front of the air vent. The air was decidedly uncool. In fact, it was around the same temperature as the rest of the car’s interior. My air conditioning had stopped working while I was away. I resigned myself to winding down the window in an effort to produce some cooling effect.

Fast forward a week. I rang up my friendly neighbourhood mechanic (well, at least he used to be – in fact he used to live right next door, but that was a long time ago) and asked him where I should take the car. He recommended I speak to Darren at Johno’s Auto Electrical (unlinked – unsurprisingly, there’s no website for this company). I’m still unsure why there is no Johno at Johno’s Auto Electrical, but I’m sure there’s a story to be told if I had asked.

I looked up the White Pages, and found their number. Darren was quite helpful on the phone, asked me what the symptoms were, and when I’d like to bring the car in. I told him sooner rather than later would be nice, and asked when he could fit it in. I was pleasantly surprised to find he could check out my car the very next day!

So I turn up at 7:30 the next day, wait around for a few minutes for Darren to show up. Rather nervously, I exchanged my car keys for, well, nothing really, apart from the promise of a phone call to tell me what was wrong.

Later that morning I got that phone call, with some mixed news. He cheerfully described the problem – an aluminium pipe somehow crucial to the operation of the airconditioning that ran across the front of the car, just beneath the radiator, was full of holes. Furthermore, the compressor oil had leaked through these holes in the pipe. Oh, and the filter for the airconditioning looked like it had never been replaced, and was badly clogged. All up, this would cost me $404.25 to fix, including regassing the system, replacing the compressor oil, a genuine Toyota pipe, and labour.

That sounded pretty expensive to me, until Darren explained that just the pipe would cost nearly $100, and that he’d need to do quite a bit of work to replace it. Compared to the thought of not having airconditioning, it didn’t sound so bad. I told him to go ahead.

Skipping over the rest of my hugely fun day at work (there ought to be sarcasm tags somewhere there), I got to Holsworthy station and enjoyed a nice airconditioned drive home. Ahh, such luxury. Hooray for competent and friendly mechanics.