• Karolena Serratos

Pilot Says He'd Think It's a Scam

On the way to my annual family vacation I had a chat with a pilot. As I was the only through passenger we had some time. He was shocked when he learned I ran an auto repair shop. Most people are; I always forget how weird it must sound. He was asking me all types of questions and wanted to know if I could guess what happened to his daughter's car that left her stranded. I got it right: her belt broke. I asked if she was planning on keeping the car long and if so, did they replace the belt tensioner. He replied no.


I explained to him how belt technology has advanced but the tensioners life spans have not. Inside the pulleys have unserviceable bearings and if the tensioner goes out, she could be in the same predicament. He said he never thought of that, and I went on to tell him the hardest part of my job is educating people on how to sustain the liability of what is a car. He told me yeah, "I would think it would be a scam if you told me to replace the tensioner at the same time when I could just put on a new belt". I laughed and I said, and if the belt broke again would you come back to me? "Well uhh, yeah I guess so. Probably replace the tensioner then", he said laughing while adding "and might as well put another belt too".


The conversation got me thinking though: how many people would go back to the place that recommended the tensioner? Admitting you made the wrong decision and putting your kid in harm's way recklessly when a certified professional told you the risks seems like a position many people would not be open to. (That could be an entire different post not related to cars though...) I think one of the bigger problems in our society is that it.doesn't value or educate children on how to keep up with something. Just because something is easily replaceable doesn't mean we should take it for granted. Just because we can afford to purchase something doesn't mean we can afford to sustain it.


My grandmother always told me to spend my money wisely, to buy the highest quality you can afford, including keeping it up.