Known Johnson

January 9, 2006


Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:44 pm

I’ve had my truck just a little over three weeks now. I’ve kept her shiny and clean and new looking, dutifully going out every couple of days with the amazing California Car Duster to take off the latest layer of grime, wiping down the wheels of their coating of deep black new-car brake dust, and generally babying it. I like to keep my cars looking new as long as possible, and that’s usually quite a while

I’m reminded of this by this post on Bekah’s site. On the way home from work a few days after Christmas, just minutes from arriving at Alissa’s parents’ house where Amanda was being babysat, and just moments before exiting the freeway, a car in front of me swerved dramatically. I only had a moment to register what was happening as a long black strip flung up from under the shuddering car. With a disturbing series of thuds and thunks and rough bouncing, I realized I’d hit a shred of tire-tread. “Shred” is putting it mildly – this was a semi-truck tire, clearly obvious as I watched, from my rear view mirror, as it settled by the side of the road after a few more cars tangled with it. And it was the entire tread, which I figured must have been five or six feet in length. Hey, this is a truck, I figured. It probably just rolled right over it.

When I got out, I walked around the front not expecting to see anything and was shocked to see the center of my bumper, grill, and the front of my hood covered in black. I rubbed at it, and while it reluctantly gave way after some pressure was applied, my worst fear came true – my truck was damaged. Ten days old and already damaged, it was hard to believe. Let me refer you to my first paragraph again so that this doesn’t come off as overly melodramatic – we’re talking about a vehicle that cost us a lot of money and which we’d had in our possession about ten days. The gasp I let out when I saw that my grill was cracked should be forgiven; the string of swear words I let out when I saw that my front air dam was split was to be expected. The silence at seeing the permanent dent, albeit small, in the previously flawless, lovely Amazon green nose plastic should say it all. I was pissed.

A quick run to my parents cleaned the smears of rubber from my truck, but did little to help the actual broken pieces. Oh, okay, so maybe the grill looks broken only to me because I know where to look. But the fact remains that it’s broken. And, hey, I’ll even try and ignore that my right front wheel also sustained some finish damage from that friggin’ stupid ass piece of tire tread. But imagine how annoyed I was to find this weekend, nearly two weeks later, that the damage from that tired tread seems to have dribbled toward the back of the truck, where the shred took out the one last vicious beating it could. It actually managed to twist up and behind my rear tire, snarl a fang of the steel lining against both the rear mudflap and the rear quarter panel – leaving scraped plastic and scrapes through the paint. Three weeks old, people. Three weeks and already it looks like I’ve had it two years.

So the grill can be replaced, but I have learned why people scoff at buying Honda parts – they’re ridiculously expensive. A replacement grill for my truck – a piece of plastic, basically, that is about 18″ long and 5-6″ high, will run me $250. Now, I admit, this is not the original grill – it’s an optional, more “truck-like” mesh grill such as what you’d see on Ford F150s – but still . . . Three weeks and I’m replacing parts not for my own enjoyment but because of stupid damage I didn’t even cause.

Now, for those of you wanting a silver lining, or glass-half-full ending, I offer this: had I been driving my Toyota Matrix when I crossed paths with the angry tread, that strip of tire would have been in my windshield. Where it hit on my truck is the height at which it would have struck the lower portion of the windshield. The story to be told from that experience, I expect, would have been much more dramatic – I might have been regaling you with tales of damage done to me rather than just a car.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Saturday I got back to a little project that I’ve been working on for a few weeks. Back in December I had a minor mix-up with a large piece of ex-tire with my then one-week old truck. It cracked my grill, dented the bumper cover, and left an array of tiny damage in various mostly impossible to see places on my truck. I had briefly thought of investing in Honda’s aftermarket grill, a very truck-y looking solid-black grill, but at well over $200, that thought quickly evaporated. A while later I discovered that Ebay is the clearing house for stock Ridgeline grills and grabbed one for $25. Due to a shoddy seller, it took 40 days and lots of bitchy emails to finally get it in my hands – what a hassle – before I could even think about my next step. That, simply, was to paint the aluminum bars of the grill a dark color because, as other Ridgeline owners have noted, its stock grill just isn’t very truck-like looking. […]

    Pingback by Known Johnson | transitional internet concern » Blog Archive » Weekend update+ — April 23, 2006 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

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