What’s with the car?

It is with a qualified sigh that I relate having collected my new car from the dealership service department today. After almost two months of complaining and hounding the dealership principles and Lincoln Motor Company all seems well with the exception of a cosmetic part on order.  The final proof is to test the erstwhile offending exhaust system from a cold start tomorrow morning. It is but hesitatingly that I rub the palms of my hands together in utter glee as after parking the vehicle following a prolonged drive this afternoon there was minor evidence of what seemed to be carbon residue from what was otherwise a solely Adam’s ale condensation. For the moment however I shall content myself with having regained possession of my new toy and so far having tested it with mostly favourable results.

The evolution of this most current vehicular drama began earlier this morning when the assiduous Denis Duhaime, Sales and Leasing Consultant, Lincoln Heights Ford Sales Limited sent me an email confirming that the exhaust system had been replaced and the passenger door aligned with the frame. Upon my enquiry Mr. Duhaime further confirmed the cosmetic part had been ordered and that the dealer ID have been removed from the bumper of the vehicle. Both Mr. Duhaime and Ann of the Service Department assured me that the replacement exhaust system was new from stock. The initial evidence is that the new exhaust system has materially altered the look and offence of the former system’s emissions. The condensation has altered from multiple contaminated drips to mainly particles of water.

As for the car generally speaking, it is an unparalleled dream to drive! Immediately upon seating myself once again in the cockpit of the Aviator I recovered my former gusto for the contraption! A statutory car wash replenished the gleam of the polished veneer; the engine behaved like a colt on the halter; the wheel balance and alignment were to my unprofessional assessment accurate; the acceleration was strong; the electric windows, the sound system and the interior adjustments functioned as they should. So enthused was I by the manifest skill and perfection of the vehicle that I had to remind myself of its wholly material nature. For one such as I – that is, one who is irrepressibly committed to the delicacy and accuracy of complex mechanical devices – it is my supreme satisfaction to experience the proper enactment of its constituent parts. I will do my audience the favour of abandoning further adoration for the domestic motor vehicle by saying only that the achievement of its correct functioning is the pure and simple goal. I dare say its propriety eclipses my obsessiveness.

There is a furtive element surrounding the previous turmoil.  The expression, “follow the money” is not without its import even in these matters of trifling consequence. To be clear it hasn’t anything to do with the expense. I would be equally irate if it were my new pen which didn’t work as it ought. The monetary factor merely punctuates the significance of performance because otherwise the experience is a deceit. Though the entitlement of the consumer to delivery of goods as advertised is unquestionable it is unfortunately also true that not every retailer or manufacturer fulfills the eligibility.  Indeed it is sadly my acquaintance after encountering repeated shortfalls in the functioning of even the mostly costly and reputedly fine-tuned creations that none of them escapes the liability of Nature. Where the dilemma becomes exceedingly and unnecessarily annoying is when confronted with the failure of those in charge to respond without repeated reference. This is one of those inexorable facts of life.

Below are photos of the emissions from under the car early this morning (Friday, June 5, 2020) after a cold start. In fairness the condensation only materialized after a longer than usual idle of the engine (say 8 minutes).  Initially after running the engine from start to low rpm idle (say 4 minutes) there was nothing discharged from the exhaust. This first photo shows residue with at least the appearance of mostly just condensation without the tell-tale blotch of carbon (as seen in the second photo). The conclusion is that a degree of uncontrolled contamination is inescapable – the patina of reality.

The breadth of my current agenda is shamefully nothing beyond the immediate. My parents are dead. I have retired. I am overall damaged goods. We can’t go south next year because of the pandemic. I relinquished the prospect of further political involvement.  The golf club dining room is closed. The coffee shops in Burnstown and Prescott are closed.  The waterside luncheon table at Ivy Lea Club is closed. In this confining context it seems hardly inspiring to cite bicycling, reading, writing, photography, piano and Netflix TV as the fabric of one’s entire humanity. Yet it is so.

Small wonder the motor vehicle with its engineering and artistic superlatives should consume me! It gives me enormous pleasure as well to re-enact a conduct similar to that of my late father who, like his own father, was an unrepentant car buff. Specifically my father relished spontaneous road trips to his beloved New Brunswick where he coalesced with those surrounding and insinuating his land holdings near Moncton. But it was the car ride which fully characterized his purposeful individuality and much-esteemed mobility. It appears that I too have the undisputed privilege of blaming my own contamination upon Nature!