Last Thursday, as I come to the end of the exit ramp off Hwy 100, the Neon started smoking.
Knowing this is generally a bad sign, I called up Stinson Auto and they sent over a tow truck. The tow truck driver took one whiff of the car and frantically disconnected the battery.
“I don’t want it bursting into flame on me.”
Guess I should grab my laptop from the passenger seat then.
Early Friday morning, Matt from Stinson Auto calls – says the driver’s side front brake line collapsed. End result – brakes could be applied, just not released. The smoke was the wheel fighting with the brake when I hit the accelerator.
On the plus side – the Neon and it’s lack of hauling capacity was out of the way during the move.
The last week or so, I’ve noticed an odd squeaking coming from the driver-side front tire. Shows up a little over 20mph and it gets louder the faster I go. Not a good sign. Turn the wheel left or right at any speed and it completely disappears. Nothing.
I had to stop by Stinson Auto anyway to pay for the brake job and alignment they did prior to this noise appearing.
After driving a couple of blocks, Eric the Mechanic tightened the odd plastic, threaded nuts on the hubcaps. Yep, that was it.
Back when Saint Paul the Auto Repairman fixed my tie rod end, he noticed the front brakes needed to be done and warned:
“You’re going to lose a caliper.”
He also warned the alignment was off. To go straight, turn the steering wheel 60 degrees off normal. No, Jen didn’t want me driving the car until both problems were fixed.
I poked around CarTalk’s MechanXFiles for a reputable repair shop nearby. I found Stinson Auto, just a few blocks away.
Yeah, it’s that local, half-run down auto shop you drive by and wonder if they’re any good or just a front for the mafia.
I gave them a call, dropped the Neon off, and at about 4pm, they call me with an estimate. Reasonable, especially considering they planned on fixing it yet this evening.
Six hours later – yes – 10pm.
“This is Joe from Stinson Auto, wondering if you’d like to pick up your car yet tonight.”
(I waited until morning)
They far surpassed my expectations on all accounts, that’s NE Minneapolis for you.
Stinson Automotive Inc
3300 Stinson Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55418