I’m an idiot

November 3, 2009 · 15 comments

 

I’m freakin’ stupid. Not only am I stupid, but I’m also $180 poorer. On Saturday I pulled my car in to my parking space. The car in the space next to mine was about half way in to my spot so I had to pull super close to a fence on the other side of my stall. I made a mental note to myself: “When you back up don’t forget how close you are to the fence.”

Guess what. This morning, when I was backing out of my spot, I forgot how close I was to the fence. Instead of listening to the sweet sounds of my radio. I was welcomed by crushing plastic as my passenger side mirror was being pulled off by one of the fence posts. As my attention turned to the mirror, I swear time stood still, and in an epic slow motion scene, I watched the plastic casing around my mirror explode in to the air and fall to the ground. Fence: 1, Debt Ninja’s driving: 0.

It pretty much ruined the rest of my day. I couldn’t stop thinking what an idiot I was. Who explodes their side mirror? Unfortunately I do. I called the Toyota dealership to get a quote and they told me it would be $350+ for parts and labor. Hell to the no, I said. I did a little google research and was able to find the entire side mirror for $180. Fortunately the install is extremely easy, takes about five minutes, so I should be able to save myself $200 bucks by doing it ghetto ninja style.

Let this be a lesson to all: Don’t run your car’s mirrors into a metal fence, chances are the fence is going to win. Thankfully, I can afford the repair and don’t have to put it on a credit card. If you got car issues, you should always google for installation instructions to see if it can be a do it yourself project. I might be $180 poorer, but it’s a whole heck of a lot better than being $400 poorer.

Help me feel a little better about my stupidity and share some sweet stories about costly things you have done. Have you had some stupid car issues? Ever sit on a really nice pair of glasses? Or maybe you threw your Nintendo Wii remote at your flat screen tv like this guy.

1 Michelle

We've all been-there, done-that – luckily, we have ninja repair skills in my household, too. I popped a very high curb in my 4runner and managed not to do any wheel/rim damage, but knocked off the rear quarterpanel (behind the back wheel). It was just plastic into a plastic bracket, but with broken plastic, I thought, "Toyota's gonna be thrilled for my $200 for that bracket." but it wasn't $200 – it was a whole panel replacement at $650! Because a BRACKET was broken?! Um, no thank you. Out comes the gorilla glue and gorilla tape, and I've been driving with the ninja-fix 500 miles a week for about 6 months without it coming loose.

2 Duddes02

Dude, that is nothing compared to my stupidity.

I bought a used Honda and the knob to turn the heat up and down fell off.

So being an idiot, I bought SUPER GLUE and GLUED the knob back on. What happened? The knob got GLUED shut. It wouldn't turn. AND I GLUED that knob back on while it was on HIGH. What a terrible mistake.

I had to replace the entire panel in the front

Super Glue: $1.99
Panel: $500 plus labor

:(

3 me in millions

I was parking my car also. I pulled up too far over the curb (my car sits pretty low to the ground) because I was parking next to this huge SUV. The SUV was pulled in pretty far and I didn't judge the distance right. When I reversed, I pulled off most of the front bumper. That was about $600. I've heard things like this refered to as the "stupid tax." And I felt stupid.

4 Shauna

My crackberry has scotch tape on it. FYI – scotch tape is slippery. Yeah…

5 Forest

In high school I jumped on a girl's car just to be funny and ended up denting the roof and had to pay a cool $1000 to fix it. That was dumb.

6 kck2780

I've been-there-done-that as well with my side mirror and we did the same thing as you – bargain hunted. My husband, who fortunately is super handy, found the part on eBay for less than 1/2 what the dealership was going to charge us.

Another rip off? Electronic key fobs. We had lost 2 of them for my last car and I called the dealership and was quoted $120/each – WHAT?!?! Search on eBay yielded 2/$30 – we just had to do the programming, which was simple!

Can't believe dealerships rip people off so bad! Wait… yes I can. :(

7 myprettypennies

Awwww that sounds exactly like my first "incident" when I was 16 in my dad's new car and turned too sharp near a pole. Needless to say $350 was a lot of money for a sophomore in high school and my dad made me pay 100% of it all. Lesson learned. :(

8 Kyle

Ha, don't feel bad. I took the side mirror off of my car with the garage. I was able to find an OEM part online though for only $80 and fortunately the color keyed shell from the original was still intact. I will tell you what though.. You won't do it again.

9 Mrs. Micah

I did that. I was maybe 17…my parents were getting a new freezer and had unplugged the old one in the garage to defrost. Before getting into the car, I shut the freezer door enough so that it was out of the car's path.

But I forgot about the mirror. And the freezer door would only go out to 180 degrees, it didn't bend forgivingly backward to uncatch the mirror. By the time I realized what was happening, the mirror had been pulled off.

We ended up not getting it fixed, as it was on the passenger side and the car was only 2 years away from retirement.

10 Anonymous

I had just gotten my driving permit when my mom thought it would be a great idea for me to drive through the take out window at Popeye's chicken. I took off the side mirror on the drive through window while the girl was standing right there holding our chicken out of the window. Ugh, embarrassing.

- Courtney

11 TeacHer

Haha, I did almost the same thing, except it was a brick wall, not a fence , and I was reaching for a cigarette, and BAM. Mirror into brick wall.

See kids, smoking is expensive (~$150 to fix mirror), and it can kill you. Just maybe not the way you thought.

BTW – what kind of car do you have?

12 Josh

From the comments above Ninja I guess everybody has done something stupid when it comes to cars.

For me, I was always taught to leave my manual car in 1st gear with the park brake on when you switched it off. One day Dad and I were tinkering under the hood and Dad hollers out 'OK son, start her up'. I think to myself, 'That's convenient, the keys are still in the igntion'. So I reached in the open window and fired it up. My old beast of a car then sputtered to life, and since it was in 1st gear it dragged itself up the hill towards my house. Luckily Dad managed to dive out of the way. It finally stalled when it crashed into the garage. I don't cry easily but that day I did, due to the embarassment, the damage to my car/house, and almost running over dear old Dad.

13 Bucksome Boomer

We all do stupid things. What makes us stupid is if we don't learn from the mistakes. My last car incident was not judging the entry to my one-car garage correctly and scraping the front bumper.

Fortunately, my husband was able to buff it out.

14 Michele

I wasn't stupid (this time anyway), but after I paid $1500 to replace the air conditioning in my 14 year old car (I live in AZ so 110 degree heat WITH a 4 year old is steps for murder suicide). Not 3 weeks later the door (blend door) that allows that lovely cold air into the car broke… in the heat position (you know when you twist that dial from blue to red and vice versa – that operates the blend door). I was beside myself to kill something or someone. The mechanic shop gave me a quote for 8 hunnert dollas – WTF? It was a $25 part that needed $750+ labor to get to since the dash had to be pulled off. I refused the quote and walked my sweaty self back to the car.

Did a search on Google and found someone that posted a 5 minute fix. I read it, ran off to the store and had cool air in the 5 minutes from start to finish for less than $7 (I had to hack in with a knife but you cannot see what or where since it is behind the glove compartment). Sure, it is ghetto and I will have to open up the "new door" to close the blend door for heat, but that is A-OK! $793 in my savings OK!!

15 Frank

Mine was this morning on the way to work! My nice 22" Chrome wheels on my nice hot rod! I don't even let the rims get too dirty… While driving my phone rings and I have a car bluetooth system so I won't get distracted. Guess what! When the phone rang I looked at the radio screen to see who is calling. Next thing I know, crack, I ram into the median with my front tire! I got out and looked….:-( Chrome rims vs. Concrete median? Median 1, Chrome rim 0! Rim completely scratched. Probably about $400 if they still make it!

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