Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Knox Horizon Compete Auto Care: Phil Williams Got to Meet Me! (published 4-3-2024; article #461)


Greetings to each international, national, and local reader! This article, the 102nd under the “Life (such as it is)” topic section, should be informative and humorous, especially for the local audience.

How many people does it take to replace a dining area light fixture? The conclusion answers the question!

This entry brings to mind the essay on 11/13/2023, which highly recommended Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care. I continue to commend those fine folks!

I'll share the story about how our 2012 Nissan Sentra became ill and how Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care made her well again. (Yes, our car is a she, and our truck is a he.) For further humor, I'll throw in a quick story, about the rental car's outpatient visit, on my father-in-law's 86th birthday.

Our Car's Sickness

On Wednesday, 3/20/2024, while returning from work, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman noticed that the car was ridding roughly at times. After she returned, I test-drove the car for about ten minutes. The ride was smooth, but the RPM (revolutions per minute) increased at slower speeds. I watched the tachometer spin up and heard the engine rev. I was not racing! The yellow “service engine soon” light was on.

I tinkered around the engine. I didn't see, smell, or feel any problems. One of these days, I may purchase a code reader.

On the next day, my wife drove our 2006 Nissan Frontier to and from work. By phone, Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care and I arranged a service appointment for the following Monday. A friendly human always answers your call, at Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care! I had hoped to get the car in sooner, but they have enough business to keep them jumping.

Afterward, on the same day, I arranged a rental car at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. (To reach the helpful local folks, press the star (*) key! You will bypass the robot.) My sister-in-law, who lives nearby with her father, took me to the car rental place. Thank you, “favorite” sister-in-law!

On Friday of that week, my wife drove the rental, a blue 2024 Toyota Corolla, to and from work. The quick story about the rental is in the next section.

The Rental Car's Out-Patient Visit

Arriving home that Friday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman told me that the rental car's tire pressure warning light was on. After allowing the tires to cool, I checked three tires. Each was overinflated. I reduced the air pressure. I assumed that the fourth tire (left rear) would be overinflated and that the overinflation had triggered the dashboard light. I was wrong! The left rear tire was under 20 PSI (pounds per square inch). Using the air compressor, I inflated the tire to the proper PSI.

The next morning, Saturday, the left rear tire pressure was still correct. Later, however, after my wife visited her folks and bought groceries, the tire pressure was low again. I felt along the tread and the outer sidewall. I felt around the inner sidewall. I didn't feel any foreign objects.

The next day, Palm Sunday, was my father-in-law's 86th birthday. The family gathered early that afternoon. Before joining the festivities, my call to Enterprise Rent-A-Car arranged a trip to Firestone, near the car rental location. I switched from my truck to the rental car at my father-in-law's house. (My wife had arrived in the rental before me.) Before leaving, I greeted everyone and wished my father-in-law a happy birthday.

Quickly, Firestone found the metal, lodged inside the inner sidewall, and replaced the tire. I rejoined the family gathering. My father-in-law enjoyed his birthday, especially the humor that was found inside the rental car's left rear tire!

Our Car's Recovery


On Monday, 3/25/2024, I managed to drive our car to Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care for the 9:30 AM appointment. The car shook a few times initially, but the RPM didn't rev up. The Interstate ride was smooth. An employee took the following photograph of our car, once she was in the service bay. (The hood latch was popped, but the hood wasn't raised yet.) I was able to download the image and include it in this article.

What was the illness? Our car needed a tune-up! A cylinder was misfiring at times. She also got an oil and filter change. Our car wouldn't be ready until the next day.

I recalled the tune-up mistake that I'd made, over four decades ago, on my 1976 Mustang Cobra II. The car, including two photographs, is mentioned in the 8/14/2022 short story “Cars & Trucks - 'the Significance of the Passage of Time'.”

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, vehicles were not computerized. You could tune up your own vehicle. The price of parts was reasonable. I had replaced the spark plugs and the plug wires. While test driving my Cobra, I felt shaking and had a rough ride. I had not connected two plug wires to the right spark plugs. Correcting that mistake smoothed out the ride, and my Cobra purred again!

A reader asks, “Who is Phil Williams? How did he get to meet you?” Graciously, my “favorite” sister-in-law came to get me and drove me back home. Thanks again, “favorite” sister-in-law!

I was standing near the front entrance door, behind one of the large glass windows, looking for my sister-in-law's arrival. I noticed a man, a few years older than me, get out of a white pickup truck. Once he came inside, I realized that I'd heard him, earlier that morning, on “The Phil Show,” NewsTalk 98.7 | WOKI-FM! That was Phil Williams!

This article nicknames Phil Williams “the Mouth of the South.” His personality and gift of gab are similar to another “the Mouth of the South” -- Jerry Clower (9/28/1926 - 8/24/1998). Phil Williams, I'm glad that you got to meet me! A longer conversation, with cups of strong coffee, would be interesting. Remember, sir, the adage, “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning!” On that Monday morning, the red sky brought rain the next day.

Would you like to hear Jerry Clower? I enjoyed watching and listening to “A Conversation With; 137; Jerry Clower,” 3/24/1975, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress). It's just over 29 minutes in length. Jerry Clower affirmed his biblical worldview and Christian lifestyle, as he shared his life and career stories. In the 1970s, Jerry Clower spoke at a Baptist Youth Convention, in Nashville, Tennessee. As a teenager, I laughed at his humor and was moved by his Christian testimony.

A Rainy Tuesday

The next day, Tuesday, our 2012 Nissan Sentra was healthy again. After work, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman arrived home. The rental car took us to get our car, at Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care. She was tuned up and purring again!

Only two-tenths of a mile separate Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care and the Enterprise Rent-A-Car location. I drove the rental that short distance, while my wife followed, driving our car. Having returned the rental, I drove us home in our car.

A reader asks, “After your wife arrived home, why didn't you turn in the rental, walk two tenths of a mile, and get the car? Why did your wife have to help?” That's a good question. It was raining fairly steadily. I don't like to walk with an umbrella over my head. I didn't want to take another shower!

Don't Be Too Nosy!

Another reader asks, “How much did you have to pay, just for the tune-up, in parts and labor?” The answer is, “Well, don't be too nosy!”

As Dad (Earl Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) used to say, “A dollar ain't worth much these days.” Inflation has only worsened.

I found a website called “Official Data.” In 1974, I assume that parts for a tune-up (spark plugs, intake manifold gasket set, and ignition coils) cost about $60. That may be a high estimate. The website calculated that $60 in parts in 1974 would cost $499.73 in 2024. That's an increase of a whopping 732.88%! Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care charged less than the current average cost for tune-up parts. Their labor cost, given the inflationary “a dollar ain't worth much these days” understanding, is reasonable.


As in the 11/13/2023 article, this entry highly recommends Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care! The job will be done right, on time, and at a reasonable cost. Moreover, I just like those fine folks! After all, if they can put up with Phil Williams and me, at the same time, then they have to be good!

So, how many people does it take to replace a dining area light fixture? Three: “favorite" sister-in-law, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and me. Earlier today, we got the job done in about three hours. Well, my father-in-law offered sage advice and used his electrical circuit tester. The green wire is the ground wire!

To my “favorite” sister-in-law, I'll close by saying, “I'm glad that we replaced the light fixture that hangs above the dining room table! One good turn deserves another! That's family.”

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