Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Fall – Sleazy Car Dealers, and the Rains – Cornwall Ontario – October 4, 2010

Cornwall ON – Well it has been quite a week.  The torrential rainfall of last Thursday found many people in the area having to deal with water leaking into their homes and many waking up to flood waters in their basement Friday morning.  We hope all of you in this situation found quick resolutions to this dilemma.

I was walking down Pitt St. last Thursday morning and my eye caught a flurry of yellow on a door stop just outside one of the downtown retail locations.  A closer examination noted two wasps taking refuge from the rain in this covered area.  As we had a fairly steady downpour until Friday morning, I imagine these two became fast friends having to take cover until the rain stopped.  Further investigation into the habits of small winged insects noted that insects such as bees, butterflies and flies usually take cover during rain in the interest of self preservation.  Makes sense considering their delicate wing structure.

A friend recently wrote to share a story about a recent trip to a local Car Dealership.  Zelda (not her real name) visited her local Dealer as she thought she had a problem with her muffler as she noticed that her engine was sounding distinctively louder when she was running and idling the car.

She asked her Dealer to check if there was a problem with the exhaust system.  She was given an estimate of $1500.00 to replace the entire exhaust system.  This included the muffler and all the exhaust piping to and including the catalytic converter.  Further inquires with the Dealer found that there was a small hole where the piping met the muffler and that the entire system needed to replaced if a hole was found.
Now Zelda realized that having a fully functional exhaust system was important to our city air quality as well as her own air quality while driving this vehicle.  Another aspect that further irked Zelda was the thought of junking a perfectly functioning catalytic converter because of a small hole in the exhaust piping.
Seemed like a complete waste of resources.  With all this information in hand Zelda made an appointment with a local licensed mechanic (who came with good references from friends) to inspect the system to see where the problem was and if it could be repaired…welded?  This mechanic inspected the entire system with the client, checked the integrity of the metal in the exhaust system and determined that the hole could be repaired for about $100.00.
The moral of the story is that there is more than one way to skin a potato.  Zelda wanted to make sure that she was making the best use of all the resources that went into the production and maintenance of this vehicle.  In this case she reduced and reused her own parts in insuring the vehicle still functioned according to specifications.  Way to go Zelda.

In case you can’t believe that we are in the month of October, the frost on your lawn and car windows this past Sunday certainly opened ones eyes.  We are very fortunate to be able to enjoy the changing seasons and all the gifts they offer.  There is amazing beauty in each and every day.  Won’t you take the time to look?

Your commentary is encouraged and always welcome.  Kindly comment below or e-mail


  1. Great article Jacqueline. Sleazy car dealers bring to mind when I took a car into the dealership and asked that the brake discs and pads on 4-wheels be changed. Later that day I picked up the car and discovered that only the front ones had been done. They told me that the rears were okay so they didn’t replace them. I’m still getting the “brake grabbing” due to the mis-match. Why can’t car dealerships listen when they are told to do something instead of forcing their will on the customer?

  2. Jacqueline
    I think in light of all the enviromental issues this rain was much needed. I am not sure if you had the time, but if you travelled by Domtar and Big Ben you could smell the old odors again. They were quite prominent

    I believe the rains also have shown that mother nature can balance herself to a point.

  3. Author

    Tom you’re a twisted monkey 🙂

  4. Author

    lol, I’m glad to see you embrace science and technology finally Tom 😉

  5. good post tn, always at the consumer level.

    Just once I would like to see someone hold responsible industry. It sure beats switching from an incandescent lite bulb which bruns hydro electricity to a mercury filled lite bulb that requires special disposal methods.

Leave a Reply