The Rocker Arm Dilemma

If I have said it before…then I have probably said it thrice.

I am not a mechanic.

I leave that to the gear heads, grease monkeys, engine block heads, and basically any other name given to the members of society that can dissect an issue with a vehicle and fix it.

(Those names I used are not a bash to the profession of vehicle mechanics. I actually am extremely jealous of anyone who can…..and does work on vehicles for a living. I neither have the patience nor complex mindset it takes.)

My truck, a 1998 GMC Sierra with the highly original paint job known as “freaking black spray paint” (long story for another time), had to go into the shop.

My in-laws suggested a mechanic. I was quite skeptical. It is not because I don’t trust their opinion….I do….but…

The last time I had my father in law help me with a vehicle problem it got ugly fast.

Our 2 highly intelligent non vehicle troubleshooting minds decided that the alternator needed to be changed.

He and another relative starting taking parts off the engine. They would look at the parts and say,

“What’s this?”

They would both shrug their shoulders, put that part down and continue to take other parts off.

I watched close enough to be able to put the parts back on after they left.

I vowed to never ask them for vehicle help again.

And guess what…

Oops I did it again.

He suggested his mechanic. His name is Charlie. He said he was a good ol’ boy who was reasonable, professional, and honest.

I reluctantly took his advice.

Today, I went to pick up my pick up.

I was fearing the worst as in a cracked block or the head gasket. My fears were agreed upon by other bloggers who came by the same decision after reading my post entitled- “the Google Conclave”.

The problems I was having with the vehicle fit the symptoms of having a bad head gasket or worse.

I got to Charlie’s place and asked what was wrong.

He said,

“You had a broken rocker arm.”

My keen mind ingested what he had told me and a single image popped into my head…..

I thought to myself. Rick Allen has been playing drums for Def Leppard for well over 20 years with only one rocker arm. Why can’t my truck keep rocking without one?

I kept that question to myself. I don’t think Charlie was ever a Def Leppard fan.

He then showed me what a broken rocker arm looks like…

He then explained what he had to do to get to it and replace it. He also explained why and how it works in conjunction with the other engine parts.

I don’t know what he hell he said but he sounded knowledgeable saying it.

The question that was asked next always gives me a knot in my stomach.

“How much do I owe you.”

Typically….mechanics are cocky and expensive. They are a bit too proud for my tastes when it comes to how much they charge.

I expected an arm for an arm.

His reply…..


I get to keep my arm…..and he had earned another loyal customer.

And this also makes up for my father in law playing 52 part pick up….with my pick up.

With this successful trip to the mechanic my spray painted black truck should be able to rock for ages.