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"What if your car breaks down?"

The countdown for my departure is on, but I unfortunately already know, that I cannot stick to it. For the past three years, Fred has been in a good shape and hardly needed any major repairs, but now something is due. The driving still works, but something rattles noticeably. Therefore, next Monday is going to be the day, when parts close to the gearbox will need to be fixed. (Yes, that's right, that's when my trip was supposed to begin).

Honestly, my almost fatalistic gut feeling would have been surprised if nothing had "gone wrong" prior to my departure.

Fatalism - the will to surrender to the power of seemingly unchangeable fate

Thus, the "power of fate" keeps me from leaving for a few more days, but the repair needs to be done and I am not in a hurry. Who knows what this is good for. Maybe even for this article, because I've got some time now to report about my time underneath the car.

Preparations: Car Repair Shop Internship

"What if your car breaks down?" is a question I often get. Of course, I too thought, that I'd be better off being able to fix basic things myself, so I decided that I would like to learn that stuff hands-on.

One afternoon in October 2022, I went to my repair shop of choice and asked, whether they'd teach me in as an intern. They let me enter the sacred halls and a new chapter began. I've taught myself some skills during the last few years with the bus conversion and on the building site of a house, but from that day on, I was finally allowed to take a look inside and underneath the cars. A wish of mine became true, that I've had for a long time, because in my opinion, automotive mechatronics have the most awesome profession, since they're able to use many exciting tools and they need to master plenty of cool skills.

From November on, I spent many cold winter days with the team, working between welding equipment, soldering irons, cable ties, tires and struts. With plenty of filter coffee, the air filled with the smoke of cold cigarettes, and the smell of oil, I've been taught a lot and I was incredibly happy to be there.

The time in the repair shop was one of my best decisions, because as I watched wheels, oil and timing chains being changed, as the interrelationships of the parts were explained to me and as I gradually began to understand them, I gained confidence that I can manage at least some of these repairs myself. Above all, however, I got an idea of what can be fixed, how much effort and which tools this would take, and what I'd better not touch myself.

Source of definition: Oxford Languages


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