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Ask the Diesel Dyke: Cars reflect sexuality

By | 2016-06-11T09:00:00-04:00 June 11th, 2016|Opinions|

By Lena Thompson

So, some guy asked me if I only work on female cars, since I am “the diesel dyke.” The answer is no, but it brings me to another question. Are cars/trucks female or male, straight or gay?
I think it’s safe to say that the personalities of people are definitely reflected in their choice of vehicle. And there are Web sites that list the most popular LGBT vehicles, so there is something to say about vehicle preferences vs. the subculture we may belong to. Case in point: a friend asked me if I was going to Score nightclub on a Friday night. I told her I didn’t think it was gay on Fridays, only Saturdays, but I decided to drive by anyway, looking for a place to party. When I arrived in the parking lot, I got an immediate feeling that I had NOT arrived on lesbian night. Just looking at the types of vehicles, their make/model, color, condition É I could tell it was a “straight” night! I didn’t even have to go inside to confirm. The vibe was overwhelmingly hetero!
So, this brings me to the real questions of the day É

Unpredictable vibrations

Dear Diesel Dyke,
You are the answer to my prayers, and I’m hoping that you can help a sistah out!
At varying speeds, my 2005 Mini Cooper S starts ticking. The sound is coming from around the left side of the dash. This sound is wholly unpredictable: high speeds, low speeds; cold winter days, warmer spring days; after startup on a cold engine and after I’ve been driving for half and hour and the engine’s warmed up.
The problem is that the mechanics at the local dealership (not the one from which I purchased the car) cannot reproduce the sound. I’m sure it’s a minor repair, and I suspect that it stems from a repair that the dealer I bought it from had to undertake a week after I got the car: its sunroof was leaking and the mechanics had to tear off the headliner and lift up the dash panel, too.
Do you have any ideas?
— Jacqueline

Jacqueline,
My first guess is that this noise IS related to the dash panel work, especially if you did not have that noise before the last repair. Too bad it happened so soon after purchase, then you would definitely know it was from the last repair.
Body interior noises can be a pain to diagnose, because they are usually a reaction to something else that is vibrating. But, I suspect that whatever they loosened up behind that dash is now being aggravated by some other vibrations from your engine (and different frequencies set it off). Unfortunately, the duplication part sucks. That can be a technician’s worst problem to overcome and most times it cannot be overcome if the concern is not duplicated. But a good thorough visual inspection of the dash area may turn up something obvious. They can perform wiggle tests and re-tighten dash bolts, etc..
I would also guess that a connector from a wiring harness is rattling against the body of the vehicle. They may have broken/lost some sort of harness retainer during the last repair. Bottom line: take it back to the people who did the work. They should not charge you if it’s related to something they messed up.
Take care! Diesel-Dyke

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.