My dear husband owns (and drives) an old car – 1983 Toyota Corolla, which he loves dearly.

This is not a pristine vehicle. It has been well-used and well-loved for 30+ years. However, the engine runs just fine.

So, we live in California, so it is time to smog the vehicle.

When he takes his car to a smog place, they tell him they won’t smog it because it is already running rough; AND they don’t want to try to do any repairs. He has already been told by his regular place they are not comfortable working on the car. Presumably because it predates the plug your car into a computer and the computer will tell you what to do era of auto mechanics.

Okay. So off we go to the Toyota dealership. Surely, they can deal with an older Toyota.

First, they only have one guy who has the training/experience to work on this old of a car; but on the plus side this guy is also a smog expert. Win!

Except, now we’re told the fuel tank filler neck (the part that goes from where you put the fuel into the car to the fuel tank is “distorted.” How you distort a filler neck is beyond me – but my guess would be whoever smogged the car last time forced the hook up and bent it.

You see when you have a car smogged, part of the process is they hook up to the gas intake – and it has to seal. Our filler neck is good enough to seal when we get gas, but not good enough to seal for a smog check. For fuck’s sake.

Okay. So we need a fuel tank filler neck. Fine Mr. Toyota Man, order us one. Only Toyota has discontinued the part. WTF? We are told by Mr. Toyota Man that we will have to supply the part. Double WTF?

Now the search is on.

I have spent a good part of today trying to run down the part with no luck. I started with Toyota parts – nope. Then I went on to Toyota restoration sites – nope. Now I’m down to salvage places. We’ll see.

I haven’t given up yet. EBay has a part that will ostensibly fit (not a Toyota part), but it’s $100 and I hate to order something that isn’t going to work for sure.

But I have one message for Toyota – Making cars that last a really long time is a wonderful thing. Not being able to keep those cars on the road because the inlet to the gas tank is “distorted” and you can’t get the fucking part you need is ridiculous.

Things that make me go grrrrrrrrrr.

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