Saturday, October 09, 2004

I Hate My Car

I know that's got to be bad karma and everything, but I'm so tired of this car, it's not even funny.

My car's been in the shop essentially since M was born more than two weeks ago. I had it for a week or so, but wasn't driving it much.

Basically, I've had a bad oil leak that I tried having fixed once earlier this year, but whatever they did, didn't fix it. So, when my alternator went out the day before M was born, they fixed the alternator and put some kind of dye into my engine so they could figure out where the oil leak was coming from, but I had to drive it for a while to get the dye to come out.

I finally took my car back in on Monday and they told me it was the intake manifold that needed to be replaced. (I have no idea what that is, but I just nod my head and go along.) So tonight, after paying $560, I hopped in my car, eager to find out if my driveway would be free of new oil stains.

One minor problem...when I started the car, my "Service Engine Soon" light came on. Of course, this is after K had left with the kids, thinking all was ok.

So, I walk back in to the shop and explain the problem and they essentially tell me there's nothing they can do about it tonight and I should go ahead and drive it home and bring it back on Monday (which I can't do because I have training all freaking week). But, being the nice guy I am, I said ok and got back in the car to head home.

Time for problem # 2! After I back out of the parking space, I start to drive away as I realize something mildy spedometer's not working!!! "I swear officer, my spedometer I was going 0!"

I walk BACK to the shop and tell them this, so now I have two mechanics out there looking at my car and neither one can figure out why this would be the case and they explain that the computer's locked up for the weekend. Again, they urge me to drive it home and bring it back on Monday and they'll figure it out.

At this point, I'm obviously not very happy with the situation as I get back into the car to drive (carefully) home.

But wait! There's more!

Just as I get ready to drive away, I'm looking out over the hood of my car and realize that steam and/or smoke is slowly coming out from somewhere inside.

So I get out of the car AGAIN to go back into the shop AGAIN!!! One of the guys takes a look at it and seems to think it's just leftover antifreeze still sitting on the engine after they refilled it after they did the work in that intake manifold. (Glad they were so cautious as they refilled my antifreeze.)

So I FINALLY get back on the road and then, miraculously, the spedometer starts working! Although, it still doesn't work right away when you start going. Then, the "Service Engine" light went off....but then it came back on again.

And THEN...I decided to turn on the air conditioner because I was a little warm and despite having the upper vents button pressed, only my feet were getting air. Not good. One more thing for them to take a look at.

Now, if this were any other business, believe me, I'd be naming them publicly right here for the whole world to read. The thing is, this garage is owned by the friend of a friend and I'd like to give them the chance to make it right.

So far, all of the attempts to fix the oil leak have cost me around $1,000 and that's just since January. Add on the water pump and alternator and I've spent nearly $1,800 just this year.

Did I mention that I drive a 92 Olds Cutlass Supreme that has a book value of about $1,000???


(Breathing deeply...relax...ohmmmm....)

OK...that's all of my ranting for the evening (so far anyway).

I hope your day's been better than mine.