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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's A Man's World

I live approximately forty-five minutes away from State School. I was about fifteen minutes into my drive on Monday when I heard this rather peculiar noise coming from the right side of my car.

PPPTTTTHHHBBBBB

Yes, that was it, and it was vibrating. I was sure that I had gotten a piece of trash stuck in my rim or something, so when the noise stopped I didn't think anything of it.

Then my steering wheel started to shake.

"No problem," I thought to myself. "I'm sure it's just my alignment or something."

I drove on to school and competed the day without any thought to the matter.

On the way home, my steering wheel was shaking so badly I could barely keep the car on the road. When I let go of the wheel it jerked the entire car to the right. Again, I was not concerned, having just put a new rim on my car I assumed that I just needed to get my alignment checked.

You guessed it readers-- that "PTHHB" noise I heard on the way to school was my tire being blown out. I drove almost an hour on the rim.

Now, it is a well-known fact around my friends and family that I despise dealing with "car-people," and I'll tell you why.

A few years ago I blew out the transmission in my car. Apparently if you don't change the oil ever it can cause some damage. This little tidbit of information aside, I took it back to the dealer to have it rebuilt. Two weeks later they called and told me I could come pick up the car.

I gratefully gathered my car from the dealer, took it home, put the ignition in park, and turned the engine off. When I went to pull out the key- it was stuck. I tried jiggling it, tried cursing at it; hell, I even tried turning the engine on and off-- no luck. One of our bouncers used to work for an auto parts place, so I asked him what the problem may have been. He told me that it was my linkage.

Apparently (and this is all second hand information), there's this thing called a linkage which attaches your gear shifter thingy to your transmission. When they took my transmission out to rebuild it and put it back in, they didn't adjust the linkage properly.

I called the dealership and told them I needed them to adjust my linkage. I took the car back to them, and three days later they called me.

"Miss Waitress," they guy from the dealership said, "we think it's your starter."

So, they changed my starter, charged me a few hundred for it, called me two days later, and I went and happily picked up my car.

I drove the car home, put it in park, turned off the engine, and attempted to pull out they key.

Yupper, the key wouldn't come out.

I called the dealership again, told them they needed to adjust my linkage. I took the car in and four days later they called me.

"Miss Waitress," he said, "we think it's your ignition switch."

So, they changed my ignition switch, then they had to change my locks because they key wouldn't match, charged me a few hundred for it, called me two days later, and I went and picked up my car.

I drove the car home, put it in park, turned off the engine, and attempted to pull out the key.

Guess what, kiddo's?

No freaking key.

So, I called my Dad, filled him in and he called the dealership for me.

He took the car in, and they called me later that day.

"Miss Waitress," they guy said, "we think it's your linkage."

I. Shit. You. Not.

When all was said and done, thanks to my Father, they refunded the price of the starter, ignition switch, and re-keying.

So, back to Monday. My Dad went and picked up my tire. And they charged him $20 less than they quoted me on the phone.

19 Comments:

Anonymous spandex said...

That's why when you go to a mechanic you only let them do what you told them to do in the first place.

6:49 PM  
Blogger 6th Floor blog said...

Car People, and Computer Tech Support people. I hate dealing with both. I don't face the same stereotype, but it doesn't seem to make them any easier to deal with.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Lizabeth said...

i used to have an old volvo we called the "exploding vulva". it had to be fixed so often, i eventually figured out the mechanic was doing it on purpose and it was costing me more than car payments. unfortunately, i didn't have a man in my life who could strong arm the, or any, mechanic, and i sucked it up and bought a used car with a warrantee.

i am glad you have some support!

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugh that sucks. completely true though, freaking mans world.

hey, what happened to the second installment to your previous post? did i miss it somehow?

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Ms. Waitress, you have my empathy. I was car shopping recently with my fiance. Note the fact that I, not WE were car shopping. I am selecting it, I am financing it and I am signing for it. Not only did they continually speak to my so than me. When I asked and question, they looked at him and answered it. I told them point blank that I, not WE, not HIM, was buying the car and that information should be directed toward me. The salesmen actually asked kept looking at SO to answer the questions. Imagine his surprised when I dropped all information, sought out the manager stating the reason I was leaving and would not receive my business that day was for above stated behavior and maybe he should do a better job training his employees. I went across the street to another dealership and purchased a different car that was on my list and took it back across the street and showed the salesman the car that I, not WE bought. In Cash.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I was once told by a mechanic (or rather my BOOBS were told by a mechanic) that all clutches needed to be rebuilt after 60000 miles. And that is why I wind up spending probably more than I should on the Car Care warranty for the vehicles I buy. It's amazing how efficient and helpful the dealer's repair shop can be when THEY KNOW YOU AIN'T PAYIN' 'EM A DIME AND THEY HAVE TO FIX IT ANYWAY.

Bastards.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

I am stunned to hear that actually happens. As a small business owner I can't imagine trying to pull that shit on someone.
Being a technopeasant, I once took my computer in to a shop to be fixed, and it wound up costing a boatload of cash, apparently for repairs that had nothing to do with the problem. A technosavvy friend of mine went in with me and he tore a strip off the guy. It got ugly, cops were called.
Good times.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Ellis said...

I usually take care of the my female friends cars when they need to go visit a mechanic for that very reason. The mechanic isn't going to try and screw me over, and I know a good deal about cars. It works out well. They system sucks though.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Aarwenn said...

OOOOH, you've gotten me all riled up first thing in the morning! Grrrr! I HATE THAT! On a list of things that bug me about living in a man's world, this VERY THING is near the TOP.

And believe me, it's a long list.

Anyway, if you can, I would try switching mechanics. It's worth it.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Augs Casa said...

I dislike mechnics! I'm a guiy and I can't stand them. I'm one of those who does his own maintenance until something is over my head, then I take it in. I digress, I took my truck in to have the mufflers replaced and the guy tells me I need the whole piping system. I told him to take it down, and I went to another place that was recommended. They did the job of 1/2 of what the other place was going to charge AND, he said my front exhaust pipes were fine, whoever told me they were were on drugs. Sorry about your car experience.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous faded said...

It turns out mechanics do this to guys as well. I have learned over the years that when ever I get a car, new or used, I try and find the factory service manual for it. If you cannot the factory manual, find a good after market manual.

Then read it form cover to cover. It is hard and boring and you won't understand everything in it, I did not. But you will be prepaired to ask a string of logical questions that you can use to catch a mechanic in a lie. If you catch him/her you have protected yourself. If the mechanic responds in a consistant and informed way you have found an honest mechanic.

I have found Toyota, GM and Ford dealers here in Pinkville to be dishonest. The best dealer I have ever dealt with has been the BMW dealer here in Pinkville. They could have gouged me for a $700.00 repair but instead took the hoonest route and did the correct $70.00 fix. I knew they were being honest because I read the service manual for the car before I went in.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Charlotte said...

This is one of the things I'm dreading when I get my own car...

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can you do? Some people are just complete shitbags.

2:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in a small, family-run auto body. As a result, I know the places in my area that will fix everything but the problem in your car. I have a friend who is on a first name basis with her mechanic, and thinks the reason her car never runs quite right is because its old.

Your best bet is not going to the dealer-- even if they fix the right things, they charge you for new parts and won't do aftermarket. Often if you have a good relationship with an auto body, they'll personally send your car to a mechanic they trust, and only charge you the mechanic bill.

Unfortunately, it's a business that leaves a lot of room to get conned. No matter where I am, I always go back home to get my car fixed where I know it will be fixed fairly.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Ospite said...

I changed my oil once.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Nice to see you back. I was getting worried you would never post again. And I do enjoy your stories

5:45 PM  
Blogger customer service representative said...

I despise car-people, for the most part. I live in a college town, and they know they're dealing with young people who don't know a linkage from a tire. They refused to pass my inspection until I got my engine rebuilt, for example.

But, I have learned a handy trick. I had to get a new tire the other day, so I went into a Midas. First of all, I wore my work clothes (Best Buy blues). I picked up Sports Illustrated while I waited. And, the true secret, everytime they said something was wrong, I repeated it back incredulously, and added that the last place must have fucked it up.

For example:
"Everything's okay with your tire, but the stud is crosstreaded, so it's hard to get off"
"The stud is CROSSTREADED? Jesus, those people from before must have been complete idiots. Crosstreaded, psshhh"

It worked! I got a tire and all the labor for like, $60. Considering that the other place quoted me $150, I'm pretty happy.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous cj said...

So friggin infuriating. I hear you, Miss Waitress.

Sorta-not-really related story. I remember once storming back into a diner because some idiot had parked me in, in an L-shaped parking lot. His huge Merkan-Flag spackled truck was right at the corner. Between the angle I was at, and the angle he was at, there was no way to get out without hitting one of three cars. I have no idea how his chubby wife got through. I angrily went back in and told the staff they needed to find the owner, of that truck right there, yes, the one you can see from the window, because I needed to get to work. Now.

The guy behind the counter looked out, and said oh-so-patronizingly, "Ahww, hoh-neeey. You want me drive your car for yoou?" I could have strangled him. Let's say we exchanged some words and the owner of the offending truck was then located... quickly. To get that insane woman to leave quietly.

6:28 PM  
Blogger SkippyMom said...

I have to laugh, because although true that mechanics will have their way with woman [so to speak] I know so much more about cars than Skippyhusband - that I refuse to allow him to take the cars in for service or repair...because he simply says "Okay" - while I am able to question what actually needs to be done and they won't dare overcharge me...I come from a long line of guy car geeks and my Dad taught me well....Mechanics just don't see me coming.....but that is just me and it is sad that in this day that auto shops still do that...

I am so glad they refunded your money - I laughed so hard when you said youcouldn't get the key out and they told you it was the starter....dumbasses....they just lucked that you didn't know better - I would've screamed my fool head off.

Hugs to you!

6:21 PM  

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