Sunday, December 19, 2010

Car Problems

I have a hard enough time writing a post much less a title creatively. I hate making up a title because that means I have to make the post on what the title says. Misc, My Life, etc just isn't good enough. I feel like I want to ramble on and on but the title Ramble just don't bring in readers.

Anyway, since my title is Car Problems I better get to my post.

My car is 10 years old and to be honest it has not given me too much trouble. My car has been making little squeaks and stuff but then all of a sudden, when I accelerated or decelerated it seemed like I had to press the pedal all the way to the metal and I felt this major rubbing.  My RPM needle would not go more than 2. When I idled it felt like it was going to die. So I decided I better go check this out before it gets alot worse. (I had no idea how bad it would REALLY be.)

So on that fateful Wednesday, after lunch with my cousin, she followed me to the mechanic shop my SO (Significant other) had used before that was reasonable not to mention close to where we live.

We arrive at the mechanic shop and the first thing I noticed was a gust of smoky air hitting me in the face. I hate smoking! I have never smoked and never had the inclination to do so. And then I still have lung disease. It's a persons perogative to smoke their lives but I shouldn't have to deal with it.

 There was this obese 50ish scruffy looking man sitting in a chair shuffling through papers on his messy desk. There was a cat sleeping on the computer screen.

He looked at me and asked what he could do for me. I told him I had a 2000 Saturn SL1 to be checked. I described my problem. He reaches for an invoice and asks with his wheezing gasping voice what kind of car. I thought ,didn’t I just say that? I repeated myself and he proceeded to write my problem. After, he said, "Okay, we'll check it out and call you." This was 2 pm in the afternoon.

The next morning I had not heard from the man. I called to inquire the status of my car. He said it was the mount. I asked what does that have to do with my car almost stalling and RPM's going wacko and when it idles it feels like it is going to die? He said oh, you said it made noises. I said yes but I also said the other stuff. He pauses and says he'll have his guy drive it and call me. I asked if it was one of those things I HAVE to change. He said yes, he'll call me back. So I waited and waited.

My Love stopped on his way home and the man said he was waiting for the mount. He thought I had talked to him so didn't inquire any more.

So I called the man and said I didn't understand what was going on. He said he had to order the mount. I told him a) I didn't say to fix it and b) he never called with an estimate. He said he couldn't give me an estimate until he got the part because he doesn't know the price. Now, that is the first time I've ever gone to a mechanic to tell me I couldn't get an estimate. Has anyone? This was way off the wall to me.

There was a long pause because I was counting to 10. It seemd he had an afterthought and said, "I'll call you as soon as you the part comes in from Chevrolet. If you decide you don't want it done, I'll just send the part back."

I waited all day and no return call as he said he would when he received the mount. I called the place at 3 pm and told the man who I was and wondering what was going on with my car. I heard shuffling of papers and heavy breathing.  He finally said, “It’s your tires.”

I had to think because then I was confused.

I responded, “What? You said mount!”

I could hardly understand what he was saying. You know how you get that feeling when you talk to someone and they are not listening?

 Silence.

I exclaimed, “HELLO?”

He repeated, “It’s your tires!”

I said, “You said mount yesterday and I just changed my tires a few weeks ago.”

He mumbled something about tires rubbing against steel.

I asked “Where that came from?”

He said irritably, “Come see and I’ll show you.”

I responded, “I am coming to see as soon as my boyfriend returns home!’

Nothing. He had hung up.

My lovely significant other came home and we drove there. When we arrived there were 3 mechanics in the office and the a—hole. He just pointed at one of the mechanics and the mechanic gestured to follow him and said, “It was the mount and tire struts’.

We followed him to the back to my car. He showed us the mount was cracked. Okay, they might have been right. Then he said the struts on the front needed to be changed and my tires are getting worn fast. They were touching my car’s tire (I actually had the thought, they are molesting my car! I know strange mind I have LOL). I did not understand or see what they were talking about. But Randal did and I trust HIM.

The mechanic was a young nice patient  20ish, if that, man who answered our questions. My SO asked the question, “Why didn’t ya’ll drive the car first? (That's what mechanics should do right????"}

The mechanic answered “I do what I am told.” I understood that.

SO and the mechanic conversed for a few minutes. The mechanic informed us he could uninstall and install the mount in 20 minutes. I told him I needed to find out the price first. He highly recommended the front struts to be replaced. SO agreed. “SIGH”

We returned to the front and the manager (whoever he was) who had been somewhat rude throughout the two days and pointed us to the mechanic when we first got there was sitting there. When I asked the amount of installing the mount he said $158 with labor. The invoice was on the desk facing the man and leaned forward to read what it said.  It said parts were 75 something. He moved it before I could read it all LOL

SO questioned politely why they didn't drive my car in the first place and reminded them they had my car for two days with no progress. The manager looked at me pointing with exasperation and breathily accused, “She only said it was making noise”

I know for a fact that I did not tell him that was my main problem. I told him that I did not know how to describe it but when I accelerated or decelerated I have this major kick back rubbing feeling and my RPMs were erratic between 0 and 2 when I was idle.

I retorted, “I told you when I accelerated and put my break it FEELS rubbing.

He said with a high tone, “No you didn't. You were vague."

Instinctively I got defensive and still calmly said , "Yes I did, I have a witness."

He shakes his head adamantly and raises his hand like “shut up.” (Excuse me, I'm your fucking customer!)

My SO (Bless Him) continued to talk calmly,” We just want to understand why ya’ll never communicated with us unless we called and the problem kepts changing. You had the car for two days and ya'll didn't even drive it until the next day.”

This man just flipped out! He huffily and puffily exclaimed, “I don’t like to be attacked. I can’t help it if she was vague. I do not know what to tell you.  ” He said some other things neither I nor SO could understand.

This man was just downright abrasive. Words went back and forth between SO and him. SO stayed calm the whole time and this man was going ballistic! I was stunned because SO usually avoids confrontation.

I finally had enough and asked man how much I owed him for their work thus far. He shakes his head aggressively like he wanted us out of there and replied, “NOTHING”.

I said, "Fine, you have a great day and told SO “let’s go.” We went into the garage and the mechanic was evidently waiting for the word to do it. I asked him if my car was ready to go. He reported, “Yes ma'am. I thanked him and left.

SO said the a--hole was a little "flighty" when he went a couple of times before for his car but the man was never abrasive like today. SO, the kind and patient man he is just had  ignored it. He said although the ‘manager’ was sort of rude, there were excellent mechanics.

I am not like that, if I am paying someone to do a service and the worker is rude to me or totally disregards me, I am finished with them.

A friend suggested someone else here a little farther down the road so I called there, he said he was busy then but I could go in the morning as he is opened from 9 to 1.

We arrived at 9 am at the new Mechanic's. I liked this man right off. He was very nice and understanding. He actually drove my car to see if he could see what I was saying. He says the mount could be replaced but that is not to worry about at this time since I don't drive long distances alot, He said I need to change my front end struts and wheel bearings. They have to take alot out so he couldn't show us the bearing but he showed us a sample. I understand most of what he said.  He said I could just do the bearings but struts should be done also. He gave me a price. "SIGH". $535!  He said I didn't necessarily have to do it now but he said its going to wear down my tires and I'll have to continue buying tires. He said this is normal from wear and tear. I did pretty good through the years without repairig.

Ironically, he used to work for the other place I went to and the asshole there is his best friend. We had to laugh at that. He explained to us why the asshole is like he is. I don't think its an excuse to be rude and not do his job.

I brought my car the first thing Monday morning. They changed the front tend struts and wheel bearings. My car runs much smoothly now. He gave me a discount since I paid cash.

The first mechanic lost out on business with me and I will never refer anyone to them.

However, it sounds like something is going to fall out or something. I am not bothering with it until after Christmas. I'm broke anyway...LOL.

Merry Christmas to all




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