31 July 2007

We are not car people

Because we don't use the car every day, getting it fixed isn't terribly urgent. And since it's a fairly new vehicle it doesn't need fixing all that often. But we have had repeated problems with the battery. Last November I ended up replacing it. So I was a little frustrated last week when one day the car doesn't even unlock because the relatively new battery is dead. Get it jump started. Next day, dead again. So we decide that since the car's under warranty still we'll have the dealership look at it. There must be a problem with the electronics draining the batteries. If it's a battery problem, well the battery has a guarantee and can be replaced easily. We just need to know. But the dealership service department isn't open on weekends. And yesterday they were too busy so asked that we bring it in first thing this morning.

Okay. It's not the end of the world that we've procrastinated somewhat then were thwarted by crappy dealership service hours. I've been doing a lot of walking and running for my errands. Soon, though, we'll be out of milk and orange juice and mineral water, and I can't carry that much beverage home on foot. I'd really like the luxury of driving to the grocery store tomorrow.

This morning we get roadside assistance to tow the car to the dealership. They open at 7 am and Mike gets on the horn to the tow truck guy at 6:30 to arrange it. After the tow truck has already been dispatched, they tell us it will cost $125 cash and we can submit the receipt to the insurance agency for reimbursement. What? But the jump start guy comes out for no charge. (That's when I suggested we have the jump start guy come back and then we just drive the car to the dealership.) Well, towing is a different company. Okay, we get that. But cash? We don't have $125 in cash on us at 7 am, and ha, ha, we don't have a car to drive us to an ATM. So Mike says the only way we can pay that is if the tow truck driver brings him to an ATM after he drops off the car. They must get that request a lot because they agree to it. In this day and age, what service industry still deals in cash only? Even the pizza and chinese food delivery people take credit cards, and for amounts that are a lot smaller than $125! How. Annoying.

The dealership has to go through the diagnostic process to figure out what's wrong with the car. The diagnosis? Nothing's wrong. They say there's a parking light switch that's turned on, a switch that neither Mike nor I have even heard of before, let alone turned on.

Mike's going to be home from work soon, and we'll walk over to the dealership to pick up the car. It's one of those distances that's too short to get a taxi for (and so ineffecient in time and cost!), but too long to walk comfortably in this heat. I figured misery loves company so we should walk together.

Part of me hopes that it is the parking light switch, even though that makes us look like idiots for not figuring it out. (I'm positive that I didn't see any lights on when I got it jump started last week.) At least then the problem is solved. But part of me wants there to be a real problem so our paranoia is justified. Of course, a real problem is probably something the dealership will give us a hard time about fixing and end up not being covered by the warranty. Better for us to just look like idiots for leaving a light on.

1 comment:

Clubbs said...

I lost all faith in insurance companies, etc. during our recent fender-bender fiasco.

I have absolutely no know-how or patience when a car isn't working properly.

So, in essence, "I feel your pain."

Bob

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