Tuesday, April 29, 2008

... I KNEW there was a reason I was "putting it off"


I drive a 2003 Honda Accord Coupe...
[mine is "Desert Mist", aka "gold... this one is silver...]
I had been putting off the oil change...
because I knew it was due for a 45 k maintenance [$$$]

so when my monthly trip to Ahnoldtown, w/ MzYBee...
was changed from Monday... to Wednesday...
I figured I'd take advantage of the time...
and scheduled an appointment...

I'm not used to being ANYWHERE...[anymore...]
at 8 AM ...[after YEARS of being at school by 7 AM...]
especially on Monday...
so I set my alarm...

I enjoyed the "drive" through the country...
to the "sleepy village", some 10+ miles to the north...
especially since MOST people were coming the other way...


I arrived at my dealership, just at 8 AM...



and was pleased to see that I was only 2nd in line...
by the time the service order was written...
the estimate signed...[$400 +... yuck...]
and I went back outside...
there were over a dozen cars waiting...

feeling very grateful for the timely arrival...
I decided to walk the l-o-n-g block to Carrows...
I seldom eat out, but they have some good,
healthy choices for breakfast...
and I was looking forward to killing some
of the 2 hours they SAID it would be...
with a meal...

as I approached the corner location,
I noticed the grass was uncut...
and there were NO cars in the parking lot...
they had "closed"....

of course... across the street...
there was....


successfully avoiding the "Slams"...
I had a veggie/cheese omelet...
[real cheddar, (not too much...) & good veggies...]
with hash browns and wheat toast...
it was not greasy, well prepared...
and, all I could have hoped for...

finished with my breakfast, I strolled back to "wait"...

after "gloating" over the fact ...
that there was now "room"...
on both sides of the chair I was sitting in...
[it had always been a "tight fit" before...]
I "settled-in"...

I played Klondike on my cell...
listened to the folks sitting near me...
avoided watching "Regis & Kelly"...
all the while, trying to NOT nod off...

but I began to realize...
it was taking TOO LONG....
and I was becoming a bit worried...

so when the service rep came in...
and sat next to me...
so we could "discuss some options"...
I knew it was NOT good news...

he said the 45k service went well...



my brakes were in good shape, etc....

the intermittent "air bag icon" on the dash ...



was a seat belt problem, covered by warranty...
so the $100+ diagnostic fee ...
as well as the replacement part & installation...
would be "waived".... [as in, "free"...]

of course, I'll have to bring the car back...
because the parts are NOT in stock...

then, things got "interesting"...

my battery...[factory issue...]
was NOT "cranking" enough amps...
and needed to be replaced...
[almost 6 years...I got my money's worth...
I was sort of expecting this anyway...]





the good news... it was "in stock"...
the bad news...$100+...
I could go to Sears...
but it would probably cost more...
and this one's guaranteed for 36 months...
several years ago...I'd been told that
that's about as good as it gets, anyway...

then came the really bad news...
[right up there with, "root canal" and "tax audit"...]
I needed to replace ALL 4 TIRES...
[total cost... mounted & balanced... $650+]




he went on to explain...
even though there was tread left...
the sidewalls were disinegrating...
due to weathering...big chunks were falling off...
and they were rapidly becoming unsafe...

since in the summer of 2006, we had "heat storms"...
with a week of 110-115 temperatures...
and the following winter, we had a month...
of temperatures into the low 20's...
I'm not really surprised...

and, my tires are almost 6 years old...
and, the car sits "out"...
on a driveway with southern exposure...
[I'm lucky my paint hasn't degraded too...]

I could go to Big O...but I'd probably pay the same...

it would eventually have to be done...
there's the safety issue...
and, the hot months are almost upon us...
and, of course, they had the all weather,
"authorized replacements"... in stock...

so I "bit the bullet"...

of course...this took most of the rest of the day...

so they sent me to Enterprise...[on their $$...]
they've done this before, rather than "stranding me"...
and since even if they took me back home...
I have no ride back...
I agreed...

I don't "fit in "little" cars...
but "full size" [ie Caddys] or minivans... generally are OK...

all vestiges of gloating from fitting, so easily...
in the chair at the dealership...
were now GONE...

we got to the point of me signing the paperwork...
for a red Chrysler minivan...
and I began to get a bad feeling...
so, I said, "wait...I better try it..."

I couldn't fit comfortably...
the steering wheel and drivers seat didn't adjust...
the seat belt was strangling me...
5 months ago... I wouldn't have fit at all....

so we tried a Toyota Sienna minivan... perfect !
just like my Accord...
everything adjusts...
MORE... than enough room...

so...I go "home" ...to wait...

for the service rep. to call me...
around 5 ...OR SO... he says...
[ it was 4:30...]

then, I got to spend over $1270.00...
PLUS... Enterprise charged me $ 5.82 !!!...
for 1 gallon of gas...
for driving 26 miles...
after TELLING me I had "50 miles..."

that $5.82 hurt WORSE than the $1270.00+ !!!

the service rep at Honda couldn't believe they did that...
he told me that the NEXT time...
they would drive me to Mudville...
AND bring me back... [ why am I skeptical ?...]

at least now I KNOW that my tires are golden for the next 5 years...
if you'll pardon the "pun"...

Honda DOES claim to be a "green" car company...
but, today...it was a different kind of green...

WOW... talk about sticker shock...



God is good...

I do have the money to pay for this...
my IRS refund showed up in my account today...
the CA arrived last week...

I did have OTHER plans for it, though ...

along with what I had to pay for tax prep...
that's a cold $2500.00 I didn't expect to have to spend...

ouch !! [MM...I feel your "sticker shock" pain... : P ]

sigh...

I think I need a nap...

1 comment:

us300 said...

WOW! I had the same sort of thing happwn last week when I took L's car to the dealership for an oil change. It was time for the 30k service and they want $400 for that and another $600 for tires. OUCH!