Friday, January 10, 2014

Geez Louise!

Greetings Kind Reader.

Sorry to have been a way for 7 days -gads- I think I might already be failing with my 'at least 3 posts a week' resolution. But I'm not going to stress about it - nope!

I'm too busy stressing about other things to worry about something that is done purely for fun.

And you'll be pleased to know that it has nothing  very little more than a little but not a lot to do with my writing endeavors.

How so? Well, it all started with my car. For the past few weeks I've noticed it sounded rough when it would sit at a red light and idle. But it's been pretty cold so we decided to chalk it up to the fact that my Tribute (which I love!) is nearly 10 years old AND has 160,000 miles on it. Gads - I know some of you are thinking that to have a number like that on the odometer is CRAZY but I think it's pretty cool. It reminds me of all the trips we've taken, the moves we've made, and the giggles we've had just scooting around to look at stuff. Besides, I've never had any major issues with the car until ... the last visit to Mazda.

Not mine - but looks pretty much
exactly like it! Same year & everything!
I'm one of those die hard people who ONLY goes to a dealership service place because they know everything that has to do with the car since I drove it off the lot. So, it was time to take it in for its 5K checkup - which I do religiously. And when I got there on Thursday (January 2) Scott, my service agent, greeted me and wanted to confirm what we'd be doing and when we were done going over the logistics of the planned service I said, "Oh, and I was wondering if you could check to see why it sounds so loud like when I come to a stoplight."

He added that to the order and said I probably shouldn't worry - it's an older car - it's been really cold - sometimes older vehicles just get a bit cranky. We laughed at the truth in his comment. So, I sat down, made a little cup of Dove hot chocolate using the nifty Keurig machine and expected to leave in about an hour.

Tick - tock - tick - tock...

An hour came and went. And then Scott showed up with a pile (yes a PILE) of papers to go over with me. Apparently I wasn't being paranoid in telling my husband and daughter that I thought the car felt weird! Nope.

How so?

Well, Scott informed me that:

There are four engine mounts on the vehicle - and three of mine were broken.

HUH? So what are you saying, Scott?
So the little space that's circled - apparently that is NOT supposed
to look like that. Hmmm. And I had 3 of them that looked that way.

Great that shimmy/shaking feeling you noticed, Mrs. Brown was literally the engine shimmying and shaking inside the place where it's supposed to be locked down. And that it's probably not a wise idea to be driving around with it like that.

Yeah, yeah UGH. So, how long will that take to fix? 

At least 8 hours - a full day.

Awesome. Let me guess --- this won't be at all expensive, right?

Nope, it's expensive. As in $1,100 worth of expensive AND it'll take a whole day to the job.

Well, smack me once and call me Betty. That is simply FABULOUS, Scott. F-A-B-U-lous!  But at least it'll be ready tomorrow after noon.


Then he pulled out the next page:
There's a huge oil leak that needs to be repaired.

HUH? Oil leak? Wouldn't we see oil in our garage or something? 

Yeah, it looks a wee bit messy!
Not my car but I'm assuming this
is pretty close to what it would look like!
NOT with this kind of leak because it's leaking onto the engine and pretty much cooking it away. It's created
a huge mess that is pretty much a major fire waiting to happen.

Awesome. Can this get any better? So, Scott, what needs to happen to fix this issue? 

Drain the system, remove and replace all the gaskets and all the other little things that go along with a job like that.

Hmmm, that doesn't sound at all expensive. 

Hmmm, that's a lot of little pieces.
And they ALL have to be replaced?
Yes. Well, now, that could take time.
Oh, it is. This one is about $1,750 to repair because they pretty much have to pull out the front of the engine
to get to all the gaskets and seals to replace them.

You really know how to sweet talk a girl, Scott.  You know that?  So, tell me. Will it be done when the engine mount things are replaced? 

Sort of. They're really two different jobs. And both take a good deal of time. The gasket/seal removal/replacement will take bout 16 hours.

You are making this the most awesome visit to the service center I think I've ever had. Tell me, can you add anything else to the mix to make it even better? 

Now that you mention it:

There's a screw in your tire - it needs to be patched. $39

The air filter needs to be replaced. $49

There's a small leak in the AC line - you don't really need it fixed ASAP as it's pretty cool now - but you'll want it checked before it gets really hot. $157

The windshield wipers need to be replaced $35


One of you rear license tag lights is out. $12

Interesting. Is that all? Are you sure you don't have anything else mentioned on that little form of yours? 

No. That pretty much covers it. The total to do it all is $3,142 not including tax.

Ah, Well let me call my husband to see what he wants to do...  

The sound of Todd inhaling sharply was enough to make me think that he'd probably taken in all the oxygen around him and his coworkers were dying a painful death from asphyxiation. Then we discussed the 'gotta get fixed' vs. 'we can do it later'

Engine Mounts - Gotta
Gaskets/Seals - Gotta
Repair tire - Gotta
Air Filter - Okay we really oughta
AC line - Don't gotta right now 
     (we'll just pray that the HOT season comes around late May to Austin, TX -
     hey, we can dream can't we?)

Wipers - Costco has those - we can do it ourselves!
License plate light - Hello, Autozone...

So I told Scott to go ahead with the 'Gotta do's and the stupid 'oughta do' but all the others we'd wait on!

When I asked if it would be ready tomorrow afternoon. Scott just grinned and said 'No. It'll take about 20 hours of work. It should be done on Monday afternoon'.

GRRRR!  Say, Scott...since I'm having to wait so long and this is going to be SO dang expensive - can I use a coupon on it? 

Sure I'll take 10% off.  (Later we learned that they only take 10% off UP TO $1,500 - so essentially, the discount wound up paying the tax! But hey, it's better than nothing!)

So - Monday comes along. It'll be ready at 4:30. Todd and I get there at 4:15 thinking maybe we'll get lucky.

5:00 rolls along. Still waiting.

5:30 how much longer can it possibly take?

5:45 FINALLY it's done. And we get the joy of putting $2,644 on our credit card. Oh joy.

But at least I can honestly say my sweet Tribute rides like a dream - an absolute DREAM...and I'm so happy.

Woo hoo -- Did you notice I didn't mention anything about my 'writing'? Yeah, I'm crazy like that!

Then there's the tale of the lost keys...but that's too fresh in my mind. I'll have to recount it later!

That's all I've got...til next time!