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Monday, December 01, 2008  

Dealing with the Back-and-Forth

Remember at the beginning of last month when I talked about how Trash's car was broken and I was going to have my dad come look at it since the warranty was expired? It turned out that we did have to bring it to the dealership, because the difficulty with the car proved to be beyond the technology he possessed to remedy it. But he shouldn't feel bad, because that turns out to have been the case at the dealership as well.

I've lost track of how many trips we've made to and from the dealership at this point, so let me just write them down.

1. On November 5, my dad met me and a sick-ish M. Edium at the dealership, talked to the service guy with me, and then drove me home before taking the kid back to his house for the day.

2. That evening, Trash and I returned to pick the car up. They had replaced the computer in it, which is apparently covered by a more extended warranty, which is good because that sounds expensive. The challenge was getting back to the dealership, because I had left my entire key ring there that morning, and I discovered that Trash doesn't have a key to my car. Since I don't know how to hotwire even my own car, we borrowed the neighbors.'

3. On the way home, Trash's car was doing stuff it hadn't done before. Like, the alarm wouldn't chirp, the dome light stayed on, and the driver's door wouldn't stay locked. After a couple of weeks of living with this, we brought it back in on November 20. Oh, and the original problem was still there. When they called me at home later, they said that the problem was a broken door switch, which is a button on the side of the dash that tells the car that the door is closed. If it's not working, the car assumes its being driven around with the door hanging open. The service guy denied having anything to do with this problem, which was apparent the night Trash drove it off the dealer lot and not before. "Our technicians didn't work on that part of the car," he insisted. "Your technician didn't get in and out of the driver's seat?" I queried. In the end, we agreed to pay half of the repair cost. Oh, and the car suddenly needed an oil change.

4. As for the other problem, they needed a part that they wouldn't have until the next day. But Trash needed her car, so BuenaOnda was nice enough to ride with me back to the dealership and then follow me back home in her car. For this she flew in from Mexico.

5. On Sunday the 23rd, BuenaOnda followed me back to the dealership so I could leave the keys in the late-night drop box, and then she drove me home shortly before The Amazing Race started. This was beginning to feel like a never-ending Detour.

6. On Monday the 24th, they called to let me know the car was fixed and I could pick it up any time. So Trash asked Bitter to drop me off at the dealer on her way to work on the afternoon of Tuesday the 25th. Which she did. I drove Trash's car home, filling up the nearly empty gas tank on the way.

7. After dropping M. Edium off at school on the morning of Wednesday the 25th, I had serious difficulties backing out of my parking spot. I don't normally like talking on my cell phone when I'm driving, let alone yelling at people, but in this case I made an exception. They told me to bring it in again when I could. Yesterday, Sunday was a full day of errands for Trash and M. Edium and myself, which including getting our holiday photos taken, ordering new lenses for my glasses, picking up supplies, and other stops. The first stop was the Saturn dealership. At least this time I knew right where the after-hours drop-off was.

8. This morning, they called to let me know that they had reproduced the problem, and were going to just replace the entire wiring harness, whatever that is. Except this wouldn't be in until Wednesday (which I take to mean Thursday or Friday), which is too long for Trash to be without her car. Even though I telecommute, it would still be too time-consuming for me to drive my car to the dealership to retrieve Trash's, and then jump back and forth between cars every block or so to get them both home. And frankly, I'm tired of having to go back there all the time. So I asked the guy," Can't you just have someone drive it to my house?" "Sure, we can do that," the guy said. Sure enough, about fifteen minutes later, my doorbell rang and there was a dude on my front step. Trash's car was parked on the street behind him. I was quite pleased, although I couldn't figure out why he wasn't handing me the keys or leaving or anything. Finally he asked, "You gonna drive me back?" Which, two minutes before a scheduled teleconference, kind of defeated the purpose.

9. Of my many recent trips to the Saturn dealership, the one where I sat in the passenger seat while some dude drove my wife's car was probably the longest.

10. Drove home.

So I guess that makes ten. Here's hoping the next trip is the last, making it an even dozen.

posted by M. Giant 3:47 PM 4 comments

4 Comments:

Awesome. Just awesome. That's all I have to say about that.

By Blogger Neurotic Grad Student, at December 1, 2008 at 8:28 PM  

As I was reading this, I was thinking, "It's gotta be a Saturn". I know, because I am the unfortunate owner of one. And I don't know what's worse: The car, or the local dealership.

By Blogger Rockycat, at December 3, 2008 at 8:09 AM  

Our Saturn has been giving us issues for the last month. We would get it fixed, it would be fine for a day then the same thing would happen. This happened 3 times in the course of 8 days. We are content that the check engine light is just a "feature" and will fix it after the emissions test. Good Luck!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 3, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

Saturns are notorious for electrical problems, which end up being muy pricey to fix. I'd rather have a car that I had to keep replacing the radiator (or something mechanical) than one with electrical problems (this from the chick who's put two transmissions and an engine in her minivan, but it earned them).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 3, 2008 at 4:29 PM  

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