Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Car Trouble?

Flat tire? Engine problems? Some light on your dash board that won’t go off?
This happens to all of us, and unless you’re mechanically inclined you have no clue as to why the vehicle is dinging and flashing red signs every time
you turn it on. You do have the common sense to know something is wrong and take it to the dealership or mechanics.

But what do you do when they tell you there’s nothing wrong with your car? Persist and ask them to check again? Leave it for the next time when you’re stranded on the highway in -30 and a blizzard?
If you argue and insist they check your car thoroughly, nine times out of ten they will come back with what they think the problem is.
And you will fix it.
So you’ve just replaced some hose, belt, or fan (I’m just throwing words out there) that were never broken. And then guess what? You’re back within a few weeks with the same dilemma that brought you there earlier.

A couple months ago I took my van in because the power locks were going crazy; unlocking and locking while I was driving. Sometimes they’d stay locked and I couldn’t get in. This usually ended bad, as I’d try to climb in through the back hatch, or passenger door, often hurting myself or innocent bystanders (my children)

The man took my keys and sent me on my way, assuring me that they’d find the problem. An hour and a half later my doors miraculously fixed themselves, but my transmission needed to be flushed, tires rotated, oil changed, plugs and other gadgets needed to be replaced, oh and Mrs Flannery, you have 5% of your brakes left.

WHAT??? My brakes work fine. In fact I came to a complete stop this morning when that cat ran out in front of me. And I did stop at every red light on my way to the dealership.
Tires rotated? Oil Changed? Transmission flushed? My mind was racing.
I knew that the salesman or “fixer fellow” was just doing his job, but come on! My van wasn’t a jalopy. Sure there was bubble gum on the seats, and a pop stain near the back row, but I did regular oil changes, and tire rotations. I maintained the vehicle underneath the hood.

I cleared my throat and politely asked, “How much will all of this cost?”

“$900.00 or a little more, depending on the type of brakes you put on. But I do recommend something towards the top of the line. They last longer and are more durable.”

Well, of course he does! Why wouldn’t he recommend the best brakes? He works on commission. The more he sells, the more he’s paid. As I chewed on my bottom lip I pondered what my next step should be. After all, I had no intentions of paying for anything, the power doors were still under warranty.

After much deliberation (a cup of coffee and a quick call to my husband) I dropped the keys on the counter of the sales department and said, “How much will you give me for it?”


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