Car Repair Soap Opera

Posted: February 26, 2009 in Life, Television, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I have an idea for a new soap opera and some great titles for the show. What do you think of …. As the Wheel Turns, When the Piston Fires, The Breaks Do Squeal, or maybe On the Oil Trail.  A soap opera is how the ordeal of getting my van repaired has felt like.

I had expected at any moment Erica Kane to come sauntering in to seduce her next husband. JR Ewing would have fit right in at one place that really topped it off. Needless to say…. four days later and I’m still having work done. Not me, the van. I’ll leave personal body repair to Joan Rivers.

On to the saga as it begins Monday evening. Dropping off a 1998 Oldsmobile Silhouette to have the front end shocks/struts replaced. They were bad…. really bad they no longer had any shock and the strut was now a, “look out there’s a pot hole!”

I have a fantastic garage that I go to. Everyone is friendly, helpful, and most importantly HONEST. That last part is very important to a single woman, though I do have one up on most. My dad was a mechanic most of his life and he drilled certain things into my head. Having that knowledge and not being a Gullible Ginger really came in handy in this particular saga. 

Back to Monday evening around 5:30 I get a call saying not only were my front shocks no longer shocking but my back ones had given up the ghost too. Oh by the way your breaks and rotors need replaced. How were you stopping, Flinstone style? Eh I didn’t need that extra two hundred bucks anyways right?

The night passes lots of writing, chatting on line, and the phone with friends. Played a few rounds of my latest addiction Diner Dash 2. The next day wait anxiously for the call of “Come get’er!” I pick up ole Bessie, yes I tend to call my mini van ole Bessie. I have heard of weirder things for people to name or even call their vehicles. Now I live in a small town, this is a small town garage so he didn’t have the equipment to do the next part of the job. For those of you how don’t know when you replace your shocks/struts you must have your car realigned. That means they straighten everything up where if you let go of the steering wheel for some unknown reason the car goes straight not veering into on coming traffic.

If your car is pulling to one side or the other, or, you have turn the steering wheel as you drive like Bubba driving an 18 wheeler on crack. You might want to see about getting it realigned.

Finally we get to the real drama. The scene where Gregory who has been blind since birth falls down the spiral staircase, in his huge and plush mansion bought with money from a lucky oil strike. Then with not one hair out of place he looks up to see the love of his life for the first time ever and cries. “Amanda! My love! I can see!”

I made an appointment the day before to take my car and have it realigned. No, I wasn’t driving like Bubba it wasn’t that bad just out of joint from the repairs. The tire place I took it to whisked my van into the bay and said it would be an hour. Cool, gives me time to write a few pages. I have a seat in their not so comfy seats and take note that this is a garage. You know Dudeville. Where men hang out, as a matter of fact I was the only female in the joint. Okay…. then why was General Hospital on the television? I guess they were secure.

Back to the issue at hand… I was happily writing away as the guy behind the counter calls my name. Um not been an hour yet. Hasn’t been more than maybe fifteen minutes. Uh oh.

He proceeds to tell me that the work I just had done was all loose. The rack and pinion was all loosey goosey and the calipers were so bad they might have fallen off. I’ll be kind and not tell you what I really was thinking at this point. A sailor would blush…. twice.

He started to say something but I held up my little hand and said, “Please write that down for me and get my van off the lift. I just had that work done and it is under warranty at the garage.”  Okay he didn’t look happy I said give me my car I’m taking somewhere else. Hmmm that should have been a hint.

Next scene I drive back into my mechanic and am greeted with a smile. I explained that I was upset and showed them the items “the other” place had written down. He cast me a shocked expression. Shaking his head and swearing it was all properly done and even invited me to inspect the old parts he replaced. While I watched he put ole Bessie on the lift and started inspecting. 

Nothing was loose. Not even the clay from my road that should have been knocked off by any movement, twisting, or tightening of bolts. Okay, my earlier thoughts now look mild in comparison. Not a happy camper to realize some one was trying to take advantage of me and my shrinking wallet. My mechanic was as upset by this as I was. So then after everything was shown to me and explained he assured me and even pulled out the old parts to prove he was being honest in his work.

I ended up taking my van to another place to have it aligned. Yes the saga is almost over , as well as my wallet becoming considerably lighter. This new place aligns the van, yay! But the guy comes in with “THE LOOK”. Ask any guy about his mechanic’s LOOK. You know when they come in with THE LOOK they’ve found something that will undoubtedly pay for their next vacation.

After not having shocks/struts that work ole Bessie needs the motor mounts replaced. So I am now stashing cash to send my mechanic on vacation….er replace the motor mounts.  But that’s not the good part of all this. My mechanic is a good guy, honest guy. A person who cares about his customers. After how I was treated at “the other place”  he took it upon himself to call them and speak to management about what had transpired. The guy at “the other place” (you can change that for the bad word of your choice if you wish) claimed that I had never been there. They never saw me. Nor put my van on a lift, gave me a list of horribly wrongs.

I had an appointment, it was listed in the computer. As well as on the paper work I have where I had first gone in with their name, my name, appointment and so on. They relented and said okay I was there but now suddenly the mechanic that had looked at the van was gone. Hmmmmm

Just like a good soap opera there were ups and downs and Evil vs. Good. The big point here. My mechanic is a good person who stood up for me. I’ve taken my cars there for a few years now. You can bet your bippy that’s where I’ll be going back to for a few more. I don’t mind sending him on vacation as long as I can get from point A to point B safely. Though just like a soap opera, if they find one more thing wrong with ole Bessie…. Well let’s just say it will be a tearful scene where someone pulls the plug.

  1. Penny says:

    Girl I feel you there,
    I just spent nearly $300. smackers getting breaks and rotars for my car and because it’s only 3 years old’ you can only get the parts from the dealer!
    I go to a pretty good mechanic around the corner from my house, but they charged him more than he usually pays so…
    Fortunately; he offers a ‘lifetime deal’ if he does them, so when I have to have them done again…it’ll only be $45. bucks!
    I have to say ‘Thank You Jesus!’ because if i had to pay that amount every single time…I would surely end up in ‘debtor’s prison…hahahahahaha
    But seriously, ya’ know how we ‘roll’; us gals just ‘woman up’ and put our ‘BIG GIRL’ panties on and ‘DEAL’
    Right on my sistah!!!!

  2. Jen says:

    Your soap opera would be appropriately named “Catalytic Converted”. They put you through the ringer this time lady! Hope it works out in the end and that the mechanic at least sends you pictures from his vacation.

    Love ya

  3. Beej says:

    Elise, your mechanic deserves a gold star standing up for you like that, and ‘the other place’ will get what they deserve…eventually LOL.
    Glad Bessie is finally safe again though

  4. Fi says:

    Well its not much different this side of the pond. You know i have a bright yellow Smart Roadster which i am bessotted with (Named Daffodil) i have to have her serviced once a year and have to have an MOT as well and they always find something wrong that was fine and half the time i dont think they do the work they say they do. We have a teriffic machanic who has always done our cars but he cant do this one cos it is computer driven and has to be plugged into a diagnostic computer to see if anything is wrong!!! So it always ends up costing about £500. Girm. But she is lovely and brings a smile to my face every time i look at her so i guess its worth it.

  5. Sue says:

    Gee Elisa, you sure went through a lot with your van. I was really sorry to hear about that. I’m glad that everything worked out all right in the end. Thank God and your honest mechanic for that.

    Love ya,

  6. Neal Stotler says:

    There are three main criteria used in pricing any given auto repair. The first is the labor rate, or what the shop charges for the time and expertise that goes into repairing your vehicle. The second is for the parts themselves, and whatever other shop support materials are used in the process of the repair. The third area to consider are the fixed costs or overhead that the repair shop has to cover, but that doesn’t get reflected on your bill.`

    Our new blog site

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