|the anecdotal tale of a very broken car
||[Apr. 25th, 2005|01:51 am]
|||||a happily dreaming dog breathing loudly||]|
last august my dad gave me a car, a 1991 mistubishi galant to be precise. he lives in california so i had to fly out there and drive it back to michigan. dad had put an unhappily large sum of money into the fixing up of this automobile and felt confident that it would function properly for the remainder of its existance. alas, here follows a tale of misfortune...
the car broke down in oklahoma, just slowed down and stopped altogether after leaving a gas station, thus stranding myself, my friend and my dog in a very midwestern place, but luckily close to my dad's cousin's house. car goes to shop, the diagnosis: a totally broken transmission. many phonecalls and many sighs of irritation later dad agrees to uphold his side of the deal and pay for repairs ("if anything goes wrong on the way back to michigan i'll pay for it, but after that it's all your responibility") yay dad! transmission gets rebuilt, journey continues, we arrive late but safe. eight months of properly functioning car pass when suddenly it decides to only run in third gear (it's an automatic, but i know third gear when i see it). many oh dears, a trip to a haas transmissions. haas says, we can't find any problems with the transmission but the electrical systen seems to be a little wacky, you need to take it to the dealership so they can plug it in to their fancy diagnostic machine. ok, go to dealership, they say, well, we plugged it in and had a listen to it and it sounds like you need a new transmission. oh really? hmm, that's interesting, considering it is a new transmission. upon deciding that the dealership is run by a bunch of unsavory characters i took it to yet another transmission shop, advanced transmissions. they have a good poke around in it and decide, well, we don't see anything wrong with the transmission but the electrical system seems a little wacky, you need to take it to the dealership. oh, sweet jesus, i say, i just took it to the dealership, they said i need a new transmission. oh dear, well, um, we can try to find you another trans shop with better diagnostic equipment to take it to that will perhaps honor your warranty from the oklahoma shop like we do... ok, go for it. i get a phonecall, well, we found you a shop.. great, what's it called?.. it's called haas, it's in.....oh, christ, you've got to be kidding me. that's the first place i took it to. oh, i see. and this is where things start to degrade. i get one guy saying that he can go ahead and give me a quote for a rebuilt transmission, and i say quote schmote, go ahead and rebuild it if you want, it's under warranty. i get another guy saying they don't have my warranty information even though i gave it to them the first time i brought the car in. i took it in again to appease the paperwork gods, i get an ok, we'll call you.. they don't call, i call them, they say well, our technician is about to check the electrical system for any shorts it might have, and at this point they've had it for three weeks and i'm thinking, fuck's sake man, shouldn't you have already tried that?? now it's been a month since they've had the car, they called me on friday apparently to give me the true answer to the problem but i was so worn out from insomnia that i slept through the call. i'm on pins and needles awaiting their call tomorrow. i'm scheduled to leave michigan in a month, but my departure depends on my selling this car so i can buy a van to put all my stuff and pets in and tow my motorcycle behind. i would have much rather sold it outright, but now time is so slim it looks like i'll have to trade it in at a bloody dealership and get totally ripped off for it, if it even gets fixed. if it's an electrical problem i have no idea where the money's going to come from to fix it. i'm praying for a covered by warranty problem, but who knows. this is by far the most unbelievable car problem i've ever had, at exactly the worst time. should i even believe them when they tell me what's up? at this point i don't have much choice. time has a way of passing, even when you really need it to stop.
thanks for making it to the end of this post. i don't know how to do that neat link-to-long-messages thing. if anyone's ever had a similarly baffling car problem i'd like to hear about it,or any advice for dealing with these insane mechanics. it is entirely possible that i will set the car on fire to get some satisfaction out of the situation.