Friday, September 28, 2007

Cars, clothes, cleaning.

I've been having some car issues this summer. In April, I had brake issues - a sticky caliper. Took the car to the dealer[1]. They "fixed" the back brakes (which I thought meant replaced the caliper, but no, just...hell, I don't know exactly what they did.) in April... then the problem returned in late August. The caliper had frozen entirely, had to be replaced. So they did. Picked up the car and the check engine light came on AS I WAS LEAVING.

They said it was something in the glow plug circuit, but they weren't sure, and not to worry, it probably wouldn't come back, but if it did, to bring it back. Well, it did, after about five minutes, and has been on pretty much since (it's off when I start the car, but comes on within five minutes). So I took it back today (yes, I know, almost a month later. Working in DC makes taking care of this sort of thing tough), and they pretty much said, "Well, it's $104 for a diagnostic check, and then ...we don't know. No idea. It might be anything. But it wasn't our fault, and the diagnostic fee is just to check. Oh, and that diagnosis we did last time? Nope, that doesn't do anything towards this diagnosis. It'll probably be done by 9pm." Here's the thing. They didn't really do anything *wrong*, but the service manager [2] was arrogant and condescending. I was walking out of the dealership, irritated at the whole thing, talking to Sonya, and then I said, "You know what? No. The hell with them." I got back in my car and drove off. Went to a dealership across town, and the whole thing was fixed (some bad connectors in the wiring) for under $100 and before 6pm.

Did some clothes shopping today; I needed some shirts (got some), some jeans (got some), and some khakis (alas).

Now I'm off to stop procrastinating and get back to cleaning up the house. It's nice to be able to have a window open with a cool fall breeze drifting in.

[1]Generally, I avoid this and find a local quality garage. Problem is, I have a Volkswagen diesel, and, at least for engine work, there's a lot on that car that's rather unusual. On the other hand, this was for the brakes, so .... yeah. I think I took it to the dealer the first time because they were open on a Saturday; the second time, because they'd fixed it the first time.

[2] This is another interesting tidbit - in conversation with him, he said, "I'm the service manager." When I called back, I said, "I want to talk to S-, the service manager." The receptionist said, "Um, M- is the service manager; he's gone for the day. S- is a service advisor).

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