Cars are a necessary part of life for most of us, whether we own one or not. We depend on them simply to get to where we need to go. Some people love their car and polish and shine them and fuss over them. Some people like to race their car. Some of us are happy to make sure they still run, have a full tank of gas and are insured!
My car has been in one auto repair shop at least 8 times over three months. And the mantra of all shops I have learned is "We need to order the parts". Ugh,
It started very innocently. I took the car in to my dealership for a routine oil and filter change. I was informed that there was a small hole in the exhaust near the connector. It can be fixed simply, they said but suggested I go to a chain auto body store because it should be a segmental repair rather than a complete replacement. I like the dealership repair shop, so I took their advice. Over the years I have learned that cheaper service and parts is really not a bargain as the parts do not last. But I thought a segmental repair rather than the entire exhaust system sounded reasonable, so I booked an appointment with the local chain shop. First, they rebooked it as it was too close to closing time for an assessment (even though that time was an option on the website). But I rescheduled. So I returned at a later date so the mechanic evaluated the exhaust system with time still on the clock. And yes, they said they could repair the segment, but "We need to order the parts".
In the meantime, the check engine light turns on. Now I am tempted to do what Penny from The Big Bang Theory did - put duck tape over it. I have been down this road with two other cars. One had a faulty sensor so I just had to have it reset 50 miles before an inspection. The other was just annoying and related to the exhaust system. So when I took the car back for the segment repair I asked them to reset it. Oh ma'am, this could be very serious, etc. I suggested that since the exhaust had a hole in it maybe it interfered with the sensor. No, that never happens the manager said. I think they were trying to do a wallet biopsy. They did the scan and said this could be very bad. I'm taking my chances I said to myself, just reset it. And guess what, the second mechanic said they could not do a segment repair and needed to do a complete replacement of the exhaust system. He said the first mechanic was new and did not look at it carefully. Hmmm. And of course, "We need to order the parts". Since I already put money down for parts, I agreed. Rescheduled for the following week.
When I returned the check engine light was back on, they rescanned it and told me they misread it the first time. It was the sesnsor. The new exhaust system was installed, the check engine light reset and they tell me I need four brakes and shocks to the tune of almost $5000. I thanked them kindly for the work they did and said I would need to think about the brakes. Maybe do the front brakes, then the back brakes? No, they said you need to do them all at once. And today. I don't think so. I knew the brakes were wearing thin, but I never had to pay that much for replacement.
The good news is the check engine light stayed off, I took the car in for inspection, and it passed. Amen to that. And then a short time later there was a leak under the front of the car. Slow leak, but persistent. It was not oil, it was not from the air conditioner, so that left engine coolant or transmission fluid. Yes, I looked it up on the internet. So back to the dealership I go, and by the way, I mentioned, please check the brakes. Yes, I needed the brakes and calipers replaced but for far less that the chain auto body shop. But the leak was from the transmission and yes "We need to order the parts". Since it was a slow leak, I was able to reschedule another appointment for the following week.
So I am now back in the dealership. Enjoying the free Wi-Fi and working on my computer and drinking one cup of tea after another to keep warm. The car is fixed, the transmission line replaced, and she is ready to go. What a relief. Trust but confirm is my motto. And I looked under the car every day to see if the leak was really fixed.
Within two weeks there is a huge puddle under my car at the same site as the previous leak. But this time I can watch the fluid drip, drip, drip from under the car. It did not stop. Everywhere I went there was a big puddle so I was back at the dealership early in the morning. This time it was the engine coolant. The drain line was rusted, just like the line from the transmission was rusted. There was a huge hole and the mechanic did not think it was safe to drive. The engine could seize and I could be in an accident at the worst or stranded at the least. We can fix it, they said, but "We need to order the parts".
I left the car with them. This time I rented a car. Afterall, I need to get to work so I can pay for all of these repairs! They did fix it, I am happy to say. No more leaks, the brakes work just fine and the exhaust system is working quite well. And yes, I still look under the car to make sure there are no more leaks. And you know you are at the auto shop far too often when they send you a birthday card! With luck, I will not have to go back until the next oil change.
The boys are doing well. Fionnegan and Gunnarr had a spa date for their Christmas haircut and baths. Shorty and I went for a nice walk or rather a near run. I don't know if he was just so excited to be out, but he ran most of the time we were out. And he seemed absolutely delighted! He does well in cold weather. He has grown a thick coat to keep him warm and he sheds heavily every two years. I think his coat is now too heavy for summer.
Fionnegan and Gunnarr have been sharing this dog bed in the kitchen since they were pups. If one is already in it, the other will wiggle himself next to him. This is a pre-spa photograph. I like the longer hair on them, but it is time for nail clipping and a bath, too.
Shorty is my true companion. He has his quirks but he is adorable most of the time. He still does not like to be brushed, but has no say in the matter, especially since he is shedding so much now. I think he secretly like it as it must feel really good to get rid of that loose hair. And I give him a little massage too!
Group photo! It is amazing that they will line up for a picture!
Shorty looks at the camera far more often than the other too. Gunnarr is still a bit shy until yo ask him if he wants a kiss or a treat. Then he will look at the camera.
There were some beautiful lilies at Trader Joes last week. I bought two bunches and they house is so very fragrant. The lilies are beautiful, too.
After a while the boys were posing for the camera so I took a few more pictures. I think they flash intrigues them.
And yes, they all got kisses and a treat for being good!
I do hope you all are doing well and getting ready for the holidays. We have a live tree in the living room and a fake tree in the tv room. I do like the lights and enjoy them and the peaceful feeling they bring. It is good to take a breather sometimes.
Until next time, please stay safe and well.