Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Where Does It All Go?

You know how it works: a little bit of cold medicine and it's time to type in the blog. I'd like to take this moment to talk about auto dealerships. They pretty much have a monopoly. Once you buy a car from them, you will at some point have to see them again. Currently, my car is at a dealership after it was repaired after an accident. Let me reiterate that: my car is at a dealership after it was repaired after an accident. Essentially, some mysterious force affected my car after the accident (but not caused by it) for which it needs "special attention." So, my car was paid off beforehand and being considered an older vehicle it means only a dealership can get ahold of the parts that I need. Usually, getting them in requires a freight charge (can you believe it cost $150 to ship a cable?) but they are the only people who can get it. Now, after the repair following the accident, my headlights go off while I'm driving (safe huh?) and a neat burning smell follows a clicking sound in my right dash.

The first time it went to the dealership they discovered a corroded battery cable and a leaky valve seal that was dripping oil onto my alternator which in their words ruined it. $1600 plus another $150 in car rental. But after getting it back, the same problem occurs. Already, I know that they didn't test it or they like me pissing $1700 away (of course they do, they are a business.)

So, I drop the car off a second time and I call to find out the car is fixxed and it was a few loose wires in the dash. I guess I feel lucky because they didn't grab for my wallet as I left. I get the car back right before Christmas so I can now go shopping for presents and upon going to a McDonalds drive-thru... my power windows don't work. They actually cause the same headlight issue. I call and they mention that during the holidays that the staff isn't at full force and it'd be better to stop by next week (I have Mondays and Tuesdays free.)

So, I drop the car off again for a third time. The second day they are looking at it they discover a section of wires that are shorting out and causing a buringing smell (like the one I described to them a long time ago) and that two soldering points on the ignition switch are broken. This will come to at least $900. This might be fixed by Friday but I'm not holding my breath.

So, if I had taken $4,000 from the insurance to total the car, I would still have to make payments on something new but I wouldn't have the guesswork involved in taking it to a dealership. You would think that they can do better than guess. So, I'll be financing $2,600 on cards etc and can look at that as a form of car payment or 10 payments of $260. But then again, that is if I don't have to bring it back to get the original problem fixxed.

In retrospect, I don't hate dealerships. It just makes me want to own one so I can extort money out of people for not doing what they are paid for.


Lily said...

Sorry to hear your having car problems. Dealerships are notorious for overcharging as it is, and to not have another option available...they got you coming and going.

Congrats on the 8yr. anniversary of putting out the newsletter. I've been subscribed for at least 4 of them. I enjoy reading it and appreciate the hard work you put into it.

Martin said...

I'm happy that you are enjoying the newsletter. I pretty much dedicate all Monday to writing it (hence the spelling errors.) Actually, I don't really know when the newsletter started. I didn't hold onto many of the old copies until later and then used those for the archive on the web site. It's hard to look back on things that just began that weren't meant to continue. I keep thinking maybe it was March of one year but the only people that would know were a few of the friends I first sent it too.

Yeah, I'm definitely not happy with the dealership. I'm debating my strategy for picking up the car. I'm tempted to not pick it up right away and talk to the general manager. I worry about anyone else getting in that circumstance and will go so far as report them to the Better Business Bureau. Oh, well. B)

I like the way you think though, we need to keep you around and maybe tempt you into reading the Necroscope someday. hahaha (Saw that you like horror and fantasy novels... it's pretty much a mix of both.)

Lily said...

How's the car issue working out? Any luck?

I did a search on your reading suggestion. It's looks interesting and has good peer reviews, how many volumes is it expected to be? I think I will add the first book to my ever growing reading list and see how it goes.

Martin said...

The car should be ready tomorrow. From all the electrical problems it suppossedly had before the accident, I must have pissed off a gremlin. As for the Necroscope series, I'll have to make it an upcoming blog. B)