Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Trying to change focus, here...

Relatives in Texas are planning to "ride out" the hurricane. Great. Good luck with that. I think it's a simply marvelous idea, really. (They're in Galveston. Yeah. Whatev.) My sister in Houston has had the invite extended, and she can drive to my house in the course of about 14 hours, I think. I've never done the drive, so I'm not sure, really. But it takes 8 hours to get here from Oklahoma City, so however much farther it is to Houston from Oklahoma City is how long it will take her. Maybe it'd take 16 hours all together? I don't know. But I've got space for her and the girls, and that's all that matters.

OK! So, my story about my car. Here we go...

So, over the past couple of weeks, I've been feeling a funny wobbly motion in my car. I felt like it was coming from the right side of the car, and it was bothering me a bit because I didn't know what caused it. It wasn't like I noticed it happening specifically after the last time I bumped into a curb (shut up) or something. So I decided it was time to call the dealership and find out what their advice would be.

Apparently, they hired Opie a couple of weeks ago, and he's the one that answers my call for help last week. I tell him that I'm not sure if the alignment is out of whack, or what, but that my car feels wobbly, and I'd like someone to take a look at it. The thing is, I don't have a lot of cash right now, and I know that tires are the one thing that aren't covered under my warranty, so I need to make sure they don't do anything to my car at all without checking with me first. He understands, he says. I also tell him that the tint from my back window is still peeling off in the upper corners, and no one has ever gotten back to me about that, which they were supposed to do quite some time ago. Ok, he says, he'll look into that too. I make an appointment to go in on Saturday last week, and we're done with the convo, IMO.

Opie called me back about 15 minutes later, and tells me that they don't put tint on the windows in their facility, and he's got the name of a shop for me. Um, nooooo, Opie, I just told you that the tint was NOT supposed to peel off, and that this is something that should be covered by the warranty, and someone was looking into finding out where the job was originally done, because we apparently need to take it back there again. Oh...ok, Opie says. He understands now. He went on to explain that the alignment job wasn't covered by my warranty either, and it's going to cost...

Whoa, Op! I didn't say I wanted to have an alignment performed on my car! I said that I can't afford to have something done, and what I need to do is figure out why my car is wobbly, and THEN find out if the fix that needs to be done is covered under warranty. Jeez! Ok, ok, Opie says. He understands. The appointment stands for Saturday, and I decided I'll just follow up on the tint thing this next week, since the chick that needs to help me is out last week for vacation.

So on Saturday, I roll out of bed, a bit worse for the wear since the boyfriend decided to express his love and admiration for me until 3:30 a.m. the night before (which was lovely of course, but a bit ill timed, is all), and head up to the dealership for a perfect on-time arrival of 9:30 a.m. I'm the only customer there when I arrive, although another gentleman did come in soon after and sat down near where I was sitting to wait for me to finish up. The service guy that's there on Saturday, named Chris Smith, was moving about, and apparently my friend Opie is his assistant for the day. So Chris asks what's going on with my car, and Opie explains what I told him about the wobbly feeling on the right side of the car. Chris laughs and shakes his head, in what I would constitute as disbelief that he had to deal with a woman saying she felt something "wobbly" happening to her car. And then he heads out the door to check out my car.

I sat there, and turned around to look at the man that was waiting patiently behind me and asked him, "Did he just laugh at me?" The guy says yes, he did. And then he said, "He must need a vacation or something." I'm PISSED, but I hold it together and keep my cool. I don't know why, but I did.

Chris Smith comes back in the door, and says, "Let's go for a ride." He doesn't ask me any questions about how long the wobbliness has been happening, or when I feel it, or anything, but I think it's a good idea for him to drive it and get an idea of what I'm talking about, so I head out the door with him.

He proceeds to drive the car onto the highway, which isn't going to help at all, since I rarely get on the highway, and I don't feel the wobbly at high speeds, but rather at very low speeds, such as the speed I drive through the parking garage I park in at work. That's when the feeling is most prominent, and in fact, it's where I first noticed the weird feeling in the first place. I can also feel it while turning as well, so Chris gets off the freeway and heads into a parking lot to drive in circles.

All this time, I'm telling Chris that I just want to be sure my car is ok, and that I'm not making a little problem worse by driving it without getting it checked, etc, etc...I said I've been driving this car for 3 years, and little problems are rather noticeable to me. Chris counters with the fact that he feels nothing wrong, compliments me on how nice my car is, in fact, and then says he's been in the service department for 7 and a half years, and has been driving the cars for that long as well, and he knows when something is wrong with them. And there's nothing wrong with my car. He also had the nerve to ask me, "Do you happen to feel this 'wobbly' feeling when you're going over bumps?"

At this point, I just want Mr. Smith the FUCK out of my car, and plan on dealing with his condescending, holier-than-thou attitude by calling his boss on Monday. Which I did. The boss apologized for the way Chris Smith dealt with my issue, and said he was going to be speaking to him about it. We arranged for me to bring in my car in last night for the lead maintenance tech to drive in with me, and to pop up on a jack to check the undercarriage for issues. Conclusion to the whole thing?

- My left front wheel rim is bent, and needs to be straightened. (Probly happened when I went over a pothole, which KC happens to be infamous for, was on the inside of my wheel, and couldn't have been caused by a little bump on a curb.)
- My rear tires need to be replaced, and my car should probably get an alignment performed on it, if I can afford to do so.
- Chris Smith no longer works for Baron BMW.
- The service department manager is straightening the wheel for free, in hopes to restore my faith in their service department. (He restored my faith when he told me that Chris no longer worked there, but I was happy to hear I wouldn't have to spend the $75 to have the wheel straightened, too.)

What the HELL is with men that think women don't have any brain when it comes to cars? Sure, I can't pop the hood to my little 325 Ci and change the oil or perform a transmission check on it, or whatever. But I've been driving the car for 3 fucking years!!! To think that I can't feel when something is wrong with it is treating me with disrespect. And to laugh at me in my face because of my description of a problem my car is exhibiting? Absolutely unacceptable.

So that's my story of woe from the last week in my life. My car is broken, and it's going to cost me a good $250 - $400 to fix it (I'm hoping I won't need the alignment performed after they put the new tires costs $170!), but it's still driveable, which is a good thing.

Fucking potholes.


lyn said...

right on that the mgr fired the asshole.

i am so with you on that, i drive my car every day, i know when something is wrong.

i had an issue last week and i brought it in and they were super cool as well - i was 1500 miles over warranty and they covered it under warranty. it would have been $1000 if they didn't cover it.

i am glad they are straightening your wheel for free. sometimes god takes cares of his girls, huh?

FaithsTwin said...

I had a wobble in the steering wheel at slow speeds, but mine also shook violently when I got the car doing 70+. The needing new tires makes sense, but I am glad they discovered the bent situation before it became anything drastic.

I'm glad they fired Mr. Asshole. After 'working there for 7 and a half years' it proves that they take customers totally seriously- and the fact that if you had 'listened' to him and believed it was just YOU and NOT the car, you could have been seriously injured or worse. Fuckin' idiot!

Alisha said...

What an asshole! I hate taking my car in because I immediately have to be on the defensive. You would think with women CEO's, neurologists, astronauts, and in combat situations, that we could go to the FUCKING car repair place and actually be taken seriously.

FaithsTwin said...


as much as I would love to think that our influence in places higher up and breaking thru the glass ceiling would IMPROVE our chances at being accepted, I have had too many experiences with the people who try to prove us wrong (men & women alike). I actually prefer a male gyno. I have had 2 babies and MANY times in those stirrups and have only been treated kindly by about 2% of the women as opposed to men in my life (this is from age 16 to 31 mind you.)

alisha said...


I'm not saying woman are NICE! I prefer to work for men in general because they tend to be a lot less cold and rude. But that doesn't mean they aren't smart and that's what makes me angry. Just because I have a vagina doesn't mean I don't know enough about cars in general and my car in particular to know when something is wrong. Any woman should be able to go into a car repair shop and be taken seriously until they prove themselves otherwise.

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