Thursday, February 11, 2010

Queen, princess...whatever.

Leo being out of work has made it handy for him to be able to help me with some car maintenance issues that need taking care of over the last couple of weeks. He has been kind enough to take my ol' trusty Beamer in for me on my carpool days, when I don't have to drive. I needed an oil change, and I had windshield wiper issues (which, do NOT get me started on, because they only sell them in PAIRS? For $55? Really??? Oh, ok. No matter that I only need one replaced. That's fine. It's GOUGING, if you ask me, but thaaaat's juuust fiiiine. Douchebags...), and I've also had an ongoing issue with my windshield wiper fluid basin leaking over the last few months. I thought the problem was taken care of back in November when we replaced some leaky valves on the windshield wipers themselves, but apparently not, since I still have fluid leaking all over my garage floor when they fill it up. They can't detect the leak. But there MUST BE a leak, I tell them. I show them pictures of the puddled fluid on my garage floor. We see the drip residue on the pipes and tubes in the engine area. But since they can't find the leak, they say they don't need to replace the basin.

I finally insisted that they just order a new one, and install it. I don't care if they can't find it anymore...my car is not going to slowly rust away in a spot under the fucking undetectable leak just because they can't get their eyes to work properly.

I've also been asking about the tires for the past 5 months anytime I go in for something random to be worked on. It's been a long. time. since I've had my tires replaced. Like, 3 years...I'm not joking. And while I don't drive super-long distances on a daily basis - my commute is only 14 miles total - still. THREE YEARS? Usually, what we do is rotate the back tires to the front, and then replace the back ones with brand new ones, so I only have to buy 2 at a time. That works pretty well, it seems like. But every time I've taken it in, they've said my tires look fine. "Really?" Yeah! You're good to go, they say.

But lately, I've been feeling a shuddering in my steering now and then. And a weird rotation on my front passenger tire. I call it the Princess and the Pea Syndrome. Because I'm the only one that tends to drive my car on a regular basis, I'm the only one that can feel that something is even just a wee bit off. And it's hard to describe, of course. And it doesn't happen all the time, which makes it even more fun. Anyway, Leo asked me to talk to them about it today and try to describe it, because he's having a hard time of it. So I did, even telling the mechanic about my Princess and the Pea analogy. And he just called me back after a half hour, and said my tires are about to go, and that's causing the shuddering and weird wobbly feeling.

Well, DUH! I've only been trying to tell them for the past several months that something is wrong! But this is one of those random mechanics that has a heart. They don't want to sell something to me just because it's been 3 years and 10,000 miles. (Really. That's all I drive in that period of time. It's weird.) They want to be on the level with me. But I figured that the tread HAD to be going by now, and sure enough, it is.

I know my car, yo.

Am I alone in this syndrome? Are there other princesses out there like me that can attest to this sort of prissyness? Which isn't really prissyness, because, c'mon. It's not like we're driving $150 bicycles all over the place, right? If you value your vehicle as much as I value mine - even half as much! - I'd think you'd understand what I'm talking about. Tell me I'm not alone...

9 comments:

Ms. Pants said...

Nope. I'm the same way with my car.

Faith said...

It's just so frustrating sometimes, because in the past, I've run into the types of mechanics/service department dudes that basically laugh at me for bringing in my car for issues like it feeling wobbly on one tire, or whatever. In fact, one dude pissed me off so badly, I called his manager immediately, and the dude wound up getting fired. (I wasn't the only person he was treating poorly, it seemed.)

Don't fuck with me, is the lesson here. I hate getting the run around!

Shicho said...

uh...if all you've driven is a total of 10,000 miles in 3 years and you need new tires? then you bought the bigest POS in the world. even if you have driven 30,000 miles in 3 years, unless you only paid $5 each for your tires, you STILL bought the biggest POS in the world. for around $120 a tire you can buy 80,000 mile tires that last you waaaaaay past the time the POS you bought has already broken down and died...

Catherine VandeVelde said...

When I initially scanned through your post I swear I saw the words "Paris" and "$55." Imagine my disappointment when I found out we were discussing tires. :)

I concur, you are not alone with the car issues.

Faith said...

Shicho, with the weather we expose our tires to in this fair city of ours, regardless of mileage, the tires need replacing now and again. 10,000 - 15,000 miles/3 years is my personal limit. You can have whatever one you want. It's kind of like an oil change. I only need to change mine every 5,000 - 6,000 miles due to the type of oil I use and the engine in my car. But it takes me almost a year to go that distance. So I go by months instead, and get one every 6 months. Especially for the age my car is now (8 years), it's just what I like to do to keep my car healthy. And it treats me pretty well in return!

I drive a BMW. It is NOT a piece of shit. It's a 2002 325 Ci, and it is by far the best car I've ever owned. The tread wears down because of exposure AND miles driven. It is just rubber, after all.

Faith said...

I just did the math, and it's closer to 21,000 miles in 3 years, if that makes anyone feel better. I drive an average of 6,500 - 7,200 miles per year, it seems. I drive a rear wheel drive, which is the only thing I would change about my car if possible. I think that makes a difference in the way the tires wear, too. But I'm not sure. ::shrugs::

Shicho said...

Faith -

"10,000 - 15,000 miles/3 years is my personal limit."

Aaaah. Now it makes sense.

No, it's not a princess thing. It's an insanity thing...

Faith said...

Hehehe! I'm all about the insanity, Shicho. You read the blog...you should know that by now! :P

bill said...

My bicycle cost $5000...oh, wait, that's only one of them. The other one cost $5000 too.

FYI if you go to an auto parts store new wipers are only $20 and they'll put them on for you (and you can buy just one if you want!).


I don't know what you're doing with your car...burning rubber from the stops? But your tires ought last 40,000 miles+.