This is my current vehicle. I've owned it for, well quite some time. I bought it, gently used, in Colorado. Let's see, it's a 2004, this is 2018, so it's 14 years old. Still looks pretty spry doesn't it? Well it should. For all of it's car-years, (I mean 14 in people years is still quite young) there's only about 73,000 miles on this car most of them put on by the previous owner. All in all, I suppose, it's a good vehicle. And still, I have almost no emotional attachment to it. It's just a way of getting from point A to point B. And in my case A is usually home and B is usually the grocery store.
I have a Love/Hate relationship with cars anyway. I find them very handy to get places, but I really hate how ridiculously expensive they are to own, to maintain, to repair and I strongly despise how often they seem to require some sort of fussing about and I definitely do not like having to take it to a repair shop and dealing with repair guys. Everyone already knows how I feel about driving so I won't bother to reiterate that part.
For me, the repair part is the worst. It's not only expensive, it can be intimidating and infuriating.
The reason this comes to mind is that my car is, once again, just back from the shop. For over a year now, I have had periodic issues with the front right tire going flat. No warning just..boop, flat tire. Dang. I'd put air in it and it would be fine for awhile and then I'd be ready to go to the grocery store and... boop, flat tire again. ARGH! I have taken it to the repair place (where we bought the tire so - warranty y'know) and they would "fix" it holding back eye rolls and tell me that they couldn't find a problem. I would say things like, "you mean other than the fact that the tire is flat, right?" And they would say right and give me back the keys and off I would go until it was flat again. Aggravating!
So it happened again. I put in air. The next day, flat again. Tried Fix-a-Flat. The next day, flat again. I put air in once again, just enough to get me to the repair shop. This time, when they called to say it was all set Tim took the call. When they told him they couldn't find a problem, he suggested strongly that they " try looking again because clearly there is a problem. This has happened many times before. The tire isn't flat because it's exhausted".
This time they found the actual problem and fixed it. I know because the car is in my driveway and the tire is not flat today ;) YAY! Still I am annoyed. Why couldn't they go the extra step necessary to solve the problem for me? I'm delighted that Tim got them to do their doggone job correctly, but should he have had to intervene for me?
In the 47 years I've been driving, I have owned 6 cars. I remember well the first car that I bought my own little self. It was a cute little boxy apple green fiat. Four doors, no radio. I loved that car. It had only two issues. The first was that the high/low beam stick was on the left side of the column and stuck way out past even the steering wheel. Since I am a horrible person who never buttons their coat, every time I swung into the car on a chilly winters day, my open coat would catch on the stick and break it off. The people who design Fiat's had, at that time at least, unwisely created a car that not only had that stupid stick hanging way out there just begging to be snapped off, but to fix it, the entire column had to be replaced. Not an inexpensive undertaking. Especially for a pathetically poor college kid.
After having to get it replaced twice, I asked the garage if they could possibly change it out to a floor switch. They could and they did! Hurrah! Problem solved! OK, that one was probably all my fault. So I cannot blame Fiat or the repair shop for that one. And the repair guys were remarkably helpful.
But the other issue was infuriating. The windshield wiper on the drivers side only, would fly off the car if used while it was actually raining. And I mean that literally. Driving down the road, it begins to rain, I turned on the wipers and they would go right, left, right , zip and off it would go flying through the air. Damnit. I'd pull over and stop. Get out in the pouring rain. Race across the highway. Pick up my windshield wiper. Take off my shoe to pound it back on. Get back in the car. Now sometimes I could just wait on the side of the road until the rain stopped and resume my travel, but other times, there were places I needed to be at a specific time. So I would have to do that little dance over and over until I arrived at my destination or the rain stopped. Not Fun.
Whenever I took it to the Fiat garage they would look at me as if I were crazy and try to get the car to duplicate what I was telling them it did. And of course it did not. Because it wasn't raining! It only happened in the rain. I kept taking it in over and over. They got less and less transparent about how crazy they thought I was until finally I limped there during a rain storm. I walked in with said wiper in my hand, looking as if I had been dunked in a bucket from repeatedly dashing out into the rain to retrieve my wiper from the street. I flourished it at them.
"Why is my windshield wiper in my hand?" I queried in my cold angry voice.
"Because it's not on your car?" one of them tentatively answered.
"Correct! Why is it not on my car?" I pressed
"Because it came off?" Ah! this fellow has been through this with me before!
"Correct? Why does it keep coming off?" I glared through steamed up glasses and dripping hair.
Slowly as if approaching a wounded wild animal, two of them came around to the front of the shop. One of them took the offending wiper, the other the keys I offered them. I waited, steaming silently sitting in those horrible plastic molded chairs, soaking wet and chilled through while they worked.
Their solution was to switch the drivers side and passengers side wipers. True, the driver's side wiper no longer flew off, but the passenger side did and contrary to some people's apparent belief, I actually would benefit from being able to see out of the entire windshield while driving.
I ended up fixing it myself by epoxying the wiper arm in place.
Things like that make my blood pressure go so high, it's nearly in the normal range!!! So frustrating.
So anyway, right now my car is fine and all is well with the world again and if someone asked me if I liked my car I would say yes without hesitation. But the next time something goes wrong on my car, I'll be all pissy again and claim that I hate that damned car. When in fact, it's not the car at all. It's the cost of keeping the car running.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.