Adventures in Owning a Car

This past week has been a total headache when it comes to my car. Last Monday, as I was headed back from Columbus after my work meeting, my check engine light came on (again). I may have mentioned back when I went to Kentucky for the weekend how it came on then too (ya know 2 weeks after the deer tried to total my car?) and it seemed to be solved with replacing my gas cap? Well, I became concerned maybe it only comes on after long distance driving (I went to and came back from Columbus on the same day, the week before it was broken up by a few days). So instead of meeting my friends at the Y I headed into the dealership for a service quote.

Stock image of my SUV

Stock image of my SUV

While there I learned the issue was with my transmission, but details were unknown and the guy who did the transmission work only worked M-F until 5 PM. Of course. Soooo we plotted and rearranged stuff (we being me) and I showed up on Thursday to drop her off, pick up a rental and head home. They’d work on mine Friday then I’d head back Friday after work to pick it up. Simple, right?

Until Monday night when my car alarm started going off for NO REASON. It went off from 130 AM until 230 AM. needless to say I learned you could shut things off through my bedroom window and I also did not actually sleep the rest of the morning/night. Ugg. The next day I was almost functional at work, before heading back to the dealership to accuse them of doing something wrong. They replaced a rubber piece in my hood for less than $2 and said a sensor wasn’t connecting.

Some of you may be asking why I didn’t go out and mess with the fuse or battery. GREAT QUESTION. That’s because about 2 weeks ago a girl about my age was murdered a street away from me. I can see the backyard from my front porch. The crime was still unsolved at this point in time so there was no way in hell I was going outside alone to be distracted by my car. I’d rather be alive and sleepy thank you very much. Of course I eventually realized I could call the police for non-emergency escort or something, but by that time it finally stopped.

Which brings us to Friday. I was headed to my early afternoon meeting (I skipped lunch because I was supposed to be home very early by going to this meeting). On my way there I received THE PHONE CALL. Essentially my transmission needed to be replaced, also my tired were bad, brakes were bad and whole laundry list of other items. Really? Are you kidding me?

I couldn’t quite negotiate over the phone and since the precious transmission guy was only there until 5 I headed to the dealership and took some personal time. I spent the next 5 years test driving cars and crunching numbers to decide if it would be better to buy a new car or fix mine. It was going to be well over $4000 to fix everything. The thing isn’t worth that anymore.

Well, luckily my car was still safe to drive, and they didn’t have anything in stock I wanted so I headed home. Now the issue with the transmission isn’t a functional problem, I could drive it the rest of its life with this issue. HOWEVER. It will cause the check engine light to come on and you won’t pass ECheck in Ohio if it is on, which I’m due for this year in July. THIS is why I was thinking of simply buying another car.

I called one of my best friends who told me her car did the same thing and the trick she learned about maintaining it. I Googled her suggestion and found out with the new test procedures it wouldn’t work. I decided to try anyway. On Saturday, after my gym routines, I headed to ECheck. The woman in front of me actually received a little lecture for doing what my friend suggested I do. Busted. Somehow luck was on my side though, and I PASSED. I FREAKING PASSED. Which means I’m good for another 2 years! I don’t have to replace my transmission OR get a new car! I then headed over to get new tires, where I negotiated like a pro and ended up saving nearly $300 from the dealer’s quote and saved $100 off this place’s original quote.

Next week it is the brakes, then we will save and work on things like my coolant flush and tune up. I just hit 120,000 miles baby! I don’t mind paying for routine maintenance. It comes with the territory.

What really upset me is how this all looks like the dealer was screwing me over. I’ve gone there for over 6 years. They have NEVER told me there was an issue when there wasn’t. And any repair quote they have given me (I called around) was on par with local pricing. It truly upsets me this happened. I don’t know if they’re under new mangament or something, but it’s really sad they would either 1) LIE or 2) hike up their prices that much!

Anyway…that’s been my week. Very stressful, but a very happy ending. So….thanks for letting me share. How’s your week been? Do you ever get stressed over your cars? Is your car your baby?

Ps. I wrote this in one sitting, so please forgive any typos…off to work! XOXO

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Owning a Car

  1. Dealer prices are always ridiculous in my experience. I needed to have my car checked out for a heating issue and they wouldn’t even look at the car without charing me $110. The next mechanic I called said it would cost $70 to look at and then another said it wouldn’t cost anything to look. I mean, really?? That’s great news about your inspection though!

  2. Yikes. I don’t blame you for going outside either with a perp on the loose like that!

    Sounds like you at least bought some time to research a new vehicle now. What a mess.

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