Saturday, December 1, 2012

A very bad day

If you are going to have a bad day, let me recommend you do it like I did.

That pesky light showing maintenance needed had been blazing since we went to Austin last week, so I knew I had to get it taken care of, since I am actually buying this car and hope it will at least last the next three years so I can get it paid for.

Anyway, I went to the first place, which promised a great price of only $31 for the "special" service which would include vacuuming out the knee deep layer of leaves in our car. After waiting an hour, they finally told me they did not have a filter to fit my car. Really? It took you that long to figure it out?

So I called the local dealership. They quoted a price of $41, which was $6 more than the last oil change I got with them. When I got there, they quoted a price of $49 and no matter what I said, they stuck to the price.

I was running out of patience and time and vaguely recalled seeing one of those oil changing places not too far out of the way.

The man motioned me to pull in. This seemed to be a good sign because at the other two I had to go look for someone.

Anyway, I asked if he could change the oil and had all the parts needed, how long it would take, and the price, although anything lower than $49 was going to seem good.

Yes, he had all the parts, it would take 10 minutes, and would be $39, which seemed like a good enough deal, and I could just sit in the car while he did it all. This seemed amazing, as I needed to make some phone calls and check my email.

While rummaging under the hood, he also pulled out the air filter and asked if I wanted it changed. Since I had never been there, I was sure he was just trying to upsell me, so a quick phone call to Dad and a check in my owner's manual, assured me that replacing it was LONG overdue, only by 25,000 miles! I agreed and he reported it would be an additional $18. Dad approved of the price, so I said go ahead. While reading the owner's manual suggested maintenance, I also noticed that the cabin filter should have been changed the first time at 25,000 and again at the 50,000 where we are now. He did not mind taking care of it, which was considerably more complicated. He had to take out the glove box and other assorted parts, but he did not mind. It was even worse than the other filter, so I agreed to its replacement. This quick oil change of $39 was costing more than I planned! BUT I had cash, which I NEVER DO, where I had taken back some things so it seemed to be the perfect time to take care of.

The last thing was starting the car to get the mileage for the little sticker to remind me when to return. He sat down, turned the key, and then I heard that dreaded sound, "click, click", but no sound of a motor starting.

He said, "I'm sorry, but it seems your battery is dead."

He gets out, checks under the hood to make sure nothing there seems to be out of sorts, tries it again, and this time it was a more definite, "click, click".


There I am stuck in one of only two bays they have to do their business and my car won't leave.

He quickly offers to bring his truck around and jump it and before I can even think, he does just that. He is telling me the whole time to check with the dealership and make sure there if there is any warranty left on the battery as it appears to be the original.

He announces his cables aren't there so they must be in his wife's car and he will gladly go the few blocks away where she works to retrieve them. I again have no time to react or think and he is gone.

I start trying to find the number of the dealership and not surprisingly, there is no warranty left.

While the first man is gone, another pulls his car around and they hook up some cables and no matter how hard they try by gunning their engine several times, mine still won't start. The first man returns with a little box thing, attaches it, and in no time my motor has enough juice to go.

All of the men, in this tiny shop, gather around to admonish that I cannot stop, I must go immediately and buy a battery, otherwise I was going to be stuck.

For the few minutes while they are talking, I think about all the places I had already been that day and all the places still left to go. I had to pick up my girls from school, then I was volunteering at their homecoming game until late. If the battery had died at any one of those stops, I never would have had the type of help I had there.

The car repair place I like to use was just two blocks away and they all agreed that would be a better choice than going to an auto parts store, leaving the car running while I go in and shop! Much better than trying it at Wal Mart!

I drove around the corner, left the car running and went inside for help.

These guys said, "No problem!" First they checked to make sure it was the battery and not the alternator. See, this is where you know you have a good place, as an alternator costs considerably more than a battery, but they assured me it was just the battery. They had a battery that would work and could get me out of there in a very short amount of time.

In less time than it has taken me to type this, they had my car ready to go with a brand new battery with a 5 year warranty.

You see, if you are going to have a bad day, have one like mine. There were so many other times and places where this would have been a major undertaking, but instead was a mere bump in my day.

If you need a great oil change with guys willing to go the extra mile, let me highly recommend, Classic Oil and Lube, on E. Davis, in Oak Cliff and if you need to be rescued for a battery or any other car problems, try Safety Brake on Beckley in Oak Cliff.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Jerri, I feel like you so much of the time, ranch widow that I am.... I'm so thankful for the wonderful neighborhood we live in & that there are still people of integrity & character in our part of town. I love Eddie & his Safety Brake team & I just wonder at the asset they are to Oak Cliff. I've had tires fixed for free, replaced for $5, oil changed for half what it would cost elsewhere & small problems repaired inexpensively when others could have made off like bandits convincing me the problem was much worse. We live in the true gem of North Texas & whodda thunk that was Oak Cliff? =)