Sounds like a curse, doesn't it? Yeah, well, it is starting to feel like one to me these days. Especially after this last week of automotive trouble.
It all began when we decided to get the A/C fixed in our 2000 Dodge Caravan. We took it to our regular mechanic here in Alvin last Friday. I have Fridays off, so I took my wife to her job.
I knew what the problem was, basically. There was a hose with at hole in it the size of the Khyber Pass. Turns out the hose is about $200 alone. Then you have to get a contortionist to put it on. And the dryer had to be replaced because of “contamination”, probably because there was a squirrel or cat caught in there.
OK, so they replace THAT on Friday, to the tune of about $500. Before I came to pick it up, I got a call, and the unlucky Steve said that there was a leak in the OTHER hose now. “Daimler”! But we could take it home for the weekend and bring it back on Monday.
They called Monday with semi-good news; the other hose wasn’t leaking, there was a slight problem with an “o” ring on the new one. Fixed no problem. Saved us another $450 or so. But later they discovered that the driver’s side wasn’t blowing cool air. The mechanic traced the problem to an expansion valve. So they order the part. It won’t be in till Tuesday. OK, I can take Kelly to work for another day.
The part didn’t come in till late on Tuesday, and it turns out it was the wrong one. Wednesday we’ll get another one. “Daimler!”, we carpool AGAIN! In the mean time, the shop had decided to go with the Mopar dealer, but without charging us the difference. Even THEY were feeling bad about our situation. Surely the all-knowing dealer would be able to provide the correct part. Not so.
Wednesday, I called (which was call #23) and when they told me that news, I told them that I needed the van back anyhow. The air couldn’t be blowing any hotter than my wife, who had been stranded at work for 4 days already. They said a new part was coming from Dodge and it was surely likely that it was correct. Almost definitely.
Thursday I drove the “room temperature” van to work and my wife took my mostly air conditioned car to her job. Some time after noon, Steve called and told me that the new part came in and it was suspiciously similar to the original part that came off the van. Which isn’t a resounding “Perfect!”, but in light of the other three parts, none of which bore even a passing similarity to the original part, even a slight familial resemblance was a step in the right direction. I told him that I would bring it in on Friday and they could do the work.
I just now got the call that the A/C service is complete and that all we lack is the state inspection that is needed by the end of the month.
I will likely never view another Dodge commercial without launching into a tirade about this incident. The burden of being a Geezer.
So the state inspection didn't get done on Friday, as planned. It seems they started the engine without a particular vacuum hose connected, and the computer picked that up and tossed a "Check Engine" code on them. They reconnected the offending hose, but couldn't get the computer to clear the code, and that code precludes an emissions test.
So I bring it back on this next Friday.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Posted by aA at 10:56 AM