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23 December 2005 @ 10:15 pm
Car woahs  
Wednesday:
Me:  "Mr. Dealer service tech guy, I want an oil change.  It's about two thousand miles overdue for one, and while nothing's really wrong with the car, we're going on this trip this weekend..."
Dealer tech guy:  "I know you were just in here a couple months ago for a big and expensive 75,000 mile service checkup, but it looks like you need this other big and expensive service checkup now that you've passed 80,000 miles."
Me:  "Didn't we do any of that stuff at the 75,000 mile checkup?"
Him:  "Nope."
Me:  "Well, since I'm going on this trip to San Jose this weekend and I absolutely can't afford for the car to break down, I'll do what it takes to make sure that doesn't happen.  What's the bill gonna look like?"
Him:  "$850."
Me:  *gasp*  "Well, if it's necessary, I guess do it."

Thursday:
Me:  "Hi, Ms. cashier person.  Here's my money.  Anything I should know about my car?"
Her:  "Let me see.... Nope."

Friday (today):
I run some errands, including hitting my chiropractor in Laguna Hills.  Fair amount of driving, but nothing excessive.  Pick Jen up from work at 4:30, hit the road.  At 6:00, we're on the 210 and the check engine light comes on.  I call.
Me:  "Here's what's going on.  I'm unhappy."
Tech:  "Well, the guy who knows specifically what happened with your car has gone home already, but from my experience, if the car doesn't feel like it's driving funky when the check engine light goes on, it's probably nothing to worry about.  It's not likely to leave you stranded on the side of the road.  I'd just keep going and have it checked out when you arrive in San Jose."

6:30
The check engine light hasn't gone away (it occasionally does that).  I have noticed that my cruise control has stopped working, but I can drive without it.  At this point, we're on the 5, about five miles from Magic Mountain.  Suddenly, the following happens in quick succession:

  • The light that indicates what gear you're in (Reverse, Park, Drive, Neutral, etc) suddenly stops indicating anything.

  • The gas pedal suddenly stops having any effect on the speed of the car.

  • The power steering goes out.

  • The screen flickers - we're talking bright multicolor full screen meltdown.  Then it dies.

  • The dashboard display (speed, check engine light, etc) dims and goes dead.

  • All electrical activity except the hazard lights (which obviously went on very quickly) completely die.

  • The engine dies.



I manage to get the car over from the #2 lane into the shoulder of the nearest offramp, and we find ourselves stranded on the side of the road.  Several angry calls later, and it's determined that while there is a dealership in Valencia, they're only open for two hours tomorrow.  The dealer that did this to me in the first place is open for seven hours tomorrow, so I determine that if there's something to find, they're more likely to be able to do something about it.  We have the car towed back to them, in Anaheim.

It's now 10:15, and we're going to defy the gods that obviously want us to not make the trip tonight and try it again.  The traffic isn't half as bad as it was when we started, and it's likely to be worse than that tomorrow morning.  We'll arrive after 3am.

Wish us luck.....
 
 
 
Nentikobe - a work in progress: wtfnentikobe on December 24th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
oh goodness. Be careful. Please let us know you arrive safely.

*hugs* hope that the stress levels lower.
Idtechnomonkey on December 26th, 2005 07:29 am (UTC)
Yupyup
Forgot to mention that I'd be out of computer-shot for a while. Got here safe and sound at 3:50am. Will report on that more later, most likely.

For the moment, I should at least update that the dealer drove the car around for about 50 miles yesterday and could find nothing wrong. At least, that's what they told me. My suspicion is that they saw what was wrong immediately, saw that it was something they did, fixed it, THEN drove it around for about 50 miles and told me they could find nothing wrong. But that's not something I can prove.

Anyway, happy XQAUY, everybody!