So, a funny thing was happening with my car. Being the sort of person who is right on top of my car’s performance and maintenance, I’d barely noticed.
But when Otto was here, I started the car up one morning and it stalled. “That’s not right,” he said. “You need to get that looked at.”
“Really?” I countered. “No, see, it’s okay! Because if I restart it, it’s perfectly fine!” And then I backed down the driveway, threw the car into Drive, and ignored it when the transmission slipped and the engine revved and the car didn’t move for a second.
“ACK!” said Otto. “TAKE. YOUR. CAR. TO. THE. DEALER!”
I do not like to make Otto ack. I was suitably chastened.
The first thing I did, in an effort to both fix my car and maintain my preferred level of denial, was to take my car in for its long overdue oil change. I thought maybe that would make everything better.
Well, the oil change did not magically repair my car. Go figure.
I called the dealer to see about bringing the car in, and we went round and round for a bit (they do free loaner cars, which is very nice, but I haven’t quite figured out the proper ass-kissing protocol to be promised one right off the bat), and we settled on me bringing the car in this morning. They couldn’t promise me a loaner, but I agreed to give them an hour for diagnostics, at least.
Once I arrived and started describing the problem, I mentioned that it only happens when the car is started cold. Which presented a problem in terms of diagnosing the issue in an hour, because the car was now warm from my drive over, and an hour wouldn’t be enough time for it to cool down. So they decided to give me a loaner and let me leave.
I went about my day and got the call late this afternoon; had I been doing my scheduled maintenance, ma’am?
Little warning bells went off in my head.
Which scheduled maintenance were we discussing, I countered. I bought that car less than a year ago. It wasn’t due for anything major. What’s the problem?
Well, ma’am, have you been doing your oil changes at least?
Aha! I felt triumphant as I smugly encouraged him to check the sticker on the windshield—I’d just had the oil changed a week ago!
Oh, he said. Well. You’re going to need to go back there, ma’am.
My confusion only grew as it was explained to me that not only was my transmission fluid dangerously low (the same fluid that was supposedly JUST CHECKED), but I was missing an oil gasket and as a result, had an oil leak. Oh, no worries; the dealer fixed me right up and I got my car back.
But I’m thinking that the oil change place is definitely going to refund my money for the oil change, seeing as how they claimed to check my fluid (they did not) and stole my gasket, and I had to have another oil change today. (Okay, I’d been meaning to have the oil changed a little more often, but I didn’t mean EVERY WEEK.) I’m also thinking that maybe they should pay for the service I had to have done today. And I’m sure you would never guess this from reading me, but my voice sure can carry when I want it to. Just sayin’.
Is it wrong that I’m sort of looking forward to this?
The only problem is, Chickadee is having her teeth pulled tomorrow, and I probably shouldn’t drag her to the local oil change place. At least, not unless I can figure out a way to blame THAT on them, too. (“You people left me with an oil leak that caused crowding on my daughter’s lower jaw! LOOK ASHAMED!”)
Okay, Operation Retribution may have to wait a day. Those damn kids, they’re always getting in the way of my righteous indignation what with their LIVES and NEEDS. Sheesh.