Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bad Light

Traumatized from the broken lock buttons, my Saturn turned on its Service Engine Soon light. That light never comes on. I take good care of my Saturn. It gets all its oil changes on time. I give it good gas. I don't stomp on the pedals. I just got new wiper blades. Good car. Good, good car. This is an evil, evil light. It could mean anything.

So, having success with Chevy a few days before, I decided to take my car there since there are no Saturn dealerships anymore and I don't know any mechanics in my area. I figured since they were so good with Eddie's car, they'd treat my car right, too.

We dropped it off for next day service.

The next day came and went and they hadn't serviced it yet. Umm, next day means the day after the one when we drop the car off. Minus 10.

The day after the next day in the morning, Eddie called. They had checked the car out. Proving that checking out the car takes about an hour and they had kept it over a day. Minus 10 more. It wasn't good news.

My poor little Saturn. What now? Was it really that pissed off about the locks?

No, no. It wasn't that. It was the computer, the oxygen sensor, the temperature gauge, the A/C ventilation system, the exhaust system, and the power steering. All of that all at once. The cost would be about 3 grand.

Say what?

The car's value is between three and four according to Kelly Blue Book. My car is in great condition.

The guy said that the locks weren't working because of the computer. Hmmm. Okay, well, some of that makes sense to me, but no, actually, it doesn't. I specifically remember pressing the button and immediately feeling and hearing something snap under the button. While maybe the computer was no longer working the locks because of that, the locks were not not working because of something with the computer. So minus 100.

I was all kinds of upset. I knew it wasn't worth it to put that much money in to my little car. It has 88000 miles on it. That's about the point when my brother's Saturn gave out. He had his a few years longer that I've had mine, but I drove mine further. It's all about the mileage. He put a little money into his and said that he had some of those things fixed on his along the way. Mine just needed it all at once.

I asked what was absolutely necessary to have the car run safely. The guy said everything was necessary. Eddie called back and asked again. The guy said everything except the power steering flush. Umm, that's a different answer. Why do I get one answer that costs more money and Eddie gets a cheaper answer? Minus 1000.

Then came the point of breakdown. Eddie told the guy not to touch the car, not to fix anything, that we would pick it up later. The guy said that was fine and then billed us $222 for the diagnostic.

Eddie was like, for only the diagnostic? The guy responded, yes we had to plug it into the computer and look up all those codes.

Maybe the way the guy said it belittled the work he actually put into it. Then again, I know they spent no longer than an hour on the car. So, plugging it in, checking the codes, and writing it all down, and making a phone call cost 222? Really?

Minus 800,0000. Not for the cost so much as for not informing us of the cost before doing it. And also because the average cost of a diagnostic is half of that.

Then. THEN. We go pick up the car that night. It's still running fine, btw. It feels like nothing is wrong. It's always felt like nothing's wrong. The light was off by now. So I figured, maybe I could just assume everything is okay now that the light is off.

But no, reading over the results of the diagnostic showed me that turning off the light doesn't cure everything. I checked the cost of all the things they wanted to do to the Saturn. Now I know that dealers are usually a little more expensive, but the prices they were charging were outrageous. Outrageous. Minus 100000000000000. Is that a billion at least? Hope so.

This was bad news. All very bad news. I do not like car shopping and now it seemed inevitable. I could take it to a different place and show them the test and ask if it could be cheaper, but with all that it needed, I couldn't see the use in putting more money into it and hoping for the best. So I hopped on my laptop and dove into Kelly Blue Blue, Edmunds, and all sorts of websites and dealerships and made a list of all the cars I could possibly drive. Not one of them was a Saturn and that's what my heart really desired.

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