Chaos Attraction

Seven Whopping Things Wrong

2019-06-26, 8:44 a.m.

Well, this week has not gone how I figured it would. I schlepped my car to a Volvo dealer in Sacramento (per instructions of SpeeDee, saying they thought my check engine light was a transmission issue and I’d have to get a dealer to deal with it) and dropped it off with a consultant dude in the morning, then was ferried over to Enterprise to rent a car for a few days. They gave me an SUV--a Nissan Rogue--and oh lordy. I generally don’t like driving large cars or want one. I’ll be fair to the Rogue that actually driving it was pretty well and fine. However, there were two issues with it:

(a) it has GIANT side mirrors that practically gave me a blind spot when trying to see on the left hand side, which is goddamned terrible when a biker is going by, and

(b) the “push button” ignition was not as easy to operate as they claimed it would be. I rarely drive new cars any more--I did when I was using Zipcars more, but the last time I used one of those was around a year ago and that was awkward to do at the time as well. The Enterprise guy basically said “push it on and push it off” but this car apparently needed you to do some other shenanigans to get the car to go off. Or on. Or whatever. I had to dig out the manual and read it every freaking time and futz with the car for a few minutes every damn time to get it to cooperate and drive. This kind of thing made me rethink going to any of the possible activities I wanted to do out of town that night, so I just decided to stay home.

Eventually I got the verdict from the consultant guy: there were seven whopping things wrong with the car. The check engine light needed a new censor, there were oil leaks and oil clogs, strut leaks, it needed alignment and I think the brake fluid needed changing and finally... the timing belt is clogged and about to die (which apparently kills a car if it breaks). Total cost: around $3700. Oh yeah, and they also BROKE MY ANTENNA in the car wash, but they’d fix that for free. Uh, yeah, you’d better.

At which point I was all, “well, can’t afford that.” Or at least it would pretty much use up all my available credit and then I’d have to go into the savings and....well, yeah, this is bad. I haven’t slept a whole lot the last few nights either (why the fuck do I wake up at 3 a.m. wide awake? whyyyyyyyy? no need for this) so I was pretty wrung out by the end of the day. You can imagine Mom’s reaction to this as well. She said she’d ask Roger for advice and I was all “oh good, someone SENSIBLE can chime in on this,” but by the time she was talking to him I ended up passing out.

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