Allow me to begin this post with a disclaimer– I know nothing about cars. I’m happy if they run reasonably well, have a heater that works, and go from point A to point B without stopping unless I tell them to.
I once drove my ’85 Corolla around for the weeks with a blown head gasket. With respect to the Corolla, it never missed a vroom– but the engine was, sadly, irreplaceable damaged after that and she never vroomed again.
So… car knowledge, minimal. Which may account for what happened to my Suburu after my husband passed away.
Some of you know a little about this, but I haven’t mentioned it much on my blog. The car was a secondary consideration in those first few weeks After, and by the time I came round enough to be angry, I wasn’t sure where I stood, legally. And I generally try to cover my bum, blog wise.
Anyway. To cut a long, potentially boring story short… my car was in the mechanics workshop for four months in total– two months before Tony died, and two months after. For six weeks I dropped in there twice weekly, cash in hand– the work mostly paid for by my husband before he passed away, only a minimal amount owing– and demanded my car, which I could see right there in front of me… six foot up in the air, on struts.
And every time I was told “We’re just putting it back together. A few more days, and we’ll call you.”
The sense of frustration and unfairness toward this mechanic (arsehole) nearly drove me insane. With what was already going on, it was enough to push me to breaking point.
And this is where Department of Fair Trading steps in, bless them, retrieves my car and gives mechanic a good kick up the bum.
Fast forward six months later, I’m living in Paradise, and the Suburu is hemorrhaging oil all over my driveway. A–hole mechanic refuses to take any responsibility. Department of Fair Trading can do nothing. I’m up for a new turbo, at a cost of $3600.
Were living in TinyTrainTown by this time and, after much deliberation, I decide to book my car into the local (ish… nothing’s really local to here) Kmart Tyre and Auto place for some much needed TLC. By that point I trusted mechanics about as much as they respected me… I wasn’t expecting much.
KTAS service manager is sympathetic as I tell him about a–hole mechanic and promises not to screw me over. After I take quick look while I wander the massive shopping centre the workshop is attached to, blinded by lights and product and shiny things (Goods! Real goods! That I can touch and see and pay for and take home now! The instant gratification factor of online shopping is non–existent), the diagnosis of new turbo is confirmed and my bank account winces as I book the car in. It should take one week and, as predicted, cost almost four grand.
Being stuck in the sticks with two little kids and no car sucks.
Four days into Purgatory via PlaySchool and SpongeBob, I got a phone call that made my week. Made my month, in fact. It didn’t quite restore my faith in humanity… but at the very least, my faith in mechanics.
Not only was my car ready to go three days early, but it was only going to cost me a quarter of what was originally quoted. Quite simply, once they tin-canned the Suburu’s engine open, they found that the entire turbo didn’t need replacing– just a few gaskets and rubber bands and other stuff that make it airtight.
Excuse me while I genuflect at the foot of the corporate mechanic. It’s not just the fact they rescued me from three more days stuck at home with no car, or even that they saved me about three thousand dollars. It’s the fact that they could have, if they chose, replaced the existing turbo with a brand new one and resold the old one for a further thousand bucks, and, having already been signed off by Fair Trading and me being mechanically clueless, no one would have ever been any the wiser.
And they didn’t.
I think that’s all we need to say about that, yes? They gave me two hundred voucher to write this post, and one for you guys to win too. Which is awesome. But truly, I would have written it anyway. The worlds been a bit of a bitch recently– fair treatment is always much appreciated here.
I’ve got one voucher to giveaway for KMart Tyre and Auto, to be spent on whatever you like, valued at $200. Why, yes, that’s the equivalent of a free car service, and, yes, I know- how freaking cool.
Here’s the t and c’s…
To enter this competition, leave a comment telling me what your first car- or other mode of vehicular transport was, roughly how much you paid, and some of the things that were wrong with it (Not all the things that were wrong with it, please, we only have so much space in the comments section).
The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.
This one’s open to Australian residents only, sorry OS peeps. Next time.
Entries open at Wednesday 9th May and close midnight Wednesday 16th May.
The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email, or the prize will be redrawn.
Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition.