Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Existential Car Problems

First off, I have to thank or blame Scott Thompson, Sweet Home Class of 93, for that blog title today. He coined the term for that which you're about to read.

So continuing yesterday's story of Gulliver's Travels 90232, I got up at 6 a.m. today (which really ate it, b/c i was up until 1 a.m. writing yesterday's chapter FFS). I sleptwalk to my car and started my car and yay! my "service engine soon" light was still on. Luckily, I made it the 16 miles to the Saturn dealership and I left my car for the day in the caring hands of my friendly Saturn service tech/rep. She said that they'd hook up my car's computer to their femputer and find out why my light stayed on and why the ride was unsmooth.

Since I was carless, my esteemed colleague and fellow Arizona Wildcat Amanda Riddle picked me up at Saturn and drove me to work. Yay! AMANDA!

So we get to work and start editing pages for our next issue. Thankfully we were ├╝berbusy today, so I didn't paralyzingly lock onto my cell phone, even though I did prove that a watched cell phone never rings. WHERE ARE YOU SATURN PEOPLE?

At 2 p.m. (6.5 hours after leaving my car, at what was supposed to be near the front of the line), I finally get a hold of them and ...

"So, we tested your car and the codes that came up were a problem with your oxygen sensor." Incidentally, that's what my roommate Andrew and my old college roommate Bill specualted.

"OK," I said, wondering why they didn't quote me a price or say that I should replace it.

"But," tech says. I had a bad feeling about the but. "we're not sure what the problem is because the light has gone off."

"excuse me?"

"Yeah, we know that you had a problem with it, but the light is off now and it seems to be going fine. What I need to do is have someone drive it around for like 10-15 miles to see if it comes back and then we can more correctly diagnose the problem."

"OK, thanks, well call me when you learn more."

In the interests of brevity (too late), I'm gonna jump ahead here. Basically, they drove it around and still nothing, which left me here. It would cost $115 to fix the oxygen sensor ($75 for the part and $45 for the labor--not bad as car repairs go). But there's a chance that replacing the oxygen sensor won't fix the problem with my car. It's possible, though unlikely, that the oxygen sensor problem is just symptomatic of a bigger problem. So they don't me to spend money on a repair that might be unnecessary and then have me come back in a few more days and pay for another repair that was the real problem all along. They were very nice and waived $90 diagnostic fee. Last thing they tell me is to call them when the light comes on again. yay!

So in the end, I got a ride to work from one co-worker, a ride back to the dealer from my boss, stared a lot at my phone, lost a lot of sleep, a got a free car wash all to do this over again in the next few days most likely, because this light problem is going to come back.

Sorry to anyone who comes aross this entry. It really wasn't entertaining or amusing. I suck.

l8r
mf

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