Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Will Not Be THAT Girl (aka Take That Snappy Lube Dude) I have had some automotive issues as of late. More than just a few. And it's beginning to wear me down.

First there was the whole "my brakes" were shot issue. Apparently I was so hard on my brakes that not only did I need to replace the brake pads, I totally wore down the calpers (or something) and needed those replaced too. Nice.

Then there was the whole "me ripping the door panel off the driver side door so much that it rattled every time the car was going more than 8mph." That sucked. For like 3 weeks until I could get it fixed. And for the record - how I actually ripped the door panel off was a total accident. I was driving home from my kick-ass weekend with Dr. Diva and it was a Sunday and I kind of wanted to get home but then I passed by BJs and I totally stopped because I love BJs and they have Yellowtail Reserve Shiraz for $8.99/bottle and also Perdue boneless, skinless chicken thighs pre-packaged to go right in the freezer with 2 - 3 thighs per bag and I was running out of paper towels since my last visit to the 8th Circle of Hell and in general while I love BJs I hate driving out there because it's right in the middle of Mooresville retail chaos and the traffic I encounter heading out there is never worth the satisfaction I feel after I make all of my bulk purchases but since I was passing it in the other direction on my way home it kind of made sense to stop. Only - warehouse shops don't give you bags or boxes and as soon as I pulled out of the parking lot I could hear shit rolling around in the back of the Blazer and wine bottles clanking and I was like: I can't drive another 40 minutes home listening to this crap and so before I pulled back out onto 150 I swerved sharply into the parking lot of the local Hampton Inn (conveniently located next to BJs) and rearranged everything and then in an effort to speedily get back on the road I guess I didn't actually pull the driver's side door all the way shut and so I am on 150 heading home and I can tell my door isn't shut and I am so anxious to get home that I don't want to pull over like a normal person so I keep waiting to hit a red light (and why the fuck do I never hit a red light when I actually want to?) and just as I am about to finally, finally hit a red light after like, 400 greens, and I start to open my door to pull it shut - the freaking light turns green and so I panic and yank my door shut with such extreme force that I literally rip the panel from the door. Clearly I need to stop lifting weights.

Then there was the whole my air conditioning died in the middle of a heat wave thing. Which was fortunately resolved promptly (thank you very much Wallace) but was still a major pain in my ass.

Do you think my poor Blazer is trying to tell me something? Do you think it is revolting since I have driven it probably close to 70,000 miles in 18 months? Do you?

The latest little automotive headache came this past Monday morning. And it was sort of my fault. I meant to go to Snappy Lube on Saturday. I really did. I was overdue for an oil change and my left front tire looked low and Marty told me my right rear looked low also (which is no surprise because I ever since I drove over a nail last summer while we were building the deck and ever since I had it plugged or patched - I can't remember which - that damn tire has had some sort of slow leak that nobody can find but that I know is there because tires just don't lose that much pressure automatically) and I needed to change the fuel filter and Marty and I were going to go on Saturday but we didn't and I sort of forgot all about it and then Marty went to the movies on Sunday and when he came home he noticed just how low my right rear tire looked and so he left me a note to get some air put in it before I left for Columbia (or drive the Volvo which I was not about to do with less than a week left on the lease and a perfect passing grade from the inspection guy) and so I had a minor freak out and Monday morning trying to get ready for my day and trying to get on the road I run down the hill to the closest mechanic and beg him to please add some air to my tires because they seem low and he takes one look and says: that's not low, that's flat. UGH. Fuck me. Why didn't I go to Snappy Lube on Saturday? No idea.

So I didn't have time to figure out my whole tire situation on Monday seeing as I was already LATE to get on the road to Columbia (although I suppose a 250-mile round trip is reason enough to figure out one's tire situation) and the nice man did fill all 4 tires to the maximum PSI (40 lbs). But then when I'm like: "This will get me through today right?" And he's like: "Well....I don't know because the tread on your right front tire (heretofore unreferenced in this post) is totally worn out and you need to replace it and get an alignment" and I am like: "WTF??? Are you freaking kidding me? I can't deal with this now!" Needless to say the drive to and from Columbia was stressful. But I survived.

And God love Marty because he totally replaced all 4 tires on my Blazer yesterday with the extra set we had in storage and he personally checked the pressure on all of them and said they were all at 40 PSI which meant that they had not been leaking while in storage...

And so I still need my oil changed and a new fuel filter and an alignment so that I am no longer "toe-out." And I am sick and tired of 1) looking like red meat in a lion's den whenever I walk into a mechanic's garage/Snappy Lube and 2) having to depend on a man to tell me what is in fact wrong with my car and how to fix it. And I drive, like, 50,000 miles a year and get my oil changed every 3000 miles i.e. every 5 - 6 weeks and I so clearly need to know my automotive shit. And so I have vowed to find Auto 101 for Dummies or Girls or New Yorkers or all of the above because...

...because I will not be the girl who goes into Snappy Lube every 6 weeks to have my oil changed and walks out $300 poorer because she's been upsold on some kind of filter/belt/gear that needs replacing. And I will not be the girl who goes into Snappy Lube every 6 weeks to have my oil changed and tells the very nice grease monkey to bring it up with her husband next time he comes in. No. I will be the girl who goes into Snappy Lube every 6 weeks to have my oil changed and who is well-versed enough in filters/belts/gears that I can politely tell the very nice grease monkey thanks, but I don't think we're ready to replace the fuel filter just yet. But yes - it is time to flush the transmission.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


kyooty said...

You need to either go to pep boys, or autozone, and find the books you need for your car. You can find the name of your car and year and engine number and it will tell you almost everything you need ot know to take it apart. next time you buy a car, ask that the shop manual be added on for "free" when your trying ot make your deal. Then you know most of the steps to fix up your brakes, oils, gas and oil filters, window wipers or even how to change your battery :)

Nancy said...

Substitute Snappy Lube for Valvoline Instant Oil Change and you'll find me!
I hate car problems almost as much as I hate lawyers and real estate agents (long story, both professions involved).
And my husband is almost as useless when it comes to them so we spend an arm and a leg getting things repaired (or it could be because he insists on expensive cars with expensive repair bills).
I killed the first car I ever owned - a 1976 Dodge Colt - because I didn't know you had to check the oil periodically.