Monday, January 5, 2009

Why I prefer to fix my cars myself now

Some time ago, my radiator blew up. Back then, I was very busy slaving for the startup du jour, with zero time to spend. Obviously, I wanted this fixed, so I towed the car to the dealership, which shall remain nameless, to protect the guilty (but feel free to take your stab at one of two that exist around here). They replaced the radiator.

And put a dent in the door.

I was understandably upset and asked them to fix it. They did.

Quality Service, Take One

And broke the center console.

When I called them, they said "No problem, just get the car here". "Yeah, right", said I. "That'll be the fourth time I have to get the car to you to fix one problem, and how do I know what you break this time? No, you get your ass here and fix what you broke in my garage under my supervision".

They did. The rest was uneventful, but...

A month later the window regulator broke (Arizona heat destroyed a $0.03 part, the rest was the domino effect). Being first day on the new job with no spare money left, I had no option other than tackle it myself (thank God, there was some free time until initial procedures were being completed).

So I took the door panel off, and what was the first thing I saw there? Correct, broken pistons that hold the door panel to the door. Four out of nine.

Couple of years before there was a clicking noise in the window that was "repaired" under warranty, and the door started rattling. I told this to the dealership, and the response was "Oh, they all do that with age".

Age my ass.

The most offensive part was that pistons are literally a dime a dozen, and I'm sure there are buckets of them available at the dealership, but no, whoever broke the pistons didn't take their sweet time to reach into the bucket and replace the pistons. I was supposed to believe that they've performed the job to the best of their ability.

Oh, and I'm not even talking about the time when they've washed the car after an oil change, and killed xenon headlights - inflicting $1752 penalty on themselves.

Long story short, every time since then, when I reach inside the car, I see traces of inept and careless workers screwing things up - a cut and soldered wire here, a nick on a pipeline there.

I can do better than that. At least, I care.

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