Thursday, June 11, 2009

Adventures with Firestone (a venting post, it's a long one!)

The CHECK ENGINE LIGHT came on in the van the other day. So I made an appointment with the repair shop on base to have it checked out.

When I called the guy told me that happens a lot with Dodge vehicles. Apparently a frequent cause is not closing the fuel cap tightly. I had heard that in the past and have always made sure to click a few extra times when closing the cap.... plus the van was just about on empty, so I knew that wasn't the cause. So after telling the guy that, he says: "Well, how about you bring it in tomorrow morning around 7am, we'll take a look at it for you"

Translation: Bring it in, we'll let it sit all day and look at it when we feel like it and then replace a few good parts and then hand you a really big bill when we are done!! Okay?

So for a recap of yesterday:

7:00AM - Dropped off van and was told it would be at least noon until it would be ready.

We crossed the street to McDonalds so the kids could have some breakfast. (Photo and video courtesy of McKenzie's cell phone)
After Addison inhaled her 'hot cakes and sausage', she moved on to Trevor's plate and helped him out with his hot cakes. Then they were just being silly. Thank goodness there weren't too many people eating in.

7:30AM We walked down to the super playground and played for about an hour and a half.

8:45am - The shop called and informed me of my 'issues' which included a junk battery ($), a nonfunctioning O2 sensor ($$), and two rear tires that should probably be replaced soon, and how convenient that they could do that for me today too ($$$). So I said just fix the engine problems and leave the tires alone. The first two parts were going to be costly enough, and the tires weren't too serious. Oh yeah, and it would be at least 1 or 2pm until they would be done.

9:00am - The kids were getting hot, so we decided to walk back to the exchange and toodle around the air conditioning for a while.

10:00am - Bought some drinks and snacks at the exchange, called up my friend Kristina to see if we could hang at her house until the car was done. BLESS YOU KRISTINA!!!!

10:30 We walked all the way back to housing to Kristina's house. It was a longer walk than it needed to be because they shut down the main street going back to housing, so we had to walk clear around. Luckily the kids were in good spirits, there was a nice breeze, frequent shade, and we were able to take our time.

1:00pm - Firestone called and was done with the van. My friend Julie ran me up there to pick it up while the kids stayed and played at Kristina's. THANK YOU JULIE!!

1:15pm - Minus $$$$$ in my checking account, and pulled out of the parking lot. DING! CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON. $@&#!

1:16pm - Called Firestone back. Pulled back INTO parking lot. Plugged in the diagnostic tool and found out the same code came up.

FireStone: Hmmm.... can you bring it back tomorrow again and I'll tak a look at it???

Me: I guess! But I need to drive across the island tonight.
FS: The engine is fine to drive, you won't have any problems.

**Clocked miles walked today: 472 (just kidding, but that's what it felt like)

8:00am - Dropped off van and asked how long it will take to look at it.

FS: Well our other guy won't be in until 9am and we don't have the part in yet for you.
Me: Excuse me? What part? You said you fixed it yesterday!? What did I pay for then?
FS: Oh well, we put the wrong part in yesterday. And for some reason the new part isn't here yet.
Me: Okay then, hand me back my keys, and call me when the part comes in. I am not sitting here all day waiting. I did that yesterday. I've got things to do today.
FS: Oh, it's not safe to drive your car with the wrong part in it.
Me: It's a sensor, and the mechanic told me yesterday when I left that the engine was fine to drive.
FS: Oh, uh, let me go ask....yeah, well, uh, we need you to leave the car here so it can cool down before we put the correct part in.
Me: Can you find out when the part will be in so I know how long it will take?
FS: Why, do you need a ride?
Me: (looking back at my 3 children bouncing around on the chairs in the waiting area) I don't live on base, and I'm not sitting here all morning. (or walking around all morning)

He called around to the part stores and I could tell there was a problem, and that the part was never ordered, or there was a miscommunication somewhere. How do I know? The guy started talking quiet and turned away from me. (Come ON!)

FS: The part should be here by 9:30 or 10am. Then we'll put it in right away and call you.
Me: Okay, how long will it take to put it in?
FS: Just a few minutes. So it should be done by 11 for sure!

8:15am - (Left Firestone very irritated) Walked over to McDonalds for orange juice and hashbrowns.

9:15am - My friend Kristina come and saves the day again to pick us up. I went to get a carseat out of the van for Addison and the mechanic told me he had the part and it would take him 2 minutes to put it in and he'd be done.

So the kids and I just sat in Kristina's air conditioned car until they called a few minutes later and then we loaded up and went home.

No dinging this time! And no bill today either... not that I was going to be giving them any more money anyways!

1 comment:

Sue said...

They say it happens a lot with Dodge vehicles, huh? Oddly enough, my Chrysler has been doing it lately! I'm told if it's on solid it's not big deal, but if it starts blinking, then it's trouble! And Danica's new car is a Dodge too! We think hers has a problem with the gas gauge sensor.