A couple weeks ago Hubby blew out a tire on out POS car; it was under warranty so Firestone replaced the whole thing for free. Great. While they were at it they ‘did a check’ & discovered we needed the oil valve & some other valves replaced. They are REALLY GOOD at finding things we need to spend money on, as you can imagine. So we let them do the changing of the valves.

A couple days later I’m driving home from work and the car sounds like poo. Chugging and idling rough (which I would think changing the valves would’ve solved) and other assorted sounds no one wants to hear their car make. The oil light began blinking like a house in Revere, Mass at Christmastime. I suspected it needed oil. I called Hubby; he disagreed. Claimed the blinking oil light meant the car needed an oil change. I felt suspicious. I highly doubted that this POS from 2000 had the ability to “know” when it needed an oil change. My suspicion was unfortunately right- I checked the oil and found that there was none. Nice.

I made Hubby WALK to a gas station and get some, not being an idiot I know that you do NOT drive a car with no oil in the engine. We decided to see how it went as in whether there was a slow leak or a not so slow leak. It was empty again really quickly. We brought it back to Firestone who said they knocked something around when doing the valve changes and fixed it up for free. Another couple days pass and we are out running errands. We come out of Publix to a dead car. WTF?! They’ve now had the car 3 times in a 6 day period and we’re stranded again. If you know me, you can imagine my rage.

Anyway we call AAA for a tow and a ride home & wait while the groceries disintegrate. We call Firestone & tell them it’s coming back. Well back up. HUBBY calls Firestone. They say they can come get us and the car right away. We cancel the AAA call. After awhile they call & inform us they can’t come get us. We reinstate the AAA call. Then miraculously the car starts; we figure we’ll NOT turn it off & get it to Firestone; it’s a 4 mile straight shot. Maybe a mile from Firestone Hubby discovers that when stepping on the gas nothing happens. I tell him to just coast to Firestone and shut it. He disagrees and pulls over. I call AAA and relocate the latest call for help. I call Firestone, as I feel the need to point out that it’s crappy that they said they’d come get us and didn’t and the latest on the car and point out that it was FINE before they touched it those 3 times in the last 6 days. Firestone girl gets her ghetto on telling me “this is a unrelated problem”. I replied with, “oh? Really? You know that even though you haven’t seen the car yet?” She claims she does. Great. I take what’s left of the groceries and walk home, leaving Hubby to deal with AAA and Firestone.

Later on we call to check in; Service Manager informs us the car is likely dead forever. The motor is locked up, he thinks, but he’s not 100% certain, so he doesn’t want me to get upset yet. See, a C technician looked at it and they are not motor specialists. An A technician needed to look at it and confirm or deny his theory. They would do so the next morning. Meanwhile I’m begging rides to and from work and trying to figure out how to go about funding another vehicle.

The next day he confirms that the motor is in fact, locked up. This is a $6K job; they wouldn’t do it if we wanted them to as the car is worth less than 2K. I ask some questions. Pointing out again that he’s had the car 3 times in the last 6 days. He claims that the bearings could’ve just locked the motor up all on their own -that his trusty mechanics could not have seen that coming & asked us to spend money on fixing things, as they routinely do. I had him pull up our history. I asked if, driving around with little to no oil in the engine could’ve caused this ‘locked up motor’. He eagerly confirmed that absolutely it could. I pointed out that as a result of THEIR ERROR, the car may well have been driving around with little to no oil in between their screwing things up and my figuring out they screwed things up. He didn’t argue. Everything changed. Now they WOULD do this $6K job; they were going to take care of us. I demanded a rental in the mean time. He promised to have one delivered that day. (We got a sweet 2012 sparkly navy blue Nissan Altima 2.5S & never saw the bill. (Damn right.)

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A couple days into their having the car shop manager chick apparently having turned her ghetto back off called to make sure I was happy in the rental (I sure was). She explained the car had to be taken off-sight as they didn’t have the ability to put in a new motor at this location. Understandable, and not a problem since they were funding the sweet rental in the mean time. Now, I will note that the driver door on our car only opened from the outside at this point. In order to get out of the car, we had to roll down the window, reach out, open the car from the outside then roll back up the window, shut off the car, etc. Yes, you read that right. 

So, the update was: a ‘new’ motor would be put into the car, with 59K miles on it & a 12 month warranty. She pointed out that at about 60K miles all belts (including timing, expensive) typically start to go in these cars. I pointed out that we’d already done all the belts on our previous motor before they BROKE IT. She said they’d replace all the belts and throw in a brand new water pump. Now we were talking. 🙂

Then I took a shot. I asked if they could take care of the stupid door while they had it, for free to compensate for all the drama. They quickly pointed out it was unrelated. I quickly pointed out that while the door was unrelated and I do appreciate them taking care of everything and funding the rental, we still were stranded and carless multiple times as a result of their breaking the car in the first place. I pointed this out multiple times. The girl said she’d “try”, she wasn’t sure “how far she could go” with the free repairs.

Today, one week after the car arrived at Firestone with the locked out motor, it’s back in our care. The $750 camera I accidentally left in it, the Garmin we keep in it and Tyler’s iPod were all still there and untouched when we got the car back! No theft! Yay! Also the door is fixed, among everything else we discussed. Also they did NOT need any payment for the ‘unrelated’ door issue. Also, apparently Hubby heard all about what a “sweetheart” I am on the phone. He came home in utter shock. The look on his face was priceless. He wanted to know what exactly I said to them on the phone… I was concerned, wanting to know why he asked as – I thought I was in trouble or they were frightened of me or something. Nope. I am a sweetheart.  As I understand it, this was all BEFORE he presented them with the thank you treats I baked for them. 

VICTORY.

Free motor (old one had 148K miles on it), free belts, free water pump, free ghetto door un-ghettofied. And they don’t even hate me. 

I should probably bake them some more treats.

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