Thursday, April 16, 2009

Adventures In Oil Changing....

You know what the best way to get an oil change is? Taking your car three blocks to the shop and reading a book while you talk to the receptionist. Highly recommended.

While I was in there she said, "That's weird. You're the second Difazzio we've had in here today." And instantly all the bells and whistles in my head started going off. Red flags and sirens...mostly because I never want to have to run into my dad again. Ever.

"That's odd," I said. "There aren't very many of us."

"Do you have family in St. Charles?" she asked. (I breathed an instant sigh of relief.)

"Not that I'm aware of..." I said, curious. "What are their names?"

"Well, her name is Judy, and his name is...Joe? John?"

At this point I figured it wasn't anybody I knew. And then she says, "Oh, it's Jerry!"

Jerry and Judy are my uncle and aunt that I've never really met. He never came to any family functions, and she's his wife. I think I've seen Jerry a total of twice in my life. He walked through the hospital waiting room on his way to the bathroom when my grandma was dying. And...he must have been at the funeral, although I don't remember seeing him there. My dad always said he was an asshole. And...given what an asshole my dad is, I've always wanted to meet Jerry. He's probably actually a really cool guy. Or maybe he's an asshole. I guess I'll never know.

So that was exciting. And do you know what isn't exciting?

Tuesday I was leaving the Borders parking lot and my steering wheel was having issues turning right. And yesterday on my way back from Wheaton it was hissing when I turned right. So I asked them to check on it for me.

$534 and change. That's what it will cost to replace the rack. As in, rack and pinion. Or rack and peanut if you're Homer J. Simpson.

So...that's money I don't have. My mom said to use my tax return. She was apparently the one person I hadn't told my tax-related tale of woe to. I owed the fed $30.25. I get $60 from the state. Whoopty-fucking-doo.

And we just bought plane tickets two weeks ago for our vacation. Everything's just coming up roses for me.

But Robb reminded me that I purchased a warranty on the car when I bought it. And I have to call them back today and see if it would cover them replacing the rack. And if so, that'd be fucking amazing. And if not...that would be...well, not so fucking amazing.

So...hooray for adventures. My $23 oil change is about to cost me over $500.




inacrumbling said...

i'm reminded of the last time i went in for an oil change. the guy came in and sat down next to me looking all serious and told me i was going to have to have all my fluids replaced -- maybe not that day, but soon. also, that i would need new tires by summer. the fluid replacement alone was going to cost over $500. i talked to my fiance and my dad about it, and they both said i had been fed a line of crap, that just because the fluids are dirty doesn't mean they need to be replaced. my fiance also said that even if the fluids did need replacing, he could buy the supplies himself and do it for super cheap. it's the labor that gets you. the thing that gets me is that they were trying to talk me into something that doesn't even need to be done! SWINDLERS!

i'm not saying that your car doesn't need fixing, only that i wouldn't be afraid of getting a second opinion. it might save you bit of money, or you might find out that it's something real simple that doesn't require a lot of work. i think a lot of places figure we don't know any better, so they try to talk us into getting the maximum amount of work done. not saying that all shops are trying to screw people over, only that i wouldn't put it past 'em.

boy, i sound bitter, don't i? ;P

Melissa Blake said...

I'm glad you weren't hurt as a result of the wheel. Imagine trying to just turn left all the way home!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Thanks Mel. That would have been awkward, for sure.

And inacrumbling, I actually trust these guys. They've been mechanics for friends of the family for years, and there has never been a complaint. They're very honest AND cheap. So...

Argent said...

A trustworthy mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold I think. I'm just glad that, since they don't let people like me drive for reasons of public safety, I don't have the hassle of looking after a car.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Well, if I could get away with never driving again, I'd do it. I hate driving, honestly. And I hate having to take care of a car. It's never been something that's important to me. But I've never been able to get away from it.

9volter said...

In fact it might have been odd to hear you were the 2nd with that name getting there. If it happened to me I wouldn't be worried as I'm the only one in my family with that name... That takes off the surprise effect.

By the way you left me a comment on my blog - many thx - except I didn't really get what you meant.