You know how bad things happen in threes? Well, if that is true, I am not looking forward to my third thing…I seem to have a case of bad car-ma. No, not karma, car-ma.
I learned a valuable lesson this summer. If you car starts making weird clicking noises, get it checked out sooner rather than later. I’d been hearing clunking noises for a while but it was never too bad. And then it got worse. Since it was almost time for an oil change I figured I’d get the guys at the dealership to check it out.
I know, I know. The dealership? Am I crazy paying through the nose to get an oil change at the dealership? No, I’m not. One perk when I bought my car 8 years ago was free oil changes for life. So every 4 months of so I take it into the dealership.
Back to my car-ma. As expected, the techs determined I ripped a CV joint (or is that CB? Anyway, it means I need to get things fixed). Now, while we are cool with getting oil changes done at the dealership, we aren’t so stupid as to let those thieves do other repairs. The Husband has been using a mechanic for years and the guy is so honest. So we arranged to take the car to him to be fixed.
Except…he couldn’t. For some reason the parts he ordered wouldn’t fit my car. Even though they should. There was a third option of ordering the axel assembly direct from Kia BUT it would have cost almost $1000. The Kia dealership had quoted us about $300 to repair the axel with them so our mechanic assumed the inflated price was because he wasn’t a Kia shop (protect your own and all that). So, we had no choice but to take it back to Kia.
Kia put in the new axel, and replaced a bunch of fluids I was overdue on getting changed. We figured it was there, get it done. $850 bucks later and I had a new car…or so I thought. The next day as I left work I heard a grinding metallic noise. Not a good sound. And when I got home I found a puddle of fluid under my car…right where they had just replaced the axel. Crap.
And of course the damn Service Center was closed by the time I called. So I made sure they were open on Saturday (this was the weekend before a holiday Monday FYI) and drove over bright and early. It was a tense trip since the grinding was MUCH worse, my brakes were spongy and I was terrified the whole car would just seize up. Luckily I made it and they took me in immediately.
Turns out the transaxle fluid was overfilled, a bearing was stripped, and a rock got caught between my break pad and rotor. All courtesy of a senior technician. Gee, and they wonder why no one trusts the dealership repair shops?
The manager gave me a courtesy car and said they’d have everything repaired by Tuesday afternoon.
But they didn’t. And so began a MONTH long saga of wrong parts, miscataloged items, shipping delays and misdiagnosis. They’d order parts but they didn’t receive everything necessary. The part sent was for an automatic, not a standard. The part wasn’t in the system properly. Etc etc etc.
It became a bit of a joke after week three. They had ordered 5 or 6 axels for my car. NONE of them fit right. They should have fit. But they didn’t. At the end of it all guess what they determined: the only axel for my car was the $950 dollar Kia axel. Yup, that part our mechanic said we’d probably need? It was the only axel that would fit. All the cheaper ones were after market parts that should work just fine. But they don’t. And no one wants to be told it’ll be $1000 to fix your car if they can get a cheaper part.
I finally picked up my car the Wednesday after the Labour Day weekend. A month after dropping it off. The only bonus? They’d had my car so long the $950 part was covered by Kia PLUS we got our repair costs back AND a couple free Service 2’s AND a credit towards future repairs.
But it doesn’t end there. Last Friday I was going to pick my daughter up from preschool. I had to pick her up early so I could get back down the hill and pick up her sister from school. We came back to the car and…I had a flat tire.
The Husband came up the hill with the compressor so I could get the car home, I frantically called my mother-in-law to pick up my other daughter, and then we had to figure out what to do. It wasn’t a simple nail in the tire. I’d blown out the sidewall.
A little tip: avoid scraping your tires along curbs.
Off I went to Costco to get new tires. Thankfully our current ones still had quite a bit of tread and were still under warranty. I got one tire for free and some money off a second. We decided to just replace all four since *ahem* I had some uneven wear due to not rotating them properly.
What can I say? It’s just not something I think about. I guess I assumed they were being rotated when I brought my car in for oil changes…but clearly not. Fingers crossed I can keep these tires in good shape since Costco was kind enough to put a reminder sticker on my windshield.
All of this insanity has led me to wonder: what else could go wrong?? Will I be hit by a third bit of bad car-ma? Or have do the Car Gods feel I’ve dealt with enough?
I certainly hope so.