April 17th, 2005

headache

What the Hell is Wrong With My Car? -- PART FOUR

To catch everyone here on my sad sack story about my car problems as of late:

It started a few months back when I went to go in for my 30,000 mile check up at Toscalito Tire. I figured since they do my oil changes and such they were capable of doing my 30,000 mile checkup. They found a number of things that needed replacing (including -- surprise surprise -- my tires), but I trusted them. Turns out they never checked my transmission fluid (which I thought was standard with a 30,000 mile checkup) because they couldn't get to it -- the new VW Beetles have closed transmission fluid containers that only VW dealers and transmission specialists can access -- but they never TOLD me that.

Fast forward six months later. This is when I started to notice that when I pressed on the gas pedal to accelerate after driving for over 45 minutes that it did nothing. The engine would rev but not go anywhere. Occasionally it would lurch after I pumped the gas pedal a few times, or do nothing at all and I'd have to coast before it worked again. Took it back to Toscalito thinking maybe I just needed a new spark plug. They charged me $100 to say they couldn't do anything. This is when they told me they couldn't get to the transmission fluid to see if it was low or damaged. Nice, huh?

I then, on their recommendation, went to AAMCO (transmission specialist chain) to see if they could do anything for my ailing car. They took a look at my transmission and told me all the fluid was burnt and my torque convertor was shot. Apparently, my differential was leaking too. Of course, all this is Klingon to me. I don't know the difference between a torque converter and a flux capacitor, so for all I know they could be making it all up. Regardless, I shelled out the $3,685 to fix it all (goodbye saving account) and hoped that all my car problems were over. I also was told by the saleman/mechanic guy that I could pay $179 extra for a 36-month warranty today, or if I wanted the same warranty later it would cost me $500. I'm not sure why he was offering the warranty to me like that. It made me feel uncomfortable that he was trying to get me to shell out another $179 for something I didn't need. But I was too worried that my troubles with my transmission might not be over, so I paid up.

After driving home from the shop in Marin -- getting 2 blocks away from my house the SAME ACCELERATOR problem occured. Step on gas, goes nowhere, engine revs, and then lurches forward. WHAT IN THE HELL!? I cried the rest of the way home. Nice. Real nice. Over $3,000 and still not fixed. I called AAMCO back as soon as I got home and told them what happened. They told me the new parts might be settling and if after 10 days to come back in to have them look it over (their standard policy). Yeah, thanks. They better friggin fix my car. I need it for my job, and I don't have any more money to shell out. Zip. So I suppose when I get back from the Star Wars convention next Monday, I'll be driving her back in for another round of "What's Wrong with Bonnie's VW Beetle?"

I started searching eOpinions and other sites about possible 2000 model VW Beetle troubles and was startled to find that my problems were common with other Beetle owners. People complained about broken vacuum hoses (CHECK), broken window buttons and gas cap locks (CHECK), broken armrest (CHECK), cheap plastic undersides that fall off when you go over a speedbump no matter how slowly (CHECK), and numerous transmission issues (CHECK). And of course, VW doesn't care. They hassel VW owners and give them the run arround, and people have to park their cars in the dealers' garages on a regular basis to fix things that shouldn't be ailing new cars. Mine only has 38,000 miles on it and so far I've replaced all four tires, the plastic underside, the windshield wipers, vacuum air pumps, coolant filter, and tiny little things that seem to always add up.

I was in a horrible mood all the rest of the day. I felt like I'd be swindled by two different places, paying them for shoddy work with a saving account that is now down to its last $1,000. So much for saving up for a nice place to rent in a neighborhood void of junkies and park gangbangers. *sigh*

I chatted with my pal Andy and he suggested I give his mechanic a call if all else fails to see if he could tell me straight-up what's ailing my car. I'm just tired of being lied to by anyone holding a wrench. I shouldn't have to be an expert gearhead to know when my mechanic is lying to my face so I can hand over my credit card for things I don't need. It's like going to a doctor who tells you need heart surgery, when in fact you just need to exercise. Ugh.
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jackalope

Save or Cancel These TV Shows

(originally found on breniecia on ohnotheydidnt)

Within the next few weeks the neworks will decide which of this season's TV
series will return for the next Fall Season. Tell USA Today - and the networks - what you hope happens to these shows hovering between renewal or cancellation.

Please select "Keep," "Drop," or "Don't Care" from the tab under each show:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/save-our-shows.htm

("Judging Amy" is going DOWN!)
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Napoleon Action Figures -- sweet!!!

(originally posted by boingboing_net)

From The Hollywood Reporter:
Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising and McFarlane Toys announced a new licensing agreement to develop a line of action figures based on characters from the hit movie "Napoleon Dynamite." The toy line, which will hit store shelves in the fall, will feature characters Napoleon, Pedro and Kip. "Napoleon Dynamite and action figure may seem like an oxymoron, but McFarlane Toys has the appreciation and understanding of this character and the film to create some truly fun and highly appealing toys," said Peter Byrne, executive VP licensing at Fox Licensing & Merchandising.

Read more here.
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