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Friday, June 24, 2005

Wheels Wail

I am hopeless with cars and at the mercy of mechanics. I just have to tell myself that what I'm charged is going in the worthy direction of keeping me mobile.

In the last month, I've forked out a total of $806.33 for precisely nothing.

Some months back, my venerable Volvo started acting up by refusing to re-start if left for too short an interval. Luckily I live in a isosceles triangle with Safeway and Silver Screen videos making up the other angles.

madison avenue garage
I took it into Madison Avenue Garage who of course could not get it to misbehave so they confessed bafflement and handed it back with no money changing hands.

A few months later, I was having another car serviced and the cheery Mike remembered me and said he now knew what the problem had been with the Volvo - some 'puter malfunction - and if I wanted to bring it in, they'd see to it. Since the car was going OK, I didn't take up the offer. Fool me.

Around June 23, it conked out again as soon as it revived (June 25) I whisked it back down to Madison Avenue Garage (motto "We do it once - and we do it right").

Mike was no longer there, no one knew anything about his computer diagnosis - and of course they could find nothing wrong with it.

After they'd had it a few more days, they called back to say I needed a new starter motor (along with other useful fixes) and the estimate was $603.52. I bit the bullet and told them to go ahead.

Two days after collecting it, same prob. $600 bucks downthe drain and still a car I couldn't trust.

M&M supermarket

June 6, 6pm: Car behaving again, so I drove it down to the M&M opposite Island Cloggings, did some shopping, came out. Wouldn't start.

Since my next stop was to collect someone from the ferry - and being the only other person in the galaxy apart from Defective Yeti not to wield a cell phone - I went back into the M&M and asked to use their phone to call madame en bâteau to say I'd be late and she should start walking.

By way of explanation, I told the counter clerkette that my car wouldn't start but I don't think it registered because she was too busy being chatted up by some other customer.

Next morning was spent on the phone in search of honest employ and by the time I ambled down to M&M the car was gone.


When I protested to M&M: it was explained that the girl on the previous evening's shift wouldn't have been the one on duty next morning when Gateway turned up, hence the mix-up.

The very apologetic manager allowed me to use the phone to check with Gateway that it had indeed been impounded.

Down I strode to Gateway where, of course, it wouldn't start and needed pushing out of the compound and parked in some equally tow-worthy spot.

Cost: $262.81.

It took two days before it would go again, at which point I drove it home where it now sits, immobile and in disgrace.

  • What annoys me is, if the garage could come clean and plead bafflement the first time, why do I have to fork out 600 smackers for bad guesswork the *second* time round?
  • And I'm a bit fed up about being towed after only 14hrs overnight.
  • OK, I feel better now after that whimper.

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