Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thank you baby!

I've been trying to decide whether to include this story in my blog, but I figured it'd be something good to look back on later on.

So, we have this car:

And, I love it. It makes me happy. It's the perfect car for us. It's sporty enough for Nick to love it, it's luxurious enough for me to love it (leather seats and butt warmers are two things near and dear to my heart).

So, our beloved 4Runner suddenly started to sound like it was running bad. We didn't hear it from inside the car, but rather when one person was pulling into the garage while the other exited, they could hear it. THEN we realized that it was actually when the air conditioning was on. Whenever you hit 'auto' for the air, the A/C comes on automatically, even with heat (this is normal, apparently). So we decided when we took it in for service, we'd ask what this sound was.

Last week, we took it in for it's 55k mile service. They said we'd have to pay to diagnose the problem (grr) ok, fine. When they called back, we received terrible news: "It looks as though part of your air conditioner compressor is broken and to fix it it will run about $4900, assuming the worst case scenario. Oh, and you need new brakes."

Well we had a big problem with that. The way it was described was poor (initially) and the cost is outrageous for a car that only has 55k miles on it and is only a 2004. When we went to pick it up, Nick dropped me off at the service desk while he went to search for parking. I went in, hormones raging and belly bulging demanding to know exactly what happened and why. Is it something we did? Or, is this the time things just start to break down? One of the reasons we purchased a toyota was to ensure things like this wouldn't happen. Things just don't "break". I was yelling and screaming and causing a scene. And, when things do 'break' they shouldn't be as expensive as this to fix this early on.

Then, Nick walked in. Once that happened, I softened. I just told them "I don't understand. I know things break, but we bought this car as to not have a problem with things malfunctioning. I know we're out of warranty, but this sucks" Then, I welled up. Nick took the opportunity to say "Let's just go pay" (pay for the days service, brakes and diagnosis. $700 later...

Our service advisor ran out to my car as I started to drive off. Apparently, me causing a scene and crying caught the attention of the manager and our service advisor went to him after we left and said "Isn't there anything we can do? They're just getting started (insert other heartwarming words here)". Well he pulled me over on the side of the street and after a few more tears he proceeded to tell me that they'd cover it under a 'good will warranty'. He said because we've been such good customers (bringing the car in every 5k for service since we bought the car) and are just starting out, they wanted to take care of the entire thing. Free."

Holy crap. That's fantastic. So we took our car back in the shop about a week later and they're currently replacing the entire A/C system (something exploded and sent metal pieces throughout the lines including under the dash, minimum labor is 15 hours). AND, although they've ordered all the parts already, they need to order an additional part that's on back order, so my car's in pieces and it was supposed to be back to us last night but they don't know when it will be available, so they set us up with a rental.. And, with that additional part, apparently the part total for the job is up to $5k, with $2k in labor... sheesh!

They let me pick the rental type, I went with this:
It's actually a fun little car. I don't have any of my 'luxury' features, but I'm enjoying driving something a bit different. Nick got in the car and smiled... he laughed at himself when he said this "It actually wouldn't be a bad family car!" We discussed how silly it'd be to sell our beloved 4Runner and get one of these and pictured every one's reactions... After driving it today, I thought back to the 4Runner and realized it's still the perfect car for us.
Anyway, thank you, baby O for allowing us to maintain the value of our car, ensure we have air conditioning for this summer when you're here. Oh, and for this spring because with the pregnancy hormones I've been way hotter than normal and turning A/C on when it's only 70 degrees outside (so not like me! I'm always cold!)
25 w, 2 days

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