Have you ever heard of the old expression "penny wise and pound foolish"?  That should become my personal motto.

I drive an old car.  I drive an old car because I am paying college tuition for my darling daughter.  I don't begrudge anything.  This is a choice that I have made.  I bought this car new.  I was so proud.  It was a beautiful egg shaped minivan.  I bought it to replace the family truckster --

A Ford Country Squire... ever see National Lampoon's Vacation?  That was my old car -- in black.

"The Mothership" as my kids affectionately call my car has served us well and we have put 128,000 miles on it.  Most of it between Atlanta and New Orleans.  Never mind the fact that it is on its 3rd transmission.  Those stories should be saved for another time.  They created "fun" memories for my family...  remember the time the car caught on fire at the gas station in Alabama?  And the waitress at Waffle House said she recognized us from our 3 hour stay at the BP station waiting for a rental?  .... yeah, good memories.

Let me mention something.  I am the daughter of a car man.  A BRAND LOYAL car man.  My grandfather emigrated here to the states in 1925 and settled in Detroit.  He worked the line at Chrysler and retired a car man.  His son, my father, would go on to spend his ENTIRE ADULT life working in corporate America for FORD MOTOR COMPANY.  As kids we would sing and dance around the coffee table to "The Union Song".  I am also one of four daughters-- no sons.  Why does this matter?  Well you see, my father over compensated for the lack of testosterone around the dinner table by imparting in each of us certain more masculine interests.  Cars, tools, furniture refinishing, lawn work....  I took on cars and tools. 

Back to  penny wise.... for the past six months the windshield wipers on my car have not worked.   I took my car to a mechanic to do some emissions work and they diagnosed the problem as the  multi-function switch.  Said the wiper motor was fine.  Since I had just dropped $560 on the engine I opted to put this repair off.  For six months... the rainiest six months the Atlanta area has seen in DECADES I have been driving the Mothership sans wipers.  Rainex has been my best friend.

I have put off fixing it because I am lazy and well, I could find MANY other ways to spend that money.  Remember?  Penny wise and pound foolish....

So this morning I decided to bite the bullet and bring the car in. Thanks to a generous Christmas gift from my parents, I felt comfortable spending some money on the old Mothership.  (OK and the fact that both of my driving age kids are afraid to drive it when it even hints of rain)  Add a recall on the car that if not fixed could cause spontaneous combustion .... sitting in your garage.  OK, I know, I have been super lazy.

In my need to be supermom I took charge.  Asked them to repair the multi-function switch... I am so cool, I know all about cars... look at me... daughter of Mighty Mickey...

OK all you out there in cyber space.  Don't do this!

Because the dealership will take you at your word.
Do exactly as you say.
WITHOUT checking to see if the part is actually defective.
Because Supermom here has already told them and OF COURSE, she knows everything. (I knew that would eventually come around and bite me in the ass)

Then, you will find out that it is actually the motor... not the switch...and that once they put an electrical part in they will not take it out... even if the part was never broken in the first place.  This can be very costly.   Then of course, because you are committed to actually having working wipers at this point, you have to add the cost of the new wiper motor and labor again.

It is also personally costly because now you have to call and wake up your daughter on her college break and interrupt her beauty sleep and ask her to come get you--- 15 miles away.

Why 15 miles and not at the dealership around the corner?  Because I am a BRAND LOYAL daughter of a car man.  And his friend owns this dealership.  A man that came to my wedding. A man that actually got my mother, Sparkle Plenty, on WATER SKIS once (believe me that's akin to walking on water).

This may have been a good choice-- because when one is penny wise and pound foolish it is important to be able to name drop and hope for some assistance.

Because I am NOT supermom.
Because I do NOT know all about cars -- as much as my dad would like to think, and this arrogance cost me $300!

So, a little name dropping allowed them to split the difference on the second repair.  Let's hope they got the recall fixed right.  Because I don't feel like coming back.


Tony Bullard said...

You should try out bike riding.

Kathleen said...

Tony, you are right! It might make carpooling a little icky though.

I have often thought about biking up to school. I am sure my heart would appreciate it.

Tony Bullard said...

Carpooling? SOLVED