Friday, October 05, 2007

$420.00 Later

Sister Lisa and I are taking a road trip in a couple of weeks to visit youngest sister Nancy in Massachusetts. This is supposed to be an 8 hour or so trip. The last one took us much longer - closer to 13 hours. It's along story, but if you've been in a different country, so lost you don't even know what state you are in and it's late at night, it can be pretty hairy.
Did I tell that story? How Lisa and I didn't think to buy maps. We had a GPS that Nance sent and Lisa printed off directions from Map Quest. But at one point Map Quest told us to go one way and the GPS told us to go a different way. We went with the GPS - and two hours later it quit on us! And then there was the 3 hour traffic jam at the border and I had an extra large coffee and a diet coke before we got to it. I didn't really know pain until then. I asked the border guy where the nearest washroom was when we finally got across and then I was in such a hurry I drove right by it.
Although I've had my car since 2001 - and it was new that year, I haven't got that many kilometers (or miles for the neighbours to the south) on it. I don't drive far very often and for the first couple of years I had the car, I car pooled with a neighbour. But I wanted to make sure it was in tip top shape before heading out on the long eight hour drive. So I took it into the dealer. I called to make an appointment and they said it would be $99 for the regular tune-up, check-up, tire rotation etc.
But when I took it in this morning, there were lots of other small minor things it needed, like an engine flush, steering fluid, engine fluid etc. I am in a completely foreign world when it comes to car repairs so I have no idea whether it needs all that stuff or not. But it all added up to $420.00.
I'm not really complaining. The car is paid off so I have no car payments. And for the first few years the extended warranty was in place so I didn't have to pay much at all. I've escaped relatively clear of car repairs.
And I do like the security of knowing before we leave that the car is in good shape.
So - I'm not too upset. But still - that much for just routine things does sound a bit steep.
Ah well - the joys of being a car owner

'til later


Giselle said...

Hubby used to work as a sup for a truck shop and he was expected to recommend all sorts of repairs that weren't really needed. It sucks but I think most shops do this and I suspect it's even worse when the customer is a female. Sucks eggs. BTW, can't wait to see your thoughts on MTM I think I'm the only one who didn't luv it :(

Rosie said...

Kristie, we just had the 35K mile check on our car. Our bill was about the same, but GG was satisfied with everything they did. I just feel better when everything is checked out.

Have fun on your trip!

CindyS said...

"I didn't know really know pain until then." Too funny but I'm sure it wasn't then!

Hmmmm, 320 more than you thought. I would not let them do steering fluid or other fluids again unless they told you it was 35 dollars for oil/filter and checking of fluids. Anything to do with fluids I get that done at an Jiffylube or something like that. And they will always try and get you to buy an airfilter.

Did you take it to the dealer? Never do that. I take my cars to
Speedy and they aren't allowed to do any work until they show me what is happening. They will walk you out to see the problems - and it's okay to nod and say 'uh huh' when they are explaining even if you aren't sure what you are looking at. Making them show you the repair means they have to show you something that doesn't look right - they showed me the rusted out muffler line (much more expensive than just a muffler).

Thing is, you know now that your car is at it's peak for a long drive. Safety first always so consider the money well spent. Like you, I don't have car payments so when I need to drop 500 bucks I don't get too upset about it.


Kristie (J) said...

Cindy: I did take it to the dealer. I thought the extended warranty was still in effect. It wasn't. Although they did do a major job on something and since the warranty just ended, she called the manufacturer and they honoured it. It was some kind of alignment job. A while back I hit a curb VERY HARD and shredded a tire. I also got the feeling something else went wonky and it was the alignment. So I got that fixed for free anyway.

Rosie: that's good to know - not that you paid that much, but that it was within what it can cost. I was way behind on the upkeep so if I just added all the things that needed to be done together, I suppose it would come to that much. And security and trust in your vehicle really is priceless isn't it?

Giselle: I really need to get working on my thoughts of a couple of Really Excellent Books. Maybe at work today if it isn't busy ;)

nath said...

Ugh, seriously, I hate bringing my car to the dealer... even for a oil change :( Always cost soo much :( But seriously, it's better to know that your car is fine when you go on a long trip :P

By the way, when are you going to the states? around american Thanksgiving? better be early, cos it seems it was crazy this week-end at the border.