Due to a wicked dent in my Jeep’s driver side door, I had to have the entire door replaced, since it didn’t close properly and leaked both heat and water which in this part of the country is a “bad thing”. But since I also had a recall still open on it, I decided to take it to my local Jeep dealer. After three weeks (yes, you read that correctly), I went to pick it up this evening. But in order to get there, I had to leave work early to take their free shuttle van down to the dealership. Leaving work early wouldn’t be such a bad thing in general, but:
- I have a ton of stuff to do, and will likely have to go into the office this weekend.
- As a lawyer, we have certain monthly targets for number of billable hours. And due to various other things this month, I’m falling a bit short of my target. Which is another reason to go in this weekend, to get back up to speed. It’s a vicious cycle, and sure ain’t like Boston Legal.
Anyway…back to the Jeep. After paying far too much for the repairs (I don’t know how much the Jeep is worth at this point since it’s ten years old, but I just might have paid the value of the damn thing in repairs and maintenance over the last two years), I go out to start it and drive home.
Except that it won’t start. I turn the key and nothing. Not even a click, a clack, or a whimper from the engine. So I go back into the maintenance department and tell them that it won’t start. My service advisor is looking rather surprised, “But I just drove it out there from the garage!” Which is a distance of maybe 50 feet, but it still had to start to get there.
So he goes out and tries to start it. And still nothing.
So he gets a jump box. At least the battery checks out OK, according to the jump box. But trying to start it still doesn’t work. So he starts digging his hand around somewhere in the bowels of the engine. As you might be able to guess, car repair isn’t high on my list of skills.
Then he gets a flashlight (since it’s now after 5:30pm and getting dark) and some sort of hammer. It almost starts when he’s stuffed under the Jeep trying to make it work. But he needs me to turn the key in the ignition, which I do. Ta-da!! Success!
“But,” I say, “what’s going to happen when I get this home? We’ll need to try it again to make sure that it will start up. Because I’m not driving this if it won’t work.”
“Don’t worry,” he says. “We’ll get you a rental and keep it here to fix it.”
And like out of that damned TV commercial, Enterprise picked me up. But unlike the commercial, they knew that I wasn’t at some generic “repair shop”. I told the woman who drove over (it’s about a mile from the dealership) that I felt like I was in a TV commercial. At least she laughed at my stupid joke.
So did I learn anything from all this? Yes, I did. It’s time to get a new car.