Friday, September 15, 2006

Paradise By the Dashboard Lights

As I was driving the other day, I happened to look down at my dashboard. “Hmmm . . .” I thought, “Something’s different.” There was a light on that said SRS, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t on before. Now, I know some lights require immediate action, such as “Oil” or “Low Fuel” or “Check Engine.” (I learned that one the hard way.)

Considering I had no idea what SRS meant, I was convinced it must not be all that important. First, I turned the car off and back on, hoping the light would go off – sometimes that works if I reboot my computer, so it could work for a car, right? My second remedy was one I was convinced might actually work. I would ignore the light, and maybe it would just eventually go off on its own. This could require covering the light up with duct tape, and I was willing to give this solution a try.

Unfortunately, my husband drove my car three days later. The damn light had failed to shut itself off and my hubby said, “Did you know your SRS light is on?” I told him that as a matter of fact, I did, and that it had been on for three days. I then discovered that men get much more upset about dashboard lights than women do.

“NEILA!!” he screamed. “You need to take your car in. Something could be seriously wrong!” I told him I was pretty confident everything was okay since the car was not smoking. He didn’t find that amusing. He made me read the manual. I still don’t know what the hell SRS stands for, but I saw “must get fixed yada yada yada yada could cause serious injury or death.” Hmmm . . . I’ll bet they always say that just to get you to take your car in.

So Eric called Honda and made an appointment for me to take my car in at 7:00 a.m. this morning. (!!!) I asked him if he was on crack. He assured me that he was not, and left me to figure out how exactly I was going to drag my butt out of bed so I could be at Honda by 7:00 a.m. As it turns out, there was no need to worry since Georgia woke me up at 5:00 a.m.

At least since I was taking the car in first thing, I thought maybe there wouldn’t be a wait. When I arrived at 6:55, I discovered that the six other people in front of me probably thought that too. Crap.

I drove in and gave my keys to the guy, asking how long it would take, as Eric was under the delusional impression that I may be home in time to take Eli to preschool at 9:00. The man basically said, I have no idea and called me Ma’am. Grrrrr . . . He talked about electrical systems and running diagnostics, none of which I really understood, but I pretended I did. The only thing I did understand was that this was starting to sound like something that may not be covered under my warranty. Double crap.

I retired to the waiting area and poured myself a cup of coffee that tasted like left over motor oil from the garage. I had three cups. After about 45 minutes of me watching CNN and analyzing the rest of the people in the waiting room, the car guy, Pete, came in and said my car needed a new seat belt. Something about the tension. Huh. Of course the correct part won’t be in until tomorrow. The guy suggested I get a rental car until I could pick my car up tomorrow. I told him that I had been driving around with the damn light on all week and there have not been any major disasters, so I could drive around with it for one more day. That was my nice way of saying, “I’ll be damned if I’m paying for a rental. Give me my freaking car!”

He told me he would pull my car around, so I stood outside and waited. And waited. Then Pete informed me they were washing my car before they pulled it around. He grinned and said, “It must be dirty.”

I’m sorry, did I just get judged by the Honda guy?

When I finally got my car, they promised to let me leave if I would bring the car back tomorrow to get the new seat belt. They assured me this was covered under warranty, so I suppose I will be back. But if they just give me the part, and try to charge me for labor, I just might throw hot coffee at them.


ian said...

"Well there's yer problem, little lady. Yer car's broke!"


Justin said...

I hate mechanics. I think I should post my story about the Toyota dealership here in Columbus and how they tried to shaft me over my carbureator cap.

Julie said...

Oh my god, Neila, that story was friggin hilarious. Even more so after some champagne and a few beers after opening night. I should probably go to bed for work tomrrow morning. Cheers!nn-agnes