I Am So Fucking Pissed Right Now

It’s 2035 on Friday night and I’m sitting here in the back parking lot of Art Moehn Honda in Jackson, Michigan.

Why, you ask?

Because the service department at Howard Cooper Honda in Ann Arbor is a bunch of money-grubbing bastards who don’t know shit about cars. Allow me to explain.

About two months back, a funny sound was coming from the right side of my engine, from the area of the timing belt. I didn’t think the timing belt was bad, because it was replaced just under 20K miles back. However, my dad suspected the water pump. The sound went away, came back again, mostly went away again, and we decided it probably wasn’t anything major, but I made a note to ask HC to check it out when I got the oil changed.

Well, a couple weeks ago I went to get the oil changed, and when I started up the car to drive it over there that morning, I didn’t hear the squealing that we had heard before. I told the service department at HC there had been a noise, and that I’d like them to give it a listen. Enter the greedy bastards.

The guy who took my keys politely informed me that if I wanted a “tech” - apparently these guys are too good for the word “mechanic” - to “listen” to my “noise,” it was going to “cost” me “seventy five” dollars for an “hour” of his “time,” with the “minimum” being a “half hour.” I told him that was OK, thanks, but not to bother unless they heard something whilst starting up or driving the car into the service department.

Four hours later, I get a call from the service department. “Your radiator is empty. Can wee add coolant? It’ll be about $10 for a gallon.” What, did you think I was going to say no? Again: money-grubbing bastards. Anyway, so I said, sure, go ahead and add the coolant, but I have no idea where all the coolant went. Neither did they - especially since we had the heater core replaced less than a year earlier and that fixed the coolant leak problems we were having at the time. They told me to keep an eye on coolant levels, and I drove home a week or so later and didn’t have any problems at all. Coolant levels were within spec as of about 1900 this evening, too.

So I got on the road around 1815 this afternoon, and made it about 20 miles west of Ann Arbor. The engine started running very rough, almost like it was missing, and then the “check engine” light came on. Great. I glanced over at the thermostat and it was pegged past the H. Uh-oh. Then the oil light came on. Double uh-oh. I immediately got off the gas and pulled over, and pulled into a rest area. The radiator fan was working like mad, and the engine was hardly able to keep running as I limped into a parking place. There were clouds of steam coming out from under the hood when I popped it, and there was a rather sharp burned smell about the whole area. Ugh. Great. Just what I need. Here we are about to leave for vacation tomorrow and I’m stuck in Jackson with an undriveable vehicle.

I’m going to make a very reasonable assumption that Art Moehn won’t be able to fix it tomorrow morning (Saturday) in time for us to pick it up on the way to Tennessee tomorrow afternoon. That means the earliest I can get it is next Sunday, also known as Fourth of July Weekend. So that’s out. I have two presentations the following Wednesday, so I’m going to be far too busy to leave Ann Arbor for two hours to pick up my car, plus I won’t have any good way to get there (since none of my friends has time to take two hours out of their day either). So at the earliest, I might have my car back the following Thursday, 10 July.

Did I mention how fucking pissed I am? AAAARRRRRRRGH!

Thank you, Howard Cooper, for being a bunch of money-grubbing bastards too desperate for a quick buck to properly diagnose a failing water pump. I’m never taking my car to you again for any service at all. Your greed has forever cost you my business. How d’ya like them apples?

posted by Chris on 28 June 2003 at 2142 in car

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