Yesterday was adventures in car repair day or not repair as the case may be.
About 8 weeks ago my car started bucking like a bronco and the check engine light came on so I took it to the mechanic over at Firestone because I’ve been going there for over 15 years and never treated me like I was a stupid woman, not once.
They ran a diagnostic which usually costs money and had them do and oil change and a tune up since it had never had one in 7 years. It has 48,000 miles on it. So it hasn’t needed one until now. The outcome of the diagnostic was that it was the computer that runs the cam shaft and only the Dealer could re-flash the computer. That there was a bulletin out on that and they had 2 PT Cruisers in that day alone with the same defect.
I called the dealer that day, No there was no bulletin an no non dealer mechanic could possibly know their proprietary information and it would start at $134 for the diagnostic. (which I had just had). Well , I’ve had to take the bus for 8 weeks to make enough money to pay for fixing anything, this was slowed up by having to pay my rent and my sister’s but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
So I took it in yesterday and now I allegedly had a bad cam shaft part, (they swear there is no bulletin) but now I also have a bad oil pressure sending switch and 2 broken engine mounts. For just the first 2 it would be $590. I told him to fix the camshaft problem since I couldn’t drive it back to the Firestone mechanic and I had already been towed by AAA once that day. So what I ended up with was a $344 car wash and detailing. Supposedly I was leaking oil terribly and would harm my engine. Hmmm. And the guy at the dealer practically patted the nice little girl on the head for trying to tell him what might be wrong with the big complicated car. Not amused. Oh, and without the switch the check engine light would immediately come back on again.
I called my Firestone guy for an estimate and to fix the oil pressure switch it would be $30 for the part and $40 for the labour but it might not need it. The engine mounts are either $121 for one kind or $ 87.99 for the other one. A lot cheaper but it still will have to wait for at least the next paycheck.
By the way, there should be at least a puddle of oil after 8 weeks of sitting wouldn’t you think? Not a drop under the car. Nor is there now. And the check engine light didn’t come back on again and I drove it to Target and back. (YeaY! No expedition to Target on the bus with the old lady shopping cart and my sister on a full bus.
But now I’m paranoid and took the bus to work anyway. I’ve gotten used to the bus. The Orange Line has its own dedicated busway and because I take my cane and have a disabled parking pass it’s 55 cents at rush times and 25 cents on weekends and non-rush times. That’s a lot cheaper than gas. I just have one wish. Just once I would like to ride the bus and have no one fart.
In the last 6 months I have now taken the Orange Line, (most days to work or shopping), the Orange Line, the Red line train and the Silver Line to a job interview. Last week I took the Orange line from work on Saturday to the Red Line to Union Station and then the Gold Line to Pasadena for Beltane with my coven sisters. A few months ago I took the Orange Line to the Red Line to the Blue Line to the Green Line to meet the Heiromum for a ride to a TOILA event. And in 2 weeks I’m going to take the Orange Line to the Red line to the new Expo line to the California Science Center when TOILA goes to the Cleopatra exhibit. Oh, and next week my sister and I are taking the Orange Line to the Red Line to see the last day of the Amgen Bike race in downtown LA. I think I’ve taken everything but the Purple Line. I’m beginning to enjoy not driving sometimes and with gas over $4 it’s a whole lot cheaper and more like an adventure.
In my opinion, the Gold Line train was the best. It has the prettiest scenery and the stations are really beautiful and fit the surroundings. The Chinatown station is a pagoda and the stations on the way to Pasadena are mostly Craftsman style and some have gardens around them. The Del Mar station had a machinery theme that was very cool.
LA public transport has come so far since they started putting in the subway 20 years ago.