Last Christmas, my three-year-old, still-making-monthly-payments-on-it, out-of-warranty car decided not to start. Knight is experienced in car maintenance and parts and stuff, and he decided it needed a new starter. He found one and installed it himself.
A few months ago, it pulled the same stunt. The remedy this time? New battery.
A couple of weeks ago, it did it again — twice in one week. My parents have an extra car, so I borrowed it to get back and forth to work. My dad and Knight took my car to a trusted mechanic. He kept it for a week, but couldn’t figure it out. He couldn’t get it NOT to start. Figures.
Finally, we decided to call the dealership. I detest dealerships. We bought our car from a GREAT dealership when we were living in Dallas. Then, we moved here, and I can’t stand the local one. Fortunately, the next town over has one, too.
I called the service department and described the problem, keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn’t something ridiculously expensive. The guy on the phone said he thought it was the ignition, that they’ve seen this problem before. He said that the part is $30, and the installation is one hour of labor at $100. I asked if it was something that Knight could install, but he said that it has to be programmed due to the security features on the car. Truthfully, I was dancing on the inside because $130??? Is nothing in the world of car repair. They were able to work me in for yesterday a.m.
I didn’t really like the idea of spending my Saturday morning at the dealership, but… on the other hand, it was an hour of uninterrupted reading. 🙂 So I drove the 45 minutes to the dealership, checked the car in, and headed to the waiting room. There was only one other man there, reading the newspaper, and the TV blaring Saturday morning cartoons.
I sat on the couch and cracked open my book, which, unfortunately, wasn’t something I was looking forward to all that much. I also turned down the TV.
About 30 minutes later, the receptionist for the service department came over to me. “You’ll never guess what it is,” she says to me. She had a smile on her face, so my heart didn’t drop into my stomach like it normally would have, had a mechanic fed me that same line.
Whaaa??? My key had somehow gotten twisted a bit, so it wasn’t making contact every single time. This explains the randomness of the starting issues, as well as why Knight was able to start it every single time. Also, the mechanic that had been looking at my car had Knight’s key the whole week.
The damage? $7.21. That dealership has a customer for life, because they could easily have ripped me off for $130.