I had a less than entertaining time last night. Driving home I had an incident. Fortunately it didn't involve anyone else, and I'm fine other than being a little shook up.
Driving down Indiana on the back side of Rocky Flats my car jerked to the right. Things got exciting from there. The standard amount of overcorrection occurred, I visited the lane of oncoming traffic briefly (fortunately no one was right there) and ultimately I ended up on my side of the road in the fence. I mowed down a t-post and got covered in barbed wire along the way.
Just last Wednesday I had to write a large check to get the car repaired. In addition to the oil change and the timing belt I knew I needed, I apparently also had a broken right front axle and something wrong with the CV joint. It was broken but not yet completely failed. The mechanic drove my car and didn't know there was anything wrong with the car until they got up on the lift - it wasn't showing any of the signs of the axle issue. He says that was very dangerous b/c if it had failed completely while I was on the road it could have jerked, the wheel would have stopped turning, etc. I like & trust my mechanic, I take them a 6 of local beer every time I take the car in (even for an oil change), and with only a little bit of pain wrote the 4 digit check to make the car happy and healthy. It’s cheaper than a new car payment, I suppose.
So yesterday has scared me a bit. I was driving, the car jerked to the right (the side they fixed), and excitement ensued. Looking after the accident, I didn't seen anything in the road other than the little bump that's always been there. It's certainly not big enough to cause the jerk that happened.
I don't for a minute think that my mechanic of 4 + years did anything wrong. But I am concerned about this happening only 5 days after I got it back. Maybe something wasn't *quite* clicked in or something? I don’t know enough about cars to understand if that could happen. So I had the car towed and it is sitting outside their shop waiting for them to open up this morning.
AAA was *horrible* First, even tho I have a supposedly valid card in my wallet (says valid through Sept 07 right on it), apparently it was suspended? Turns out that AAA send out your new card 45 days *before* your account expires. So I was probably thinking they had charged my credit card and everything was fine. Because I had a *valid* card for the next year right in my wallet, right? Not the case. So they want to argue about all of this as I stand by the side of the road. They end up charging me twice the normal renewal rate, and maybe some extra so I could avoid the wait time for my premium service. The premium service was needed was necessary because I was ~20 miles from my mechanic, and basic service only covers a tow for like 4 miles or some silly thing. So with some amount of anger we get that taken care of. I think this policy of sending out card *months* before the account renewal is terribly misleading, wrong, and just a way to get $$ in their pocket. They gal on the phone even admitted that a lot of people get confused by this. They never did anything like call me to let me know this was an issue.
Okay, so we spend the next hour waiting for the State Patrol & the tow truck to show up. The State Patrol never did show up. After the first hour I start calling AAA. Where is the truck? Oh, it’s been a busy day – they are on their way. 15 minutes. I repeated over and over where I was. ‘On Indiana between 90th & 128th, close to the light’. They start to get huffy ‘You know ma’am, you don’t have to call us all the time.’ It must be some kind of canned response – turns out they had given the tow truck operator the wrong location even though I had repeated where I was over and over enough times N*** laughed. Too the tow guy 2 hour and many calls to get there.
I must say my co-worker N*** was *wonderful* He understands this being single thing means sometimes I need help. He came right over, made sure I was okay, and sat with me until the tow guy came. 2 hours. I owe him (and his family, who’s evening I disrupted) big time. Gotta figure out something really nice to do for them.
So, 5 mins after I get home the phone rights. It’s AAA calling to tell me that there were ‘overmileage charges’ that I needed to pay. The gal starts to go on. Up to that point I had been pretty calm and together, not gotten upset, raised my voice, cried, or anything wimpy like that. But I sure as hell yelled at that AAA woman. No NO NO! Turns out she hadn’t looked at the notes in the account and just assumed that I would have to pay the overmileage charges. Once she bothered to *read* anything she saw that they had indeed given me the Premium service on the spot. I will be writing AAA a very strongly worded letter about this experience, how I feel mislead and ripped off, how incompetent their staff is, etc.
That was my excitement for yesterday. So now I’m stuck taking another day of work and waiting for the mechanic to call. I hate that there is no one to help. I am so not made of money, so another repair bill is going to ruin my summer plans *sigh*