Locked out

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Buying a car from an auto dealership and using the service department is one of the biggest jokes that can be played on a consumer. They tell you when you buy the car that you have a warranty, you have lifetime oil changes, you have access to loaner cars if needed…they tell you a lot of things.

What they don’t tell you is that they are severely understaffed (which has only gotten worse). What they don’t tell you is that their service department hours are limited to the hours you are working (no weekends), so it makes it virtually impossible to schedule even routine maintenance without having to take time off. What they don’t tell you is that they don’t really have loaner cars, just that they will get a rental for you IF they deem it necessary.

So, the long story…

I bought a 2018 Kia Niro almost four years ago. I like the car. I really haven’t had any issues with it up to this point. But, the routine maintenance has been a challenge for the reasons listed above. It’s just hard to schedule an appointment.

About three or so months ago, the car started to give me issues when unlocking the car. Initially, the car wouldn’t recognize when I walked up to it (mirrors open and lights come on). The keyfob is the trigger for this function so I started keeping my eye on how often it would happen. It slowly began to progress to the point that pushing the button on the keyfob wouldn’t unlock the car. Pushing the button on the door handle wouldn’t unlock the car. Eventually, after pushing the buttons for several minutes, it would eventually unlock.

It did what most people would do and I assumed the battery in the keyfob was going dead. Afterall, it’s been four years with lots of use. I was actually surprised it took so long for it to be needed. So, I replaced the battery.

Did is solve the issues? Nope. It seemed to have made them worse.

Not only was it still difficult to get the doors unlocked, but now suddenly the car wouldn’t start! The car is a push button start, so there is no auxillary ignition slot for a key. Now I was getting a message that the keyfob needed to be in the car – while I was holding it while inside the car! Again, after furious button pushing, eventually it would start. But now I am wondering when I would be stranded for good if something didn’t happen soon…

So, I took the car to the dealership (last Wednesday) to see if they knew if there as an issue that was something fairly easy. They initially discussed that the keyfob might need to be reprogrammed to the car.

Cost? Approximately $75…

Mind you, there is NO OTHER WAY to start the car as there is no key. The keyfob is the key!! So, it is kinda required equipment. To charge a customer for this is absurd!

I complained loudly. The car is even still under warranty. There should be no charge for this!

They decided they better investigate further and find out if that really is the issue. So, an appointment is needed. Remember the whole schedule thing? Can’t do it and I am afraid I am going to be stranded. Soonest they could get me in would be five days (a Monday) because their “electronics guy” is out for training. They offer to pay for a rental while I wait for the car to be looked at.

OK, I supposed. Whatever.

Monday comes, no call from the dealership.

I call. I am told they are too busy to look for the paperwork, they’ll call me back. Two hours later, I call back. I am now told that the car wasn’t looked at and that the “appointment” wasn’t really an appointment so much as they were going to see if they could squeeze me in. I am told they will for sure get to it tomorrow…Tuesday…as yet, still no call with a status update.

Are car dealerships set up this way just to be a pain in the ass? Does everyone else have an issue with their car dealership after purchasing a car?

“Back order”

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Took my car in for service today. It was actually needed before the long drive over the holiday, but timing just didn’t work well. Before I left for vacation, I set up the appointment for when I got back. That works out to just about two weeks before the the appointment.

The appointment is the scheduled 45k mile checkup. This is the one recommended by the manufacturer. So I expected, given the lead time, that there would be no issues in completing the work needed for this appointment. As a business, I expected they would have all the stuff they needed for the appointment lined up before the appointment. That would be good customer service – so that it is all done in one trip.

I guess I expected too much.

They don’t have the air filter needed for my car. This is the dealership, mind you.

It’s the whole, “We’re having a hard time getting parts” and “Everything is back ordered” and “Come back another day and we can just slap that thing in” and “We’ll have it by 3:00 (later) today.”

So now I need to make a second trip over here because you didn’t check to see if you had all the parts needed for this very specific check up?

That’s not good customer service.

Good grief.

Anyone else experienced this whole “back order/supply chain” excuse lately? That seems to be a pretty standard answer when a business can’t delivery on the services they are selling. Is this REALLY that bad of an issue or are businesses just using it as crutch?

Kind of like the whole “national coin shortage”? There is’t one really. Business seems pretty normal to me.

Am I being unreasonable? Should I give grace for something like this when there was time to prepare or give me a head’s up before the appointment?

“Emergency”

dead end road sign

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Why is someone else’s “emergency” suddenly mine?

How does someone’s repeated poor choices, bad decisions, and terrible money management become my problem?

Why am I forced to suffer the consequences of others’ stupidity?

These questions, unfortunately, will never be answered. I am just unlucky enough to have to ask them on a frequently repeated basis.

I had to buy a used car this weekend so that I could loan it to a family member for a short period of time. Because they have no transportation and desperately need to keep their job, which is needed to keep other disastrous things from happening…which might still happen anyway.

It’s something I really didn’t have much of a choice in because I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.

 

Belly up

white vehicle in road close up photography

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When things go belly up, especially a car, it makes for a really unpleasant rush to make a decision.

We, meaning my X and I and my teen daughter, purchased a used car back in June. We knew it wasn’t a top notch used car, but we figured it would get us a year (hopefully two) before it would need to be replaced. Since I just talked about making decisions with the X a few days ago, you can imagine that the process of finding and deciding on a car the first time was a chore, to say the least.

Well, now the car has gone belly up and the repairs (at least by the first estimate) appear to be more than the car is worth. I, nor her step-dad, are mechanically inclined when it comes to engines so doing a repair ourselves isn’t really an option. I have friends that could possibly do the work, but since the car is 30 miles from my home that isn’t exactly a “Hey, can you pop over and do some repairs?” kind of situation.

So, we…are back to trying to figure out options. Besides high school, my daughter has a part-time job and is also doing running start (college while still in high school), so the need for her transportation is kinda high as public transit isn’t the greatest or most efficient (or safe?) in the area where she lives. Thus, the options are few.

Ugh! Why are children so expensive….?

Park not!

photo of brown labrador retriever sitting in front of driveway

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Get your #@$%&#! car off my driveway!

Alright, bear with me here. I am trying really hard to not be an arse-hole, but when someone does something blatantly just because they can when they know they shouldn’t…well, that just burns the hell outta me. Do you think I am being unreasonable?

When I first moved into my current house, it had a gravel driveway. I didn’t like it (call me a sissy if you want) because when I washed the car I would drag the hose around and then it would be covered in small bits of gravel and dirt and not very pleasant to pick up because it was all grimy.

Anyway, I happened to fall into an opportunity to get it blacktopped. So, now it is a nice smooth and surface to park on and to wash the cars on. Now, it’s been nine years since the blacktop was done. It has been seal-coated twice in that time and it continues to show signs of wear over time. It’s starting to crumble on the edges. Its starting to crack where tree roots exist under the driveway. It is starting to sag in one spot where a heavy city truck decided to turn around in our driveway. And, there are some spots of the driveway from where vehicles have dripped fluids.

There’s where the rub comes in! I know EVERY single drip spot on the driveway and pay close attention to them. They are signs to me. They tell me if something on the vehicle needs attention. At a time in the past there was a car that parked in the driveway (because it was mine) that dripped an awful lot until it was replaced. Why did I park it in the driveway and let it leave spots on the driveway? Because it’s MY driveway!

So, now the issue. There are others who have parked on the driveway who also have vehicles that drip fluids. They know this. It isn’t a something they didn’t know about. It wasn’t new to them. I have asked them not to park in the driveway because I don’t want extra spots on the driveway that need to be cleaned the next time maintenance needs to be done. Plus, it causes me stress not knowing if it came from one of our vehicles or not and then I have to figure it out. So, there are several other places to park that are close to the house that is in gravel or grass where they can drip away and it isn’t inconvenient at all.

But NOOOOOO, they still park in the driveway like they live here! It just burns me up. The disrespect is irritating. Are they doing it on purpose? I don’t know. Did they honestly forget? I don’t know and I don’t care.

Just don’t do it! It’s mine and I don’t wanna share with your POS car! Go away and take your car with you! Don’t come back until you figure out where to properly park!


 

Am I being unreasonable? Unfair? Possessive? Or, is what I have requested reasonable?

Not representative

black framed wing mirror

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Recently I was tasked with finding a used car to purchase for my daughter. A process I am not fond of, let alone knowing my daughter is now old enough to be out on the road on her own. Scary times I tell ya!

Anyway, looking for a used car these days is tough. People are shady.

People are shady.

Hundreds of car ads on multiple platforms and driving by, stopping and looking, at cars on the side of the road with signs in them. It is hard to find a quality used car for a decent price. Or, I should say a decent car for an inexpensive price.

I wanted something that I didn’t have to worry about my 16 year old being on the side of the road in the dark somewhere but also knew it wasn’t going to be in perfect condition. The problem is that when you take all that into consideration and then add in a relatively limited budget, well let’s just say an ice cube in hell has a better chance. LOL

People are shady.

I already knew that point, but as I looked at cars online and then would go look at them in person I found a great majority of them were misrepresented in the ad. The body condition was accurately reflected in the photos. The interior was purposely misrepresented for obvious or glaring flaws. The engine leaked oil. The description left out the mile on the vehicle. Windows didn’t work. Mold growing on the interior? Come on.

Anyway, we found a car. I am not sure it was as great a deal as we first thought. New brakes all around after purchase and the key FOB doesn’t work even after the battery replacement. It is even possible the engine was pressure washed to hide a small oil leak.

I didn’t expect perfect, but people are shady.


Have you had similar purchase experiences from buying this online? Got a horror story to share?

There she goes

silhouette of girl running on the seashore during golden hour

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Strange things have been happening around here. My little one has turned 16 and a new form of freedom is upon us both.

I love it!

I hate it…

It feels very weird. I mean really weird.

Yesterday, after having her license for three whole days, was the first time she got in a car and drove away by herself. There was no one in the car…except her…

After 16 years, it is time to do a little letting go and I have to admit it is scary. I mean, I love watching my daughter grow and mature and become her own person, but inside the pride is mixed with hurt. Not the kind of hurt that is caused by someone that has done something to you, but a hurt that just aches because you know the “little girl” is gone.

It was surreal watching her drive away. Away to a place of her choosing. She has many more destinations ahead of her and I am not going to be able to protect her as she goes.

Man, growing old is tough. These new adventures my daughter is taking me on are tough.

There she goes…

Reverse lights

monopoly car piece

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There are lots of things that are extremely irritating in life. This blog is kind of dedicated to finding and expressing our frustration with such things. I can across one the other day that just about had me come unhinged – temper went from 0-83 in less than 1.4 seconds.

You see them in parking lots all the time but maybe you don’t give them much thought.

Reverse lights.

Those white lights on the back of vehicles that are your signal that said vehicle is about to begin backing up. Great idea, those lights.

But, what isn’t a great idea is that someone who has put the vehicle in reverse, thus turning the lights on, can also IMMEDIATELY begin backing up without any regard to what may be behind them.

I am sure this is no secret since nearly anyone who has ever driven a car has probably experience this in a parking lot at some point in their past. What is most frustrating is that it seems to be happening more and more. I can’t explain it, but I sure want to punch people when it happens. To be fair, I am not really a violent person but there are some things that really get my blood boiling, and this is one of them.

I have nearly been hit while driving a car and while walking. It’s happened in parking lots. It’s happened on the road as someone backs out of a driveway. It’s happened during broad daylight and it has happened at night. Good thing I am aware of my surroundings!

Anyway, I propose there be a 10 second waiting period , a delay if you will, on Reverse. The car goes into reverse, the lights come one, and you have to wait 10 seconds before the car will move. That should force someone to have a look around (I hope). Oh, and while we’re at it, how about a sensor in the seat that can read the body language or tell if someone looked out the back window before the car will move? Yeah, now we’re on to something.

OK, let me know in the comments if you have experienced this? Were you able to avoid the collision or were you one of the unlucky, wrong place at the wrong time kind of people?

 

The reminder I needed

architecture automobile avenue buildings

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After two weeks of telecommuting because of weather (and some regularly scheduled days in there too), I am back at the office today.

I can honestly say that I missed my coworkers. While we kept in touch and worked together with the various technology aids we regularly use, it was just not the same as being in the office. There is something to be said for human interaction.

However, the drive to the office this morning reminded me why I like telecommuting so much. People are dumb. Just plain dumb.

So, which do I want to sacrifice? Face to face time with colleagues or stress from the commute? I think you know the answer there.

At least it is Friday and a long weekend.