I feel like I have Munchausen's By Proxy, Automotive Variant. One of our cars is back at the shop for more of the same symptoms. Poor Larry (our service guy). I think he never wants to hear from me again.
A while back, my husband noticed that the car he usually drives was not behaving well. It wanted to stall when coming to a stop or when starting from a stop. We went to our local Ford place and they diagnosed some bad sensors and some tune-up kind of stuff. When we got it back, it seemed to run a little peppier than it had, but was still stalling when we tried to put it in gear. Price of the first repair: around $840.
Back to the Ford dealership. Larry phoned with the news that it's probably transmission related, probably the torque converter. They needed to pull the transmission to really know for sure, and then, either way, it would be ready to work on. Larry had spoken with the service manager and they credited the $800+ dollars from our earlier repair to that new repair. Now Larry was my hero because I never had to ask for this consideration. He also got us a sweet little "no-cost rental" (I do love a bureaucratic oxymoron) for the week we were without our car. Our cost (after credit) of repair #2: around $1000.
But, the car still stalled. The symptom had changed a bit. Now it stalled only when fully warmed up and coming to a stop. Still, this was not good. Then, Monday morning, I drove the Little Emperor to school in that car. After I dropped him and was starting home, the brakes went to the floor. Yes, the car stopped. But I thought for a scary moment or two it might not. Got back the 4 blocks home, driving oh so very carefully, and called my buddy Larry again. Now, I think he really really really did not want to hear from me again. I arrange a tow for the car to the dealership. Larry tells me that the brake line has corroded. No real surprise. This is a 1997 Ford Windstar and we live in slush and salt city 5 months of the year. $340 to fix that before they can safely do the test drive to find out the issue with the stalling. Well, I still think we've come this far, so may as well keep trying to keep this vehicle on the road another couple years.
Larry got back to me yesterday and told me it's a valve in the valve body, part of the transmission, which is sticking when it's warmed up. And he told me that if they had realized that when they had the transmission all apart last time, they would have done that at the same time. So, in view of that, they'll do the labor for free on this one. Well, that was the good news. The bad news is the part (valve body) costs $895. And they have to order it. And we'll be without the car for a while.
Larry asked me if we needed another "no cost rental" car this time. I told him No, now that my husband's out of work, we really can get by with one. Just to really pile on my serving of Woe Cake. (If you don't know what Woe Cake is, you haven't been lurking on the Ravelry Rubberneckers.)
So yeah, Mr. SABLE's first day of unemployment, yesterday, went much better than his last few days of employment did. But he's muttering about going to art school and moving to northern Maine to pursue a career making art glass. I guess I can herd sheep and we'll eat stone soup I'll cook on a woodstove. Now I'm being a bit snide. After all, when you've given half your soul to a soul-sucking corporation for 12 years and been tossed out like yesterday's newspaper in the recycling, it's normal to fantasize about a very different lifestyle. Oh, and yesterday? He got his first e-mail from someone trying to make sense of the mess that sacking a whole department leaves behind, asking for help with a big project. Mr. SABLE told him that he can't help, doesn't have any of those files, and the poor successor should check with the Pointy Haired Boss if he has any more questions. I expect this won't be the last desperate email he'll get from folks over there.