xtitsx: (Default)
( 19 Mar 2017 02:39 pm)
the PSE decided a week or two ago that we ought to have our oil changed in our Wagons.
it had been over nine months since we last had our oil changed, back in New Jersey before we came to Fort Worth.
they say you are supposed to get your oil changed every three thousand miles or every three months, but that's just Jiffy Lube that says that.
realistically, it's over 5,000 miles, 7,500 under “ideal conditions” according to the Volvo manual but, i don't have the slightest idea how many miles it's been since our last oil change.
we drove halfway across the country, but, after that, we don't really drive our cars around town all that much.
the PSE and i never really keep close tabs on when we change our oil, we just do it when it feels right.
the PSE decided that it was something that we ought to do, so, okay, i guess it's time.

i say this every time that i write an oil change episode, but the PSE and i really ought to be doing this stuff ourselves.
i am disadvantaged by my upper-middle class upbringing and white-collar Father which has rendered me effectively useless with mechanical things.
the PSE is fairly handy, she can do all sorts of things that i would just automatically pay somebody to repair, but oil changes are beyond her ability for no other reason then to preform one, you have to be able to get to the underside of your car.
since the PSE and i don't drive SUVs, there really isn't any way to get underneath them to remove the cap on the oil pan, so, we have to come out of our pocket $39 to some asshole who owns a ditch we can effectively park on top of.

the PSE took the TITSwagon, to Jiffy Lube and paid the crooks their $39 for their services.
a few days later she took her own car but she ran into some trouble.
the people at the Jiffy Lube told her that the bolt on her car's oil pan was all jacked up.
the PSE took her car to a Pep Boys to see if they might have better luck getting the bolt off of her oil pan, but they were just as stumped by the challenge as Jiffy Lube.
the problem, apparently is that whoever changed the PSE's oil last time stripped the threads on the male penis end of the bolt and now it wouldn't unscrew.
the people at Jiffy Lube and Pep Boys said that she was likely going to end up having to replace the whole oil pan.
the PSE called up the nearest Volvo shop who gave her a price quote for a new oil pan north of $800.

because the PSE is handy, her first instinct was to go on the internet to investigate the problem.
sure enough, there were plenty of videos on the YouTube about what to do about a stripped bolt on an oil pan.
apparently, the AutoZone sells some kind of tool that can get stripped nuts out for somewhere around $40.
if the PSE could get underneath her Wagon with this tool she could likely fix the problem herself, tear out the old bolt and put in a new one, but, once again, because the PSE can't easily get under her own car, we were going to have to come out a whole buttload of money.
cities really ought to offer garages open to the public where people can work on their own cars as a public service.
i've been saying that for years but, to my knowledge, nobody had read my LiveJournal and made it happen yet.

whenever it becomes necessary to have work done on our cars, the PSE and i prefer to deal with an independent Volvo shop.
going to the Volvo dealership is always three times more expensive then dealing with a third-party.
Volvos have a stigma for being expensive to maintain because, i assume, people who drive Volvos are rich suckers who can afford to be bilked.
Fort Wort isn't a Volvo town, however.
Fort Worth is a Chevy Silverado town. Fort Worth is a Ford SuperDuty town.
the PSE put in the work trying to find an independent Volvo shop but there wasn't one anywhere between here and Austin.
where the queers and the hippies live.
finally, she had to make an appointment with Volvo Corporate.
normally there is a bit of a wait when you deal with the Volvo Dealership but when the PSE called they told her to come right in. they didn't have anything else going on.

it was good news and bad news at the Volvo Dealership.
after waiting in the lobby with the Monster for an hour, the Volvo mechanic came out to say that the oil pan bolt could be salvaged.
it wasn't stripped, it was just screwed on so tight that they had to use a hydraulic gizmo to get it off.
there was no charge for that, just the standard rate for a Volvo Dealership oil change, $86.32.
because Fuck You, We're Volvo!
they threw in a complimentary car wash, but, all things considered i'd rather just pay Jiffy Lube $39 and wash the car myself.
paying more then double for an oil change wasn't the bad news. that's just the cost of doing business with the Volvo Dealership.
the bad news came when the PSE presented me with the service record from Volvo for my files and, there on the back, highlighted in yellow, was a great big long list of other things that were wrong with the PSE's wagon.
they didn't say anything to the PSE when she was at the Dealership.
i guess they just assumed her husband would discover their notes when he got home from work.

the list of things the Volvo Dealership decided were wrong with the PSE's Wagon and the costs to repair, parts and labor, are as follows:
-Upper Strut Mounts collapsed: $602.33 to replace plus $159.95 alignment
-Drive Belt cracked: $236.74
-Timing Belt cracked: $864.14
-Left Ball Joint has a lot of play: $352.39
-Control Arm Bushing warn out: $936.08 plus an alignment of $159.95
-Left Inner and Outer Boots starting to leak, $474.49
that's a grand total of $3,786.07 to fix everything on their list.
$3,626.12 if you can do the Upper Strut Mounts and Control Arm Bushings with just one alignment.

the problem of course, is the same problem suckers like me have been having for generations since men started outsourcing handiness to the working classes.
the price i pay for my nice soft hands is that i don't know what the fuck i'm talking about with stuff like this and i get taken advantaged of.
i don't know what half of the things on the aforementioned list are and i think at least two of them have got to be made up.
Left Ball Joint “has a lot of play” what the fuck does that even mean!?!
still, it's been over nine months since the PSE and i had to make a sacrifice to the Volvo gods, so, i guess our time is due.

several days later we took the PSE's Wagon back to the Vlvo Dealership.
we dealt with a little Transgender Mexican, lady-to-fella, about what really needed to be fixed on the PSE's car and what we could skip.
he kept trying to tell us that we should really do everything, but that's just because his boss was looking over his shoulder.
i was also pushing for us to do everything, i figured i would rather throw money at the problem then have unresolved issues hanging over our heads.
the last thing i need is to pay thousands of dollars to do five of the six things on the repair list and then have the sixth one blow, totaling the PSE's Wagon.
the PSE was more conservative, however.
she decided that we should pay to replace the Upper Strut Mounts, Drive Belt and Timing Belt and leave the Left Ball Joint, Control Arm Bushing and Left Inner and Outer Boots for another day, mostly because neither of us know what the fuck they are and our Transgender Service Tech couldn't really articulate why they are important.
we left the PSE's Wagon at the Dealership.
twenty hours later they called to say that it was ready to be picked up.
the whole thing cost $1,691.30 parts and labor which, of course, is money we don't have because neither the PSE nor i have had work in months, so we had to dip into our fast-depleting savings to cover.
the PSE reported that the car is noticeably much improved to drive, though, so, that's worth something.
let's just hope that whatever the fuck the PSE's Wagon's other problems are, they don't prove to be fatal.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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