Friday, August 1

I got all my cleaning done, and my fabric closet cleaned out. Wow - its really amazing how much fabric I have. I found quite a lot of smaller pieces of fabric that I can't see a use for (for me) but my Mom could make some shorts and t-shirts for my niece Elyssa. Mom was really thrilled about it, and she said that Kathy would be really grateful as well. After Mom and I got our stuff done, we went to lunch, we decided to do Mexican and had cheese enchiladas (cha, cha, cha!). I had a coupon (yes, I love coupons!!!) to buy one dinner and get the second one free. So, we ordered dinner sized portions and brought half of it home. Worked for us! Not bad - basically 4 meals for under 10 bucks, and that included tip! LOL!! Then after lunch we did the usual errands to the grocery store and then to Wal-Mart. As soon as I got home, the mechanic called and told me my car was ready. I about SHIT when the mechanic (Kyle) told me what he found wrong (its been running rough and miss firing). It was a cracked spark plug that was put in when I had it tuned up by the first place (Big O-Tires - who my Dad trusted so I took it there) back in April. I was furious! All the worry, all the stress, all the work my friend Robin's husband Jerry put all that work into it, trying to find the problem, and changing modules, etc., cost me about $125 then it was $80 labor to diagnose the problem at Kyle's today. So... I took my spark plug, and went and had a chat with Big O owner Mike. (He is a friend of my Dads so I was polite.) I took my receipts in, and explained what went on. Mike said "Well, you know that when you first brought it in, that I told you and your Dad that we may not be able to fix your car." I said, "I understand and remember that. You thought that a tune up would fix the problem so I had you do one. You were right, the tune up would have fixed the problem if the spark plug that you put in wasn't cracked. " He had an "oh yeah..." look on his face. "Then when I came to pick my car up and it was still running rough, you told me that you couldn't do any more for me and sent me on my merry way." Then I told him that I didn't want to make trouble, but it wasn't right that one of his staff's incompetence - or mistake caused me to pay nearly $200 and all the trouble Jerry went to. So we struck a bargain. He gave me a refund of $80, which paid for today's labor. I thought that was fair. I thanked him and was on my way. My car isn't totally fixed though... there are other things going on, one knew about (the digital display is going out again) and then there's an exhaust leak. I was expecting around $400 for the digital display (I had to have one 5 years ago) so that wasn't a surprise. Kyle has ordered the new display but it will take about 2 weeks to get it in so I'll take it back when its in. The exhaust leak I will take to Midas since I've got a warranty on my muffler that I bought 2 years ago. Its not a 100% coverage warranty, that only lasts 12 months so I'll have to pay for labor, but the muffler itself is covered. THEN after all that stuff is done, it should pass both safety and emissions tests (fingers crossed!) that are due in Sept. And fingers crossed again - my car will last me at least another year... If it lasts me another year, I'll hopefully be in a position position to get a new car. Its a 1987 Chevy Cavelier Z-24 but only 151,000 on it. Its been a good car really and I've done my best to keep it in good shape... and its still fun to drive. Even if I have to shell out about $1000 in repairs each year, its less than a car payment every month! Now I'm going to eat some dinner and relax!