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Car troubles. Grrrrrrrr

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
My "check engine" light came on for one day then turned off. Since it is a new car I thought I'd better take it in to the shop. Mind you that I had absolutely no problems with the car except the one day that the light was on.

So...I get there and realize it is time for an oil change, so I asked them to do that and to check the computer memory to find out why the light came on.

Well....next thing I know, the mechanic is telling me about the horrible sound it makes when backing up and about flashing warning lights!!!!! I reminded him that there was no noise or flashing lights before I brought it to the shop.

So, they have had my car for 2 days now and still don't know what is wrong. They keep telling me that they are "calling California" about it (whatever the heck that means).

Luckily, is under warantee, so they are paying for the rental car and for any damage they did to my car.

What a pain!!!

Thanks for letting me vent!
post #2 of 25
Don't you just love these well-equipped dealerships with their "factory trained" mechanics? Too bad the "factory" has nothing to do with cars.

Now think about the reaction when it's a brand new 18-wheeler that you just paid $150,000 for...and there aren't any "loaners" here. Your payments don't stop either($2500 per month plus).
post #3 of 25
What type of car is it? Because if it's a Hyundai, their main office is in California and they are getting the "experts" advice. Good luck. If it is a Hyundai, I also have one (the Santa Fe) and only had trouble one (stupid engine light came on) and found out it was a bad somethingorother and they repaired it within 2 hours. Never had trouble since and absolutely LOVE my Santa Fe. This is my second Hyundai and I even got my mom to get one (although she swears that she would never buy a foreign car). She's now eating her words.

post #4 of 25
car trouble is the WORST because I'm so inept. I say God Bless Triple A!
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Kittyfoot....boy, would that stink! I won't feel quite as sorry for myself any more.

I just called and they are still waiting to hear from California....they've had my car three days now!!!

Apparently I made a BIIIIIG mistake by buying an unusual car. I have a Prius, which is a hybrid gas/electric car (gets 50 miles per gallon/don't have to plug it in), so the closest certified mechanics are in Clarksville TN, which is about 2 hours away from where I live. It looks to me like even though these are "certified" mechanics, they have no idea how to work on this car.

So, the moral of the story is to never ever buy something cutting edge! You'll suffer in the long run.
post #6 of 25
I feel for you with your car troubles....I know how you feel....I bought my Dodge Neon, (its a 2000, so it was used, but only 35,000 miles on it) about 4 months ago....the warrenty only was good until 36,ooo miles.....so right after the 36,000 mile mark, it wouldn't start. I had it towed in, and after almost 2 weeks, the mechanic 'thinks' he has it fixed, but won't be sure until it acts up again....which I realize is not his fault, he is a good mechanic, the best around here, but I guess there is some mechanisim on new cars that won't let you restart the car if it is already started...so like on the old cars, if you got in and it was started, and you tried to restart it you would hear that horrible, embarrassing grinding sound...well, the new cars won't let you do that...but he thinks that when my car won't start, it is beacuse the car 'thinks' it is already started, and that saftey mechanism is kicking in. Because there is nothing wrong with the starter itself. So he gave it back to me, $100 later, and said to drive it, and if it happens again, (he said it could be one of three things, and he fixed one) then bring it back in.
Great. I will probably get stranded somewhere.
Well, what are we gonna do? We are at the mercy of the cars and the mechanics I guess. *sigh*
post #7 of 25
....and if your "check engine" light is on, than it usually means your emmissions are in need of checking. This is not something that would make the car stop running, but it needs to be fixed for inspection purposes.
I had a Ford Windstar this happened to. I needed a new O-2 sensor.
IF your mechanic doesn't know this, get a new mechanic. This is basic stuff! And they should know it if they are fixing people's cars!
good luck, hope you get your car back soon.
post #8 of 25

YIKES! Hope all goes well for you...that STINKS! Since I'm not at all into fixing cars I just thank the Lord for leased cars!

post #9 of 25
I used to build hot rods,modified engines and stuff but I would have absoloutely NO idea what to do with these new cars. I find it interesting that stereos,computers,etc all warn to avoid moisture and vibration. I'm suuure glad I quit doing that kind of work before the "electronic age of autos" happened.
post #10 of 25
What was I reading the other day about cars and money?

Something about cars are sentient beings and very competitive. If you mention in or near your car that you have a little extra money, the car will immediately develop a problem of some kind in order to get the money. It's not greedy, it just has to be the fastest, most expensive, neediest, etc. thing that you own. It is competing for attention!

I don't know about you, but that's pretty much true for me!

Except for this current car that I absolutely hate but that refuses to die so I can't justify the expense of replacing it . . .
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
I think you're right. I think my car telepathically sent my comment about finally having some money in my savings account to the Toyota service center. So, when I brought it in they decided to trash the car so they could empty my savings again!

Ha! Trick's on them....it's under warantee, so they have to pay EVERYTHING!!!
post #12 of 25
This thread is an excellent example of why I do NOT drive or own a car. . . . this and the fact that with my temper I would tend to chase down and rear-end every b*****d that cut me off in traffic or exhibited any other moronic driving habits. . . . Some time I will have to tell you all the stories involved in my trying to learn to drive and my first, last, and ONLY auto accident! (I hit a woman in a motorized wheelchair, but I still contend it was her fault!)
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh my goodness....you ran down a lady in a wheelchair??!! This sounds like a great story...come on and share the details!
post #14 of 25
Okay, but you have to promise not to HATE me because I am "Vehicularly Impared". . . .

I went to college in Columbia, MO. (Univ. of MO. Go Tigers! Rah,Rah, Yadayadayada. . . . ) My boyfriend was leaving for basic training(l967) and wanted to leave me his car (1966 Chevrolet Corvair) GREAT, right? SURE but I had to pass my drivers' license test, so I was out "practicing" driving around campus. Now, the Univ.of MO. was one of the first colleges in the nation to be totally equipted for handicapped students so, we had a large enough student population that traveled campus via wheelchair and automated wheelchairs that they re-apportioned the streets on campus and surrounding areas with a "third lane" (far inside right) for wheelchair vehicles only. . . . . (stop giggling, it's true! Now while in the streets, in this lane, the occupants of the wheelchairs were supposed to observe all traffic rules; as if they were an automobile, SO; I ask you; should not that include signaling for turns(?) and using common sense like not pulling out in front of, or cutting off, a driver doing 15 to 25 mph in a white corvair; who is late to class and really doesn't give a flying crap if you are paralized from the waist down already or not and have decided that the rest of the traffic in the street will "cut you a deal" because of this infirmaty! You wanta turn; you signal, or pay the consequences. . . . End of story. Girl in wheelchair was knocked over, but not seriously hurt (remember; she was paralized from the waist down to begin with anyway and I had two witnesses>>>>one of which was "on wheels" himself; who swore in traffic court that the operator of the electric wheelchair DID NOT signal for the left turn and pulled out in front of me "as if she were expecting me to grant her the right of way" given her situation. . . . . . . (Power to the People, right on!) No Harm, No Foul; no ticket, no fine!)
post #15 of 25
Car Advantages

You can go anywhere you want
Can park it in the garage
You can bring your own friends


unhealthy to the enviornment
Can leave you in the middle of nowhere

Bus advantages:

You can sleep
You only have to pay $1.00 and you get a transfer that is good for two hours.
No tickets, insurance, registration, repair costs, and
gas to worry about.
You don't have to be stuck in traffic. No accidents.
You can talk on the cell phone.
Don't have to drive in bad weather or road conditions. I get scared driving in a snow storm. I tend to go 25 miles an hour on the freeway. People will get mad at me, but if they want to get into an accident, that is fine with them. But not me. I rather be safe than sorry.


You have to wait at the stop for a certain amount of time and if
you miss it you have to wait an additional half an hour(depending on the bus route).
Its not dependable. It can be too early or too late and as a result you're late for work/school.
Rude drivers
Rude and stinky passengers
It dosen't leave you were you want.
You can't look for directions on the bus.

Which would you rather have the bus or the car? I can't live without either of them.
post #16 of 25
personally I'd rather have a car, but that is just me.
post #17 of 25
After spending 2 years living in the city and having to use the Public Transit..I am thrilled to have my own car. I take a lot of pride in it, keeping it clean and running well. IMO, upkeep is the most important aspect of owning a car and having it work well for a long time. We get our oil changed often and tune-ups done on a regular basis. I have my tires rotated a few times a year and I have the car undercoated before winter so nothing will rust. I could never live without my car!!!
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
LOL!!!! Uppity handicapped person got what she deserved!

Your story cracked me up!
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here's today's story from the mechanic:

He told a long story about calls to California and Cincinatti and checking this and that and everything else. Then he said the only thing they could think to do was to check the gas.

He said they drew some gas from my tank, lit it on fire and black smoke billowed out and there was gunk left on the bowl after the fire went out.

So, even though my car worked fine before I took it to them, the reason THEY couldn't get it to work was because of bad fuel.

And get this.....problems related to bad fuel are not covered by the warantee!

What a load of #*%@!!!

They think I'm some dumb blonde....but, I'm not going to fall for this load of .....

post #20 of 25
Problems related to YOU using bad gas are not covered by the waranty. Problems related to employee incompetence or shoddy materials provided by the repair folks, should be covered by the shop that did the work. Or the manufacturer, but that won't fly with petrol companies. Still sounds the factory is using your car for training . . .



When I lived in Boston, I used to drive to the subway and take the trains and buses around town. That was the best for me - car for getting to the suburbs or the beach, public transpo for the city.


3LK - In California (at least where we lived in Santa Cruz) all the streets have that 3rd lane and you're so right - all those handicapped folks just expect you to see them! Now the ones with the flags who follow traffic rules do pretty well, and most of them don't mind sharing that lane with bikes, blades, and boards. But every now and then you get someone who is just spoiling for trouble and I think they do stupid things like that on purpose !

I thought your story was pretty funny.
post #21 of 25
Where the H<E<Double toothpicks did that mechanic train?? Kelloggs?? Cracker Jacks??

That "test" is pure codswallop. Contaminated fuel is tested with a spectrometer NOT by setting it on fire. You could do a more accurate test at home by siphoning out a glass bottle full of your fuel and simply letting it set for a day. Contaminants such as water,diesel fuel,etc are HEAVIER than gas and will separate out by themselves. You will be able to see distinct separate levels. Of course any solids will settle to the bottom.

Anyone who has a 2-stroke engine such as a chainsaw,leaf blower,etc which requires you to mix gas and oil will be familiar with this. It's why you are told to shake the mixed gas before each use..the oil separates out.

Now,on the other hand,you CAN easily get contaminated fuel from your friendly gas station. This is not necessarily a careless act on their part. If their storage tanks are real low when they get a delivery it stirs up all the residue on the bottom of their tanks and some can get into your vehicle when you gas up. Every gas station has a certain amount of water,etc in the bottom of their storage tanks caused by condensation..it's unavoidable. I usually will not fill up at a station where a tanker is unloading. Early AM in the cities is also not a good time because the fuel trucks usually deliver thru the wee hours in these places to avoid traffic.

The best insurance to avoid most fuel probs is to change fuel filters on your car regularly. I generally suggest Spring and Fall. Also use a good gas treatment every few fillups. The same would apply to a diesel engine(of course you would use diesel fuel treatment).

The above comes from years of tinkering with hot cars,8 years of hauling fuels and going on 30 years of nursing big rigs thru every kind of weather conditions.

BTW..tell your "mechanic" never go to work in a truckstop/truck garage. If he told this crap to a trucker they would STILL be looking for his face!!!
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Spoke to the mechanic again. He tells me the car is ready to pick up. He continues to swear that the problems were caused by bad fuel (I checked the gas station's print-outs - no fuel problems there). I pointed out what Kittyfoot said...the mechanic hemmed and hawed and said that he would have to see if the district manager would approve having it tested since it would cost $150.

He then went on to tell me that perhaps my type of car runs with low compression ... and get this...he said "but you probably don't know what that is" Excuse me?!! How insulting! I have a f&*#ing Ph.D.....I know what compression is! And then he said that because of the low compression my car is probably more sensitive to debris in the fuel than other cars. Yeah, right!

Anyway....they are not going to charge me to pick up the car. He said he would be "going round and round" with his district manager over this. (Who cares....as long as I don't have to pay!)

Little does the mechanic realize that I caught him in a series of lies. Also, I called Toyota Prius mechanics all around the country and gave them the scenario and they all said that it sounded pretty impossible.

My big worry now is that they have ruined my car. I'm not sure what to do next.

post #23 of 25
I know, if you have all the proof you can sue them. If you can't afford a lawyer then go to a low cost or free legal help. Also go to the Better Business Bureau. You can talk to other customers and see if they had any problems. I think these mechanics are proof of what some say they are. That they treat us women badly and take advantage of our little knowledge of cars. I would like to take mechanic courses so when I do have a car, go to a well-recommended mechanics, and to see what the car really needs.
post #24 of 25
I know the feeling about how mechanics act towards women. I had a five speed car that I got brand new because the guy in my ski house's father owned the dealership and I got a great deal. When I took it to their shop to tell them that the gears were out of sinc, the big shot told me that nothing was wrong and that I probably didn't know who to drive a stick. BIG MISTAKE as I drove tractor trailers. Well, I called my friend's father and told him and by the time I got there to pick up my car, the big shot was fired. Also, I always had the problem after five different transmissions and get this -- after the last one was put in, my ex-husband who was a mechanic for a Dodge dealer and his friend took it in because it was still under warranty and they had already checked it out and knew the problem but because of the warranty didn't touch it. Well, that guy told my husband and his friend (mind you the dealership didn't know my ex and his friend were mechanics for another dealership) told them that they couldn't find anything wrong. Well, that's when my ex blew up and told them that they had checked out the problem and knew what it was because they were mechanics and showed them. The dealership realized that they screwed up and fixed it and I never had problems after that. Anyway, most states have lemon laws and if the problem consists 3 times or more, then you can call the bigshots and tell them that the car is a lemon and you want another one. If not, I can get you an attorney that will. Good luck.

post #25 of 25

I certainly hope you didn't go into road rage with the wheelchair lady :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
because she didn't signal. When I first read your post, I was on the floor LMAO!!! Did she fall out of the chair screaming "My back, my neck, CALL MY LAWYER!!"??

One question though, were you tailgating her??? People in them things get mighty pissed when someone is on their butt.

You never cease to amaze me. If I were you, I'd stick with a scooter or better yet, roller blades.

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