Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wow...

I am reeling from the price I was just quoted to repair my car!!!!!!!!!!!   Unbelievable!   I think I'm in shock!

Last Wednesday, my Little One and I went to Walmart.  Came out, cranked up, put the car in reverse... and nothing.  Didn't shift.  Didn't move.  Uh-oh....  So I slid the gear shift back into park and tried again.  And again.  And again.  Got out, looked under the car to see if any pertinent parts were on the ground.  Checked the fluid level.  Wiggled and jiggled things for good measure.  Got back in.  Shifted.  Nada.

Double uh-oh.   Waited for a guy to walk by who looked like he might know something about cars.  Two older men saw that I had my hood raised and asked if they could help.  (BTW, they were the 7th and 8th man, respectively who walked by, and were the ONLY ones to ask!)  They tinkered with it and said I would have to call a tow truck. 

So I made a few phone calls.  Couldn't reach my regular mechanic.  Talked with another guy.  Called a third.  Then I called a good friend of mine at work.  He asked if I had a ride home.  Told him yes I could get a ride.   So he told me to meet him in the parking lot when he was finished for the day and he would try to at least get the gears to engage so I could get the car home.

So I called my mom and she came over and picked us up.  I ran in and told a manager that my car wouldn't move and that I would be leaving it there for a few hours and was that ok?  She laughed and said they had cars sit in the parking lot for days, weeks, sometimes months at a time.  A few hours would not be a problem.    So I reluctantly left BamaGirl sitting all alone at Walmart...

Met my friend about 6:30.  It was COLD.  He worked and worked to get the car to go into D, and finally it did!  It also just so happened that the space in front of me was empty, so I could pull through.  Got home safely and tried to put it in gear again.  Nothing.  My friend went home, since it was dark and cold and late and there was nothing he could do...

He came back over on Saturday and worked on it for about 3 hours, trying to find a way to repair it.  Meanwhile, I'd been on the Internet searching forums for answers.  Seems the ONLY solution is to replace the cable from the shifter to the transaxel.  The part is manufactured in such a way that when this little piece breaks off/wears out on the end of the cable, the WHOLE thing must be replaced.  The cable is almost $200.   Have to order it from Atlanta.  It will take 2 or 3 days.   Labor is going to be $500, minimum!!!!!!  Yep, that is what I said. 

They have to pull the axle, remove a huge part of the dash, and remove several components on top of the motor in order to replace it.   He estimated that it will take between 8 and 12 hours of labor to make the repair.  And from my research, I believe it.  I trust this guy - he's been in business for years and has a great reputation.  He has done a lot of work for me and has always been honest and given very accurate estimates.  He was apologizing the whole time.  Good guy.  But $700+ to replace a cable????????!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I know that something on our vehicles has to go "in the middle".  I know that something has to be in an out-of-the-way place.  But it really seems that something which is OH SO VERY DIFFICULT to repair would be made a little better!!  Engineered in such a way that a smaller part could be replaced.  Or so that it would not wear out/break off.  Sheesh!

So here I sit... wheel-less for the next week.  About to be several hundred dollars poorer.  I think I need a nap........  :-)

1 comment:

Judy and Emma said...

Ah yes, one of those little bumps in the road of life. At least it happened in a parking lot and not in the middle of freeway traffic! :)