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Monday, June 30, 2008

Thems the Brakes

Last time it was the bank and cable company that provoked my Mongo tendencies, today it's the automotive industry. I may just start buying foreign cars from now on because of this injustice. Fine. I will calm down and try to rationally explain my previous outburst. But, I will have you know that I want someone to bring me the head of the General, now.

I have driven a certain type of vehicle since I could legally drive. While I try to be objective and not bash anyone personally I will hold true to that and refer to the company as BM instead. Make your own assumptions on what it really means and what BM could stand for and you'll feel my pain. When my car died in 2005 of a blown head gasket I was forced to buy a car immediately. BM, along with a lot of other manufacturers, was running a special for employee pricing. This meant instead of the sticker price you pay what an employee would pay for the car. It seemed as if there was ever a time I would own a brand new car, it would be now. At that point I had been the proud owner of pre-owned vehicles that had their own issues but were endeared to my heart. We worked the dealer down some more on the price and drove off the lot with a brand new 2005 car. Since then, it has not passed inspection on the first try, three years running. The culprits are always the same, worn rotors and tires.

I suspect that BM is fully aware of the junk they put on their cars and for the life of me I can't understand why a bumper to bumper warranty does not cover everything between one bumper and the other within the allotted 36,000 miles. Within a year and 12,000 miles both my front tires and rotors were worn down. The tires were not covered and I had to purchase two new ones at $140 total. The rotors had become warped and needed to be replaced however, the dealer's solution, probably on instruction from the manufacturer was to machine the rotors within specification. Now, I am in no way a gear head or have any great knowledge about how cars work other than the few things I have fixed myself, but I would think that a bumper to bumper warranty means that you would replace a faulty part. Apparently, I was wrong and my car passed inspection with new tires and machined rotors.

The next year, just as before the other set of original tires and my rotors, again, became worn down and had to be replaced just inside another 12,000 miles. Again, I had to purchase new tires at $140, but this time I figured they would have to replace the rotors since it is near impossible to machine rotors within specification twice. Again, I would be wrong and the dealer wouldn't budge on this. So, the car passed inspection with brand new tires and twice machined rotors.

Somewhere in the last year, probably do to devoting all mental capacity towards fatherhood, I forgot that my inspection was coming up and while shelling out money for party planning items I nearly had a heart attack when the garage called me and said that my car would not pass inspection and would require new brakes and new rotors at a cost of $300. Feeling like Uncle Billy Bailey and looking for a string on one of my fingers, I suddenly remembered that I had twice machine rotors on that car and that they would more than likely be shot come inspection. Also, I had over 37,000 miles on the car and therefore I was totally screwed. I swallowed my pride and ponied up the $300 to have the car road ready.

It has now become apparent that when I do buy a car again, I will pursue a pre-owned model, possibly of foreign make. And, I will make it known to BM, the dealer, or whoever will listen to me why my choice will be as such. I am tired of spending money on a car, only to spend money again for maintenance every year after while I hold a worthless piece of paper that says WARRANTY on it. Let someone else make the mistake of buying a brand new vehicle and have all the junk be replaced before trading it in and I will buy that car with better parts on it.

Actually, I am such a sucker that I will probably stick to buying cars from BM. Mostly, because I have a credit card that gives me cash toward the purchase of one of their vehicles. It came in handy with the purchase of the car in 2005 as I received $700 off the price. But, that being said, I will march into the dealer, select the car I want, and then state my issue with the price. "OK, that's the price you're giving me, now you're going to take $600 off the price." When the sales associate finally stops spitting out his coffee and asks me why he should my response will be, "Because, as soon as that car leaves the lot, I am going to spend that $600 on new brake pads, rotors, and four brand new tires that aren't crap." If he has a problem with that statement and refuses my demands I will shake my fist violently in the air and say, "Good day to you sir," and leave heading for the nearest car lot with used foreign cars on them. After looking around I will go home and sulk and wait for the phone to ring. Perhaps the salesman will have come to his senses and will grovel at my feet for a sale. So, don't call me, I don't want to tie up...
Hold on.

OK, sorry, I thought the phone just rang..... I don't want to tie up the line for when he calls....

sorry, one more second.

I apologize, that was the fire department looking for a donation....

You know what, I'm just going to go back to the dealer and see him. His phone might not be working properly.

Interesting link for the day.

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