Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Good vs. Bad: Auto Repairs

Recently I took my vehicle to get its oil changed. A day or two later someone pointed out a huge pool of liquid under the vehicle. I checked the oil, and it was low. I returned the vehicle to the dealership's service department and they corrected whatever they hadn't done before and replaced the oil. I was getting ready to leave on a 2500+ mile road trip. I don't notice things like pools of liquid under vehicles. If that friend hadn't pointed out the problem, I might have been a couple of hundred miles down the road, in the middle of nowhere and in unfamiliar territory, before the oil warning light came on. I could have been stuck in an area with no cellular service and/or had severe engine damage. I was NOT happy. Having to make TWO trips to the dealership in the final days before my trip does not make me want to visit them again anytime soon.

Another day, I was on the first leg of the extremely long road trip. My travel companion plugged one too many things into the cigarette lighter and blew a fuse. A fuse that controlled not only the cigarette lighter, but also the side mirrors and the RADIO/CD PLAYER. A long road trip with no music? Impossible! Luckily we knew where a {my vehicle dealership} was and stopped by, hoping for a quick fix but realizing that it might take a while.

The person I was traveling with *thought* he could fix the problem himself if he had the fuse. Well, fuses are harder to get to than you would think! An employee from the parts department came out to the vehicle to see if he could determine what size fuse was needed. It took him a couple of trips inside to consult his book before even he could find where the blown fuse was. With some difficulty he changed the fuse. No appointment, a busy service department, and the employee went above and beyond to help us, getting us in and out in half an hour. On top of all that, he refused any payment AT ALL. Then he wished us a good trip before returning to his official job. Impressive! They EXCEEDED my expectations. Unfortunately, this dealership is too far away for me to visit regularly. But not too far away to consider using when I need a new vehicle.

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