Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Kingdom for a Horse (updated)

Yesterday, I had to take a personal day from work so that I could bring my car into the shop. I have a 2004 Saturn Ion, which I bought slightly used (it had about 3,000 miles on it). For the past couple months, I've been having problems with the car starting when it's really, really cold. It wouldn't start three times in seven days, so I replaced the battery. The problem went away for a couple weeks, but then it came back. Now it's starting inconsistently at best.

On Friday when I went to work it was -17F. The car hesitated a little, but started up ok. Then when I was leaving work later that day, and the temperature was up almost 20 degrees to 0F, my car wouldn't start for ten minutes. Then, Friday night, we were going to go to my parents' house and the car wouldn't start, get back from my parents a couple hours later, and it starts up ok.

Sunday I took the battery out and brought it to the auto parts store I bought it from. It tested ok. Just in case, I charged it over night. I went to start my car to go to work yesterday and nothing. It turns over once and then wont do anything. Normally I would take Brandi's car, but she needed it, and I hate to leave her at the house with Logan without a car in case something happens. So I stayed at home and brought my car to the place down the street that does good work. They aren't going to be able to look at it until today, but at least Brandi didn't need her car and I was able to get to work. I'm hoping that whatever it is that's wrong with the car it's an easy/cheap fix, because honestly I don't have a lot of money to plunk down into the car and at this point I really don't want to.

We've been thinking of getting a *gulp* mini van when our cars are paid off, trading in Brandi's 98 Ford Explorer, since it's 11 years old, but my car has been a nightmare of electrical problems. Whenever I brought it into the dealership, they couldn't ever find anything wrong with it. I wonder if they actually looked at it. Sometimes the problems went away on their own, like the faulty door sensor, and sometimes they didn't.

Brandi's car, while it needs a couple of repairs, has been the much more reliable car. It's a little harder on the gas than my car is, but I'd take reliability over four more miles to the gallon. Both of our cars will be paid off this year, so we're going to have to really think about what we do. I do know, though, that if GM survives the current crisis that is affecting the American automobile industry, I will never be buying another Saturn as long as I live. Saturn, you suck!

Update: I just got a call from our mechanic, and he said after their investigation they found that there is an error with the anti-theft sensor that it is preventing the starter from starting up the car because it thinks it's being stolen. So when I use my own fucking remote to unlock my own fucking car and then use my own fucking keys to start it, the stupid fucking piece of shit car thinks some other dumbass is trying to steal it, because who in their right mind would try to steal a big dumb piece of crap with the Saturn logo on it? On top of that, the guy said they noticed that whoever worked on my car last either failed to notice a loose cable going to the radiator or knocked it loose and failed to fix it (stupid Midas).

Kudos to Accurate Auto Clinic for their curteous, quick and no bullshit service.


Janiece said...

I feel the same way about Dodge, actually, for a very similar reason.

My most reliable car was a POS Ford Escort that just ran and ran and ran. I hated that damn car, but it never left me on the side of the road.

We've had good experiences with our Hondas, too.

vince said...

The transmission on my Explorer went bye-bye a couple of weeks ago, so I'm looking for a new vehicle myself. That would be "new to me" as opposed to "brand new."

Some dude stuck in the Midwest said...

Our lease expires in about 5 months, and we were thinking of getting a mini van too. Sad, really.

Now I have to get two cars, a mini-van, and a roadster :) I don't want my wife to hate me.

mattw said...

That's the other thing I forgot to mention. We got a letter last week that my car might be part of a class action suit because of faulty transmissions. Ugh.

Why can't we all have personal teleporters?