Car Karma Finally Works in My Favor, Sort Of

It has been well documented that we here at Triple B enjoy taking road trips to various ballparks, beaches and places beyond.

With few exceptions the preferred mode of transportation to get to each of those places is by car. So when my trusty car started acting up this week it was certainly cause for alarm. After all, a car is usually required in order to hit the open road.

The problems started when a series of lights illuminated on my dash indicating an issue with the traction control and brake system.

It is never a good thing when the dash warning lights stay on. Photo R. Anderson

It is never a good thing when the dash warning lights stay on.
Photo R. Anderson

Doing what any wise driver would do I consulted my owner’s manual to see what the lights meant. Apparently I did not get the fully informative owner’s manual when I bought my car since the only advice it gave for the lights in question was to take it to the local repair shop for diagnostics.

Thankfully there is a Firestone Auto Service Center within walking distance of the Triple B Gigaplex. So I dropped the car off and feared for the worst while hoping for the best.

This fear was heightened by the fact that I was going to be charged $60 just to have the car hooked up to the computer to diagnosis the problem. This did not count whatever the cost of repair would be.

Thankfully, after a few hours of worry I was greeted with some good news as it turned out that the sensor at the bottom of all of the issues was still under warranty for 1500 miles.

Now, Firestone could have easily just charged me to replace the sensor and not mentioned that it was a covered part.  The fact that they told me to take it to the dealership for a free repair helps me know that all of those other times I think they are charging me an arm and a leg they probably aren’t.

So I paid my $60 and headed off to the local Jeep dealership to get my under warranty repair done before hitting that midnight hour where the car is no longer covered by the manufacturer’s protection.

As an aside I have actually never had anything break while a vehicle of mine was still under warranty so the prospect of having a repair done that did not lead me digging deep in my wallet was definitely a good thing.

Unfortunately my visions of a quick fix were dashed upon arrival at the dealership. I walked into the service office and told the person behind the counter what the issue was and what needed replaced and she asked if I had an appointment.

Of course I did not have an appointment and the earliest they can get me in is the start of next week. So much for having a quick and easy repair.

While I am certainly unlikely to drive 1500 miles between now and next week leading to a currently covered repair turning into an out of pocket repair I will admit that I have been doing a bit of odometer watching to ensure that I still have enough miles to go by the time I do pull into the dealership for my appointment.

34,000 thousand miles or so ago when the future was wide open and it seemed like it would take forever for the wrranty to expire. Two years later there are 1500 miles or so to go of warranty. Photo R. Anderson

34,000 thousand miles or so ago when the future was wide open and it seemed like it would take forever for the warranty to expire. Two years later there are 1500 miles or so to go of warranty.
Photo R. Anderson

Of course the sensor failing this close to the end of the warranty has me concerned in other ways wondering what is going to break when the car hits 36,001 miles and no longer has the protection of Mopar.

Such is the nature of warranties with the manufacturer betting that its parts won’t break during the covered period and the consumer betting that they will. Sometimes the dealer wins and sometimes the customer does. Such is the dance that has gone on for generations.

So I will certainly savor this small victory of a covered repair and will certainly be more attuned to the sounds the car makes over the next 1500 miles trying to find any indication of something about to go bad that can get repaired before it is too late.

Of course, as this is the first issues I have had with the car in the two years that I have owned it I very well could go another couple of years before experiencing another failure with this merely being a fluke.

Of course this could also be the tip of the iceberg with many more issues lurking beneath the surface.

Either way I know that with averaging around 17,000 miles of driving a year I definitely depend on my car to get me to all of the places I want to see. Of course it takes me to the non-fun things as well. But the key is focusing more on the open road wind in my hair trips as opposed to the every day trips to Walmart to get supplies.

Of course stopping at Walmart for supplies in another state while on a road trip is an entirely different thing altogether.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to plan where to go to celebrate my car’s new sensor being installed next week.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson