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Friday, March 25, 2005

Car Troubles...

So yesterday started off great, I woke up to 12" of snow on the ground and what amounts to a 3 hour delay. On the way down the mountain, I noticed after about 2 minutes of driving, an engine temperature of 190 degrees (normal engine temp) but no heat from the inside blowers. Well, about half way down Camelback road I stopped at the Village store with an engine temp of 240 degrees. I checked to find a low coolant resivoir. No sooner than that did the dashboard "light up like a christmas tree." The dash beeped with 2 warning lights. Good design VW. A red Water Temp light blinked and the yellow check-engine light came on and stayed. Now this car's temp stays at 190 like clockwork. Never has deviated from that reading the entire time owning the car. I know when it was high something serious was going on. I put some water in the coolant resivoir hoping it was just low but wasn't expecting much with all the sensor wizardry going on my dash. I would like to have those go on at about 210 - 230 degrees only because I think the car could give a little sooner warning. Also for a car with a washer fluid level light should have a (better) engine coolant level light.

After a little more driving, about 2 miles I pulled into my friend Dave's gas station, the Road Runner Sunaco. A call to AAA and 1:15h later I was on a flatbed to Halterman's VW in East Stroudsburg. This was the begining of the unpleasant portion of my experience. I already do not like their service center b/c I think they are overpriced in terms of hourly rate. However I think that is concistant at all VW's. They have an $85/hr labor rate. Compared to my Nissan, that's $20/hr. higher. They had 6 cars in front of me upon my arrival. Now I have no problem with them working on cars of other customers that are waiting. However, for cars dropped off I certainly expect to be bumped in front of them. Espically since I was a tow in emergency service they should have giving me a high priority. If you goto a hospital (excluding the shitty PMC) they don't put the heat attack behind the 6 paper-cuts who where there sooner. The more severe situations get helped sooner.

So thats bitch #1 with Haltermans VW in East Stroudsburg. My other bitch is they have only, only 2 VW mechanics working with a lot FULL of cars. Now, for those of you who have not been there, their service center is huge and georgous. A dual, High bay auto-garage door checkin lanes where you talk to a car-service rep/case worker. Here is an abobination of business efficency. They have 4 people on stools near wall mounted comptuers litteraly glorified secretaries sitting on their ass all day doing jack shit. That is in addition to a "garage foremen" who also sits on his ass at a much larger bar like desk. Those 5 people watched 4 (2 VW 2 Toyota) mechanics. WTF, no wonder their labor rates are sky high. That doesn't even begin to include the parts receptionist, parts "getter" and cashier. This isn't fucking wawa people. There wasn't a line to pay them. Why this gross excess of manpower. Who runs this place, do they have a college degree!

So back to my service. They said they probably couldn't get to it today and after a little talking with the "case worker" then the "garage forman" we agreed to revisit those chances in an hour. Working on the story I was stuck there I was hoping my physical presence would push them to get me infront of someone. Also I had nowhere to go. My wife's at home 10 months preggers and due 2 days prior. I had my laptop b/c I was on my way to work with some DVD's. So I watched iRobot. I was probably going to do that at home anyway so doing it there was no skin off my back.

After the movie, I went to hunt down some answers on the car. They were pretty stubborn not moving me in front of anyone, even people who dropped off their car. Now as a customer who often drops-off my car. I kind of expect my car to be worked on after in-store customers b/c thats the reason for dropping it off. So they can work on it at their convenience. But not this joint. So I had an idea, I called Young VW in Easton to see if they could look at it. Good news, it was their late night and would probably get to it. Now with that secure it was time to see if AAA would tow it down there. I was close but since I was at a shop, they didn't consider it within the scope of their towing services. Now if Halterman's was unable to do the repairs they would have towed it. Now I don't have a problem with AAA's answer. I did try and work them, 1. both tows within 100 miles 2. haltermans couldn't fix it today, Young could, 3. Wife's 10-months preggers but that was a stretch.

Now if it didn't cost so much to tow or it wasn't an overheat condition where its engine critical, I would have gone down there but Haltermans had me by the balls. So I left it and got a ride home from my sister who was done work mid afternoon. So for now on, I think I will go right to Young VW in Easton. They need to be more compeditive with a few VW's in the area unlike the Halterman's in East Stroudsburg who is "the only game in town."

Oh and the car, well they DID end up looking at it that day after all that shit. Broken water pump, under warrenty. Will be ready today at 16:30.

1 comment:

dennis said...