Here’s a funny little story.
So during that horrendous cold snap earlier this week, I fell even more deeply in love with my heated seats. My car gave me moments of entertainment, as it showed me the ambient exterior temperature was in fact, minus ten.
And then when my windshield wiper fluid level was below half, I got a fun little warning reminding me to check said level.
So when my heater started blowing progressively tepid air, I assumed it just was really cold outside and not that there was anything wrong. I mean, I received no warnings. I figured there would be some icon of a penguin, or perhaps a fire with a slash through it to represent “no heat”. A friend offered a possible icon of a popsicle beating up a human.
Finally, I believe there is a real problem. This occurs to me when it’s 1°, and I feel like I’m being hugged by Angels on my bottom half (via the heated seat) and by the Icy Cold Grip of Death on my top half. I could see every puff of air come out of my mouth as I sang along to Madonna (“life is a mystery…everyone must stand alone…”).
I take it in to the dealer. Who of course, is able to produce heat. Embarrassing enough, but I insist through gesturing and desperate explanation that there is an actual problem. The service guy offers me a loaner car (read: brand new Mercedes) that I can take while they run their diagnostics. Awesome. So we start to go through the paperwork, and this is how that conversation goes:
Him: Now I’ll need to see your license and insurance information.
Me: *hand it over*
Him: Thanks. *Typing* *hands info back over*
Him: When does your license expire?
Me: Let me see… *pulls it out of wallet….heart sinks, face turns red, head drops in shame* It expired on my birthday! I can’t believe it’s 2011! I am so embarrassed.
Him: I can’t let you take the loaner without being legally licensed….
Me: *trying to disappear into the chair* I can come back once I get it renewed…(I say quietly)
Him: …but I’m going to anyway. You can try to renew your license on line. You should do that right away.
Me: Yeah, I will. I’m so embarrassed. *slinking out of the chair towards the loaner car which is worth more than my annual salary, and possibly my combined household income*
Anyway, later that afternoon he calls with the news that yes, in fact, the thermostat is broken. And so are my front ball joints (I already know this). He quotes me the thermostat repair cost, and the cost to replace the joints. On my “list of things to repair” sheet I got last time I was there, the stated price for the ball joints was $467. So when he tells me they’d be something like $220 , I’m like, YES! Please repair those as well. Thank you so much service man. Oh, and would you please check to see why my windshield wiper fluid squirter is squirting less on the passenger side?
So when I pick up the car, with completed repairs at almost half the expected cost, and get an additional discount for having an older car, and they have unclogged my squirters for free, I have to wonder….
…was my utter humiliation that charming? Was the way I said “windshield wiper squirters” that cute? I must have a knock-out blush to get away with an illegal loaner Mercedes, discount ball-joints, free unclogging, and then additional discounts off parts and labor. The whole thing cost me about the same as the original ball-joints estimate.
So, uh, boo-yah? Thank you, kind service man. I loved every minute of the heat this morning. And knowing that I was right about the thermostat takes the sting out of that repair cost.