John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for December 20, 2021

JANICE'S CAR AT 5:25 am

I was awakened this morning with the phone ringing, the delightful tune of the Theme to the TV show Dragnet. That happens to be Janice's ringtone. It went off at 5:23 am! This is not the first time she has called me with some sort of trouble on the way to work. It happens at least once every year. Usually it is a flat tire, or the check engine light came on, or, on one occasion, her horn wouldn't stop blowing. This happens only when she is driving to work in the early mornings. She has never had to call me once at any other time - coming home, going to church, driving to the grocery store or going over to someone's house. Only 5:15 to 5:30 in the morning. What's up with that???

Today, she was on the last leg of her drive to work only seven blocks from her place of work, that the plug to the oil pan of her car came off and she lost all the oil and immediately the car shut down!

In a panic, Janice calls me, worried to death as to what to do. The first thing that came to mind, after my brain did a little swimming around in semi-conscious land, was to give her the number to Roadside Assistance, the program we have with AMAC (the conservative alternative to AARP), for them to call for a tow.

Before going any further with the days activities, let me hasten to say that it was only ten days ago that Hall Hyundai, the dealership from which we have purchased or leased out cars since 2014, did an oil and filter change, tire rotation and her 100,000 mile tune up. My suspicion went to their mechanic who did the oil change. He did not tighten the nut (or plug) other than maybe a hand tightening with the intend to come back and tighten it with his wrench. He was sidetracked, or something. Needless to say, that if the engine is ruined or that it threw a rod, Hall Hyundai is under obligation to replace the motor, and if need be, the transmission. Their cost? Maybe $6200. Ours would be close to $9500.

But, with my car still in the body shop and now Janice's towed back to the dealership, we have no transportation. Now I was able to lease a Chevrolet Equinox yesterday from Enterprise Rentals after a 3 day wait. That came after my insurance company moved my claim from collision to uninsured (since I do not know who or what hit me up in Cleveland while I was in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - It happened in the parking lot).

So here is what my morning looked like: I got dressed, still looking shabby, and drove 25 minutes to meet Janice at her car. Two police officers had stopped to push her car into the parking lot of an Auto Zone shop and off the main road where she had stopped one lane of traffic. She had already called the Roadside Assistance Group and they put a call into a towing company. But the tow company would be on the road until after 8:30. So I drove Janice to the surgery center where she works and she clocked in only a half hour late - 6am. I went back to the car to wait for the tow company, not knowing at that time that they wouldn't be on the road for a couple of hours.

On the way back to the car, I decided to stop at a Wawa for coffee and a pastry for breakfast and then by 6:20 or so was back at the car. After eating I called the Roadside Assistance again to check on the status of the tower. They had no information other than he would call to let me know he was on the road or nearby. About five minutes later, Janice gets a text saying that it would be 90 minutes before he would be on site. So I waited until 7:30 when Auto Zone opened and bought a 5 quart bottle of oil for her car. Now, at this point I did not know that her plug fell out. I thought she had lost a couple quarts and the cars safety mechanism kicked in and shut it down.

I took the bottle out, started to pour a couple of quarts in when a man walking by noticed that the oil was coming out of the bottom of the car - meaning from the hole in the oil pan. I knew, only then, that the oil pan plug came off. I called Janice, told her that I was coming back to the surgery center as it was about 30 degrees outside and I wanted to get in out of the cold to wait the remaining 75 minutes.

When I got there, I waited until 8:00 when the dealership opened, to call and voice my big complaint. Not once, not twice, but three times in 45 minutes, I got their off site answering service because the line directly to the service department didn't get answered. They put me through to their answering service the first time and I left a message. The second time I asked for the service manager's phone line and she put me through only to have that answered by voice mail. The third time I called for one of the service representatives and still got the voice mail. I was pissed.

It was around 9am and I told Janice that I was going back to the car and wait for the tow guy. Just before arriving Janice called and said he was on site. A few minutes later we got Janice's car up on the tow bar and the guy said he knew exactly where to take the car as he had several tows there before. I left him to finish up tying the car down while I drove like a bat out of hell to the dealership to rant and give them a piece of my mind.

By the time I arrived, I had calmed down enough and upon going in through the service bay door I noticed the two reps on the phone with customers. They said they had been literally on the phones for over two solid hours all the while checking in those who were scheduled for maintenance.  I walked passed them and into the service managers office whereupon, I began to describe what had happened and my suspicions about the oil pan plug. He looked up the paper work as to when I had the oil change and he said, if the plug is gone, we are at fault.

The car had not arrived yet, but the service manager assured me that he would have it up on a rack and take a look at the damage after lunch and that he would call me with his observations and suggestions. He didn't call.

Thinking that they were busy with few mechanics and technicians (who wants to work when the Democrats will pay you to sit at home and play video games, right?) I thought they were somewhat backlogged, no doubt. II had left the dealership to go to work at church. I had a few things to do in the office and then I needed to go and deliver some fruit baskets from the church to some of our elderly ladies who were shut-in and homebound. Gotta hold those hands, don't ya know? I was finished around 2:45 and came home.

Janice's brother had gone to pick her up at work and brought her home and she got there a few minutes before I arrived. Johnny (her brother) asked her if she got her EZ pass from out of the car so she could have it if she were able to rent a car. She said no and that she would have me take her to the dealership to retrieve it out of her car. Upon arriving back, we talked with the sales manager while waiting for the service manager to finish up on a phone call. We told Kyle about the situation and he said the same that that Steve Cook, the service manager, did. Looks like Hall Hyundai is going to pay through the nose for that screw up.

When Steve was finished his call, Janice asked as to whether he had looked at the car and he noted that they were swamped and back-logged on work with so few techs working and a couple out for Christmas vacation. He said he would look at it before leaving today. Well, unless he is working late into the night, he lied. We have not received his call. We still don't know for sure that the plug fell off, or maybe Janice hit something so hard and large that it busted a hole in the oil pan - but she would have to be in a trance not to have noticed that. The only other thing is that the oil filter came off, but that wouldn't explain the oil pouring out the bottom of the car while the engine was off.

So, now we wait. The dealership has no cars to loan, no demos or dealer cars to "test drive" for about a month or two as they may have to replace the engine, which is probably sitting on one of the cargo ships off the California coast (thanks again you evil Democrats).

Tomorrow, Janice is off, taking the day so she can muster up some sort of answer to the dilemma and upon taking the responsibility of the fiasco, she will demand that Hall pay for a rental or some sort of transportation and if it comes to $120 a day for three months for the lease of a car, so be it. Hall is paying for it. It is their screw up and it is going to cost them - perhaps BIG TIME.

So, that is a summary of my day. Except to talk about visiting with the elder ladies, there is nothing else about church work worth discussing here. I am tired. After all, I got up two hours earlier than expected and did a lot of running around from Chesapeake to Virginia Beach, back to Chesapeake, to Windsor, back home, then back to the dealership ... yada yada yada.

I am going to bed in a few minutes but first, I must make a visit to the garden. I am still not able to end my day or to go one day without such a visit. I will stop for now and make that visit, then go to bed. Thank goodness Janice is off tomorrow as I won't have to fear a 5:30 am wakeup call.

Blog for December 19 Blog for December 21

Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.