I should have bought a Honda.

I, like most people, have a love/hate relationship with my car. My car symbolizes freedom to me. And it’s mine – all mine, 100% mine. Actually that’s a lie, it’s more like 27% mine and 63% Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation. But still, they don’t get to drive it. I like to be in my car more than any other car. Unless I had a friend with a Porsche 168 Cabriolet (red with grey leather interior)…. but I digress. I really like my car – except when it’s sick. Which recently has been the rule rather than the exception. Whenever there’s something wrong with it I get very angry and agitated and I always think the same thing – I should have bought a Honda. Yes, instead of my Nissan Maixima, I should have purchased a nice, reliable Honda. I thought the same thing when I had my Volkswagen Jetta and found out that you have to involve an authorized dealer in simple little tasks such as replacing a battery because almost everything you do the car requires the resetting of a button. A button that can only be located and pressed by an expert in the art of German Kraftfahrzeuge. A button that costs $100 to press. I didn’t have the same thoughts about the car before the Jetta – because it was a Honda Civic. It was the best car I ever had. I never had to take it in for servcie – I don’t recall even taking it to get it’s oil changed. It ran perfectly and I loved it. But one day I saw a really nifty Jetta commercial and had to run right down to the dealer and buy a shiny new Jetta with bright blue dashboard lights. Before the Honda I had a Ford Probe with retractable headlights that were very good about retracting into the hood and not very good about retracting back out. Before that there was a Ford Tempo that I have mostly blocked from my memory and before that, another Honda. The first Honda I ever owned was a punishment car – punishment for missing a stop sign and running my Ford Escort (my first car) into an off-dury narcotics detective and totaling both cars. But that first Honda was great. It got over 50 miles to the gallon (I’m not joking) and despite it’s being shit brown in color, it was not at all a piece of shit. It didn’t look too pretty but it ran like a new car and never ever had to be serviced. I didn’t buy a Honda this last time because while I knew it would be a solid investment, Brian the Nissan saleman mentioned that Hondas aren’t very exciting. He was right and I never considered a Honda after that. So here I am sitting at home and as I look out the second floor window of our crappy apartment, I see no Maxima. My Maxima is in the shop, again. We thought it was a fuel filter problem. So this morning we found ourselves at the dealer ready to check my sick car in for service. This is where I start getting angry. First, the gentelman who checked us in was wearing a tie. I don’t want to talk about fuel injectors and lagging with a man in a tie. I tried to be hopeful, but all hope was lost when after going outside to copy some numbers off of my car he said, “Ok, so we have a Sentra.” Excuse me? A Sentra? I don’t have a Sentra, I have a Maxima. Clint later tried to convince me that since the man sees these cars all day long he can’t tell the difference. Bullshit. If anyone should be able to distinguish a Maxima from a Sentra it should be an employee of a Nissan dealership. After that I mentioned that my Service Engine Soon light had come on several times (even after I had it serviced in late 2003) and that I was under the impression that this was a light that came on at certain milleage marks and that maybe it just needed to be reset.
“No, there are no automatic lights on Nissans.”
I guess he thought he was selling me a new car, he then proceeded to explain, “Sometimes when you don’t get your gas cap screwed on all the way that light will come on.” Ok, so for a long time I was able to properly secure my gas cap and then all of the sudden I lost the ability to close a lid? That makes sense. After a bit more disucssion with a man who should never, ever be allowed to talk to someone with service questions he said, “Ok, we have your car in for fuel injector cleaning and I’ve noted that the Check Engine light has been coming on.”
Trying very hard not to shout, I looked him in the eye and said, “NO! The Service Engine Soon light has been coming on, not the Check Engine light.”

Here is what he said, and he was serious when he said it, “It’s all the same to us.”

I own a car that not screwing a gas cap tightly enough causes the Check Engine light to come on?

I should have bought a freaking Honda.

So here I sit, Clint called me a bit ago to inform me that he had talked to the service department. They cleaned my fuel injectors but the problem remains. According to Jim the service department guy, my injectors were very dirty. Sure they were. Now they think it’s an emissions problem. That sounds expensive to me. This is the point at which as my mother would say, “I have a radio on wheels”. Except that back a few months ago, my speakers started making funny noises and haven’t been the same since. I know next to nothing about speakers – but whatever is wrong with them makes listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers almost impossible. Oh, and did I mention that the CD player scratches CD’s? I’m going to leave it at that… I think I’ll spend the rest of my day’s pricing another car…. maybe this time I really should buy a Honda.



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