Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Oil Change Woes

Today I had to get my oil changed. (Well, I really needed to get it done a LONG time ago - like 1,800 miles ago!) I hate taking my car to the shop to have this done. Not because of the inconvenience but because I feel like I get totally taken advantage of because I am a woman.

I drove to the shop today without an appointment - hoping that they would tell me that I needed one so I could postpone this task. Unfortunately for me, they could take me right away. I had to stay in the car while the oil change was being done. The shop guys were pulling things, popping things, opening up things and shaking things while I was sitting there in the car praying that the only communication I would have to have with these two gentlemen would be a discussion about the bill. I didn't pray hard enough! The two shop guys started to talk in rather concerned voices with each other. I heard things like "Hey - come look at this" or "I don't think that looks good" and "we will need to recommend this." Meanwhile I am sitting in my car mentally adding up all of the $ these guys are thinking they can get me for.

The first recommendation was for me to replace an air filter. That I know I can get from my brother's friend. I turned it down and actually felt like I might be in control. The next recommendation was to replace my windshield wipers. I keep forgetting to do that! Those I politely declined too. I can get those when I get the air filter. I know that my brother can hook me up with replacing them. So, I was ready for the bill. That is of course when I heard the voice change in Shop Guy #1. "Mam, you are going to need to replace the transmission before your next visit." I am thinking "Oh S#@*! -How in the heck will I be able to afford a transmission? What in the heck is the transmission for anyway?" I tried to keep my poker face and in a cheery voice I asked how much it cost. Shop Guy# 2 happily told me that they could take care of it in just 15 minutes for $79.95. I was then totally confused. I was thinking "$79.95? That will kill my budget for the month." I was also trying to figure out how $79.95 could pay for something that I assumed was a much more expensive procedure. I made up some excuse about how I didn't have time and that I would just pay for the oil change. (Why I felt like I had to lie to these guys, I don't know...) I paid the $39 for the oil change and drove off. Yes, I know that is WAY too much for an oil change. If it helps, I can go back and have a full service car wash whenever I like.

So I drove away and once I was a block away from the shop I pulled over to read my service bill. The recommendation was not for a new transmission but to replace the transmission fluid. Does it really cost $79.95 to replace this stuff? Do I really need it replaced or were they trying to pull a fast one on me. I hate having to deal with car stuff. I never know what is right or wrong. Life was so much better when I could have my dad take care of this stuff.

Anyway, I guess I am ok for now. At least for another 3,000 miles...


Melissa CookingDiva said...

Hola Kelly! I have been trying to comment since early in the morning, BUT blogger was down I guess.
I also dislike very much taking the car to the shop. Last time I took it in was to get a "revisado" for the year. It was only a 30 minutes wait, BUT then I had to go to the "oficina de recaudacion del municipio" to get the sticker of the year for the license plate of my car. I had to wait about 1 hour. Now I am fine for another year!!! Hugs to you and Sabi :)

MsAbcMom said...

Melissa - Is the "oficina de recaudacion del municipio" anything like waiting in line to get your cedula? I remember waiting in numerous lines all day long to get that done!

Have a good week!