Friday, February 24, 2006

"You should have bought American"

"A little advice: If you live in a small town, buy an American car."

I can't get so much as a light bulb for my BMW without driving 100 miles to St Louis. It needs special oil, an even more specialized oil filter wrench, and if you want the computer to stop showing the "Change your oil" light, you need that tool, too. Spark plugs are $13 each. I think the tires take Metric air.

For service, I tried the Fairground Chevy garage here in Rolla because I know the service manager there. They installed new shocks it didn't need and they charged me $1000. They aligned it, and now it drives worse. Then the front window stopped rolling down, and they wanted $1000 to fix it. Did it myself for $160. Took it to them for something simple, brakes. You guessed it, $1000. And $32 to tell you that it needs brakes. And $54 for the new Leatherman Wave tool they stole off the front seat while it was in there. The parts guy actually told me I should have bought American. "You should buy American because otherwise we'll steal your stuff while your car is here," is what he really said.

So instead of paying another $1000, I left. They were greedy and condescending and treat me and my friends badly. They deserve everything they get. Now I know I made the right choice buying unAmerican.

The good news? This car is made to be worked on and the parts are cheap. In doing this work myself, I've discovered how easy it is to work on that car. Every tool I'll ever need is in the toolkit the factory molded into the bottom of the trunk lid (except for resetting the oil light). Spark plugs: 45 minutes. Replace door window motor? 45 minutes. Bought a CD player that replaces the tape player in 45 minutes. The howto on the brakes says 45 minutes per axle. I believe it.

The bad news? It's winter. And it's really really cold.

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