Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Well, yeah. Big surprise.
I hopped in the car at lunch today to run to the nearby Taco Mayo for a burrito and taco. While I was at the drive-through speaker, the car started shaking violently and smoke started spewing forth from the hood, smelling of Freon. The car started losing power and died a couple of times. I was stuck -- couldn't get out of line because I was already pinned in front and back and had placed my order, so I shut the car down as long as the line wasn't moving. Finally I got my order and drove directly to the place that has been working on my air conditioner all year long (OK, just since July. Hey, only TWO months -- and 11 trips!)
Along the way I had to keep the RPMs up so the car wouldn't stall, shifting into neutral as I approached traffic signals so I could idle faster and not risk dying the final death.
And when I got to the shop, I took my lunch in and sat down. When Mike asked if he could help me, I said "I'm going to eat my lunch first and then we'll talk." Mike says "Eddie's not here today." (Eddie being the guy who "specializes" in air conditioning for them.)
"I know. It's Tuesday. It's his day off," I replied. "So is Scott, the manager, here today?"
Well, Scott is in the shop today, but he's making the rounds to the other stores and has gone to the salvage yard for a part for another customers at another store. He'll be back sometime.
I can wait. I finish lunch and watch some of the judge shows on TV. I complain that there are no new magazines and I need something to entertain me. Mike has the newest issue of "People" behind the counter. I make him cough it up and put my feet up on the table for a while.
I visit with another customer who asked me if I'd been in before. I laughed and gave her the short version of the long story.
She noted some green fluid on the ground. I asked Mike if that was antifreeze, because I've been down that road before with a different car. He assures me it is the coolant from the A/C with a dye in it to detect leaks.
Mike finally said the compressor virtually exploded. He doesn't want to touch it because Eddie has been been working on it so long and he doesn't know what all has been done.
Finally Scott returns. He's more than willing to make good on everything. He asks if I would be willing to take it to one of his other stores to let someone else look at it. He's going to get me a rental car while it's in the shop. And if that's not a satisfactory offer, or if the other guy can't fix it either, he is willing to give me back my money.
I asked him to give me a little time to weigh the options and had him disconnect the belt to the compressor. So for the short term, I still have no air conditioning.
Can you spell exasperated?