The Auto Repair Blues

No, the above title is not the name of my lastest smash single, it is my current struggle with my vehicle. My inspection was up in January. So, of course, by the time I could get it to the shop it's the last Saturday of the month. The Check Engine light has been on and the car was stalling intermittently so I figure they can check it out at the same time.So I bring it in and get the "bad news" call from the mechanic. It turns out that the air pump is shot and a bushing is pushing through on the front end. The air pump problem was mostly likely the casue of the stalling issue, I'm also told. The car won't pass inspection unless these are fixed. The damage, a little over $700. So I sigh, and say go ahead.

Fast forward to the end of the day when I pick up the car. The mechanic tells me he can't pass the inpection, because the air pump problem caused the Check Engine light to come on and they won't pass it until it clears. They tried on of their driving the car around type tricks but it didn't work. He recommends I drive it 100 miles at highway speed to clear the computer chip out so it will pass. Well who's got time for that. So I take it to Advanced Auto and have them check the computer code and clear it manually.

Problem is, the check engine light came on again the next day, then mysteriously went out for 2 days. So I figure I'm good, right? Wrong. I take it to the shop to have them finish the inspection (on January 31, mind you) and I get told that there's THREE codes in the computer chip and they won't pass it unless they're cleared. It is again recommended that I drive the car 100 miles at highway speed.

So guess what happens the next day? That's right, the check engine light comes on AGAIN and now stays on. The car is stalling as bad as before and now stalling while I'm braking so I don't know it until I try to accelerate again and realize the car isn't going anywhere.

To top this all off, I looked back at my records and found out that the same shop replaced the same air pump last May. When I called the shop about it, they told me that due to a design flaw, it is very common for the air pump to fill up with water and short out, which is what happened in this case. When I mentioned that a mere 7 months was not a long life for this part, I was told it was warrenteed for only 90 days.

So the bottom line is I'm out over $700, the stalling problem still exists, I can't get the car inspected (which is now overdue) and it's probably going to cost me even more money to get the damn thing fixed. All of which makes this Rocker Guy a very cranky boy.


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