Do Car Dealerships Actually Fix Anything?

I took my car in on Friday for its 3,000 mile checkup. This is the first time I’ve delt with any dealership up here since I moved to the Bay Area. The Saturn dealership in Southern California has been absolutely phenomenal so I expected no less from the dealership up here.

I was wrong on so many levels.

Evidently, what normally costs me a nice and affordable $40 in So Cal (which includes a car wash! Swanky!) will now cost me ~$200 in Nor Cal.

“Oh, but this is different!” says the sleezy fat slime ball behind the counter. “This is technically a 6K checkup and we also thoroughly inspect your car to make sure everything is running okay!”

Fine. Whatever. My last “3K” checkup was nearly 5,000 miles ago, so I’ll go with the 6K service they wanted.

They found out my car was in nearly perfect condition, minus a “collapsed engine mount.” Apparently, getting this fixed will cut down on vibrations into the passenger compartment (note: there are none) all for an affordable price of $200!

After telling them to sod off, I finally liberate my car from this fine institution and I drove it back home, happy that my car had a fairly positive report and everything was in working order.

Fast forward to late last night.

My sister and I drive down to Daly City to score some food. As we wait in the drive-thru, thick clouds of steam start to billow out from beneath my hood! We panic… I open the hood to find out that the cap isn’t even on my coolant reservoir!!! The stupid bastards FORGOT to put the cap back on! Interestingly enough, it was sitting off to the side (and by some miracle, didn’t fall beneath the car and onto the freeway). I screw the cap back on and notice that now my car is saying it has no coolant (makes sense as we just watched it turn to vapor right in front of us).

We pull across the street to a gas station and fill up with water. Only to realize that NOW MY CAR DOES NOT START. Lights work, radio works, it actually cranks once but doesn’t turn over. So we struggle with this problem for 15 minutes and start calling some random people for advice. I’m beginning to think that we may have to call in a tow truck.

I notice my lights are now quite a bit dimmer and decide to flag someone down to give us a jump. It worked! My car was back to running. We thank the people for their help and get back inside to go home.

I look down to find out that my car is now out of coolant AGAIN! Evidently, I have a leak somewhere in my coolant system (and it doesn’t appear to be the radiator).

We fill it up again and things appear stable. We get in the car and start to drive home. After 2 minutes, my coolant light comes on again! Of course now we’re in the middle of the freeway. Ugh!

Anyway, we find another gas station, fill up and repeat the process. We finally get my car to limp home.

It’s great to know that the thorough inspect that I paid for basically amounted to jack shit. I mean come on… they didn’t even put the damn coolant cap back on!

This is going to be a fun week.