My car’s long and expensive visit to the garage

By | August 2, 2017

I get very stressed out when something goes wrong with my car. That’s because bringing a car to garage now isn’t just a $20 fix. With labor rates over $100 an hour and ridiculous prices for parts, a bill of several hundred, or even thousands of dollars is not uncommon.

My power steering was leaking and not working so I brought it to the garage. It was going to cost around $1,000 to fix, and that’s the good news. The bad news was that my subframe was rusted through.

Turns out that there’s a recall on rustproofing the subframe, but since mine is rusting through Hyundai is replacing it. Of course, I still have to pay for the power steering problem, so I guess the news is not all good. Better than it could be, though.

So Hyundai gave me a loaner because it might take a couple of weeks. I got a Ford Escape from Enterprise.

The day I got it, I was at a stop sign and I felt the engine stop. I looked at my wife and threw my hands in the air and began swearing, my typical reaction to any bad situation.

But later that evening I was talking to my brother, who has a Ford Escape, and I mentioned that there seems to be a pause every time I let off the brake. He said that the engine shuts down if you are at a complete stop for 2 seconds or more. It’s for emissions standards and supposed to save fuel, I guess. I’m all for having emissions standards, but there has to be a better way to do it than to have the engine turn off every time I stop.

After a few days of driving it, I’m finding that in some ways I’m beginning to like the Escape better than my car. It’s newer and faster, and the stereo is cool because it sounds great and tells you the name of the song and artist (my Hyundai does this on satellite radio, but not regular radio). Faster car with a cool stereo – what every guy wants, no matter what age.

My car might be ready by the end of this week. I’m anxious to get it back, because if I have the loaner much longer I might not want to return it.

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