Friday, May 23, 2008

Not What I Had In Mind

There are so many things I'd like to spend $750 on.

That's a nice chunk of change that could go towards a ticket to the West Coast (though I have no plans to give them a stand-up routine in L.A.)

I also covet a sweet Coach bag that checks in at $498 (this is really more of a pipe dream).

The Coach Ergo Patent Leather Pleated Framed Satchel - a girl can dream, right?

That handsome sum of money would go far in other worthy pursuits like dining (fine or otherwise) drinking (not choosy there, either) or entertainment (I do have some standards in this arena).

Instead... I got hit with the Oil Change Whammy.

You know - the fun moment when you take your car in for a quick lube and leave with far more than you bargained for.

Let me preface this.

Over the past two weeks I have experienced two occasions when my glorious, graphite-colored, 2001 Saab 9-3 opted to not start.

Both were at horribly inconvenient occasions - the first was just hours after I found out about Maeve's passing and desperately needed to get to my parents' home. The second was this past Tuesday, when I was headed back to the office after visiting a local lunch spot.

Yeah, those were both fun moments.

The mileage on the ol' car indicated it was time to take it in to the shop for an oil change, so I let the good folks know about this recent, inconvenient predicament.

I am now the proud owner of a new temperature sensor, a new thermostat and a new "PCV system," whatever that is (clue: the folks at the auto shop said Saab designed a new-and-improved version that I just had to have. Riiight). My snazzy investment also includes the needed oil change and the nice $90 fee to hook my car up to some diagnostic computer to assess whether anything else is wrong.

Fun times.

I am so so in love with this idea of car maintenance that I will, over this next summer, be shelling out for new front brakes ($450) a new oil pressure switch ($160) and a new serpentine belt and lever ($110). That doesn't include replacing my two front tires, which are worn, and the two back tires, which are dry rotted.

Life is totally a bitch sometimes.


Denae said...

ugh. i'm dreading my next oil change. do you think just avoiding it is wise?

olr said...

go get a hyundai yo!!!!

Julie said...

The PCV system! They want me to do that, too. (I have a 2003 Saab 9-5) I love it, I do, but UGH... where do you take your car for work? Since the Saab dealership tried to bend me over without any lube, I'm taking it to Bavarian Motors on Central Parkway. Good prices and, despite the name, they do Saabs.

Kate The Great said...

D- As much as I'd like to forgo the oil changes, I've discovered they're a near neccessity if you want your car to last longer than a pair of flip flops.

NYM- I hate to say it, but I'm hooked on european! They cost a bit more but they're sporty, sexy and they drive like tanks.

J-I go to Larry Daniels in Mariemont. I am very impressed by the service there... I've always wondered about that Bavarian Motors... it's in my work neighborhood and I've seen it a million times. Good tip!

Chris F. said...

The PCV system refers to an intake manifold or inlet manifold that is the part of an engine that supplies the fuel/air mixture to the cylinders. Think of it as being the respiratory system of the automobile. You can read more at

My rule of thumb when getting my car serviced is to only allow them to do what work I specifically request. I know more about cars than the "average" person does, so a smooth talking car repair person can't pull on over on me.

Alas, I spent some of that good ole "tax rebate" on an oil change and fuel injection cleaning about two weeks ago. Cost me about $50.