Saturday, April 23, 2011


Irony. Having car checked out before heading out on roadtrip. Being given the green light to be free and confident that car is sound.
Returning to friend's house and realizing that something is wrong with car. Did I mention I was in the middle of nowhere? For real. On an interstate but with no upcoming service stations.
I called my friend and explained that something was up with my car and that I didn't know what to do. She suggested keep going unless it began to overheat. Yes, I knew how to watch for that, too.
So, I drive. I watch the heat indicator, any visible signs of distress--black smoke, etc., and eventually make it to their home without having to leave my car alongside the road. That would have been a sight. Me, riding my mountain bike, holding my laptop and other necessary items. Fun stuff, indeed.
I call my volvo guys and explain that my car hesitated when I accelerated too fast. I said could it be a transmission issue? They said that it might be a fuel pump problem in the main engine.
I asked for a referral, if they knew of anyone, in Phoenix. They told me to look in the yellow pages.
Duh...of course, I knew how to do that. I was hoping that they would know of someone through conventions attended or new customers that had relocated from Phoenix to Denver. No such luck!
My friends are Toyota people. Their mechanic had no referral either.
I went on-line and found a few listings. I was intent on finding an independent volvo shop, not a dealer. I found a place, called them, and dropped my car off. They told me that they would hopefully get to it early Friday morning.
I felt solid about them and left my car in their capable hands. Friday morning comes and goes. I call them. I cannot help it. I am used to being kept in the loop when it comes to my car. At this point, they were still unsure as to what the cause of the distress was. They told me they should know something in an hour.
Two hours later and still no call. I call since we are in the area. Phoenix is gigantic. I didn't want my friend driving around unnecessarily on my account.
Still, no news. We should (hopefully) have an idea in an hour.
I think that is the tag line...knowing something in an hour.
We wait, enjoy a glass or two of wine and finally decide to drive over to the shop and see if my car had moved from where I parked it.
I walk up. My car is in the shop and the owner walks over and tells me--you need a catalytic converter. If we can't locate a refurbished one, it will be around $1200. Ouch!
However, your engine is in great shape. Your transmission looks fine. We ran all of the diagnostics checking your fuel and that, too, is great.
I know it could be worse, but, still, I am bummed. And, there was no way of predicting that this could happen. I take really good care of my car because she is awesome! I want to keep her healthy and running.
The owner told me that he was waiting to hear back from a few shops about the catalytic converter. He told me he would call me, either way, by the end of the day. They close at 5:30. I was curious to see if they would call or not and let me know that they would have my car til Tuesday.
No call at 5:30. I was disappointed in them. I believe in following through with what you say. At 6:30, we were on our way to dinner and I had an incoming call from the shop. Yea~he is an honorable guy.
I must wait til Monday to find out if he can locate a converter. That is doable and my car remains safe.

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