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between a roux and a bechamel

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Up Yours, Stohlman

To preface, my interactions with Stohlman (the dealership where I bought my beloved 2004 Passat, my first new car) have been great. Their staff is very helpful and responsive, and because my car's new, I haven't needed much maintenance. I've gone the Jiffy Lube route for all but my first oil changes (after realizing it was cheaper and more convenient), so the service department and I haven't spent a lot of time together. I've heard horrific things about them from my fellow VW-owning friends, but hadn't had the pleasure.

Until today.

Friday afternoon, while driving home from work, I started to hear this dragging noise. Somewhere between a flat tire and the sound of Laura Cowden's muffler when Becky borrowed her car third year of college. Once I finally realized the sound was indeed coming from my car, and not every other car I passed, I slowly rolled into my parking lot to find that the strange plastic cover underneath the car had come loose. Great! (Especially considering that my car was scheduled to drive to New Jersey the next morning. And, thank you Liz, for letting us take yours.) I had been wanting to get my brakes inspected for a few weeks anyway, and my CD player hasn't worked in months (god bless the iPod), so I thought ok, it's time for a trip to Stohlman.

Couldn't get an appointment yesterday (which lead to taking a cab in to work, and a very complicated journey home that involved a ride to the mall from Sarah, and dinner and a movie with Jill). Appointment time: bring it in between 7am and 9am Tuesday. Deal. After a slow and precarious drive in this morning, I knew the pricetag wasn't going to be small. The 20,000 mile checkup they talked me in to cost $345. Whatever maintenance that results in + plastic undercarriage nonsense + audio equipment = not gettin out for under a grand. Did I mention that I don't exactly have a grand just laying around right now?

I anxiously awaited the call from Pascal, my service representative on the Green Team all afternoon. The dammage:
  • Sunroof system drainage* (???): $90
  • Replacing crazy plastic under car thingy: $290
  • New rear pads & roters: $485
Yeah, I don't have $1,210 laying around either.

*As I learned/learned to fear in the great Hot Water Heater Explosion of 2005, anything that involves water aint nothin to f**k with, so I'll take this bait.

First question: What happened to the crazy plastic under car thingy?
Answer: Whoever changed your oil last didn't screw it back in properly.
Note to self: Get the to Jiffy Lube and ask for $290. Bring dad.

Second question: Is crazy plastic under car thingy necessary? And, what does it do?
Answer: I'd reccomend it. It basically protects your engine and everything. I mean, you could wait till your next service to replace it if you really watned to.
Interpretation: Totally not necessary. If Jiffy Lube gives me $290, I'll think about replacing it.

Third question: $485 for pads & roters?!?!?!?!
Answer: Yes
Action Item: Call dad.
Dad's advice: Call Merchant and C&C garage in Vienna. Get quotes from them. Tell them you're my daughter.
Results: It costs half of what Stohlman's asking in the real world.

At this point I called back Stohlman and cancelled the service to my brakes. Pascal hung up before telling me when my newly irrigated sunroof would be ready. So I called back. And have sneaking suspicion that Pascal totally hates my guts. Whatever.

Call Pascal back again.

Fourth Question: What's wrong with my CD player?
Answer: Yeah, we're probably gonna have to just replace that. We don't have any in stock.

Peace out Pascal. No clues were given as to the when/why/how of said CD player replacement, so again I say, God bless the iPod.

Now I sit here waiting, an hour past when my boss told me I could knock off early, waiting for Pascal to green light my sunroof. Ahhh, the joys of ownership.


Anonymous Beth said...

Welcome to VW dealership m'dear!
I no longer have my undercarriage either... not since AZ.

5:16 PM  
Blogger ike said...

Yeah, you don't need that plastic thing. Pulling up too far in parking spots caused mine to dislodge somewhere around 2001. My Honda's a '98, so I'm assuming it didn't do dick.

10:08 PM  

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