Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Which Rowbert Gets A Tuneup

Today did not exactly go as planned.

The day before yesterday I was driving down the highway in Rowbert (our trusty wheelchair van) to a skating practice in a nearby town when the indicator for my tire pressure went on.  I was almost to the rink, so I went ahead and drove there before getting out to check on my tires.  It was about time for me to put air in them and the car didn't seem to be handling differently, so I figured that they were probably just a little low on air.  When I got out of the van, though, I could hear a very loud hissing noise coming from the tire on the front passenger side.  There went my "the tires just need a little bit of air" theory.

Thanks to an awesome skating buddy the spare tire was installed without any trouble, and once the flat tire was off it became extremely obvious where the hole was located.  A screw head about a half an inch in diameter could be seen jutting out from the tread.  Since the screw wasn't embedded in the sidewall of the tire I was hopeful it could be patched, and so first thing yesterday morning I called the dealership to see if they could fit me in for that as well as an oil change and a tuneup while I was at it.

So that brings us to today.  Our appointment at the dealership was for one in the afternoon, and I figured it probably wouldn't take more than about forty-five minutes at the most.  I brought one book and a single small toy for the little guy.  This proved to have been a mistake.

See, it turns out that there's an internal recall on the model van we have for an oil line problem.  As the nice service lady explained it, every once in a while somebody's oil line has broken and then "all the oil whooshes out all at once." This does not sound like it would be particularly good for one's engine.  So they needed to put in a new line.  Apparently this is kind of a time consuming job, but it was certainly necessary.

So instead of a twenty to forty-five minute wait it was more like a three hour wait.  Connor was amazingly good considering, the poor little guy.  The toy I'd brought with us was one of the less annoying ones, but by hour two I was more than tired of it, and I have no doubt the poor cashier in the waiting room was tired of it too.  I didn't have the heart to put it away for more than a few minutes at a time, though, because Connor really was enjoying it and it's not like I had a whole lot else for him to do.  I was really wishing I'd brought some reading material for myself instead of just a book for the little guy.  I spent some time reading their magazines but I really wasn't all that interested in who's dating who in Hollywood these days.

So I learned a few lessons from this whole experience.  The first is to never go to an appointment with a mechanic without a full bag of toys and entertainment for Connor and me.  The second is that I should probably subscribe to some sort of roadside assistance program, just in case.  And the third, most important lesson is that I should be really, really grateful for the small things even if they don't seem particularly wonderful at the time.  That screw could easily have caused a blowout on the highway rather than the slow, easy leak I had instead.  It was a clear night and the roads were dry, which is nearly unheard of in winter here.  And by going in to fix the tire I ended up having a potentially much bigger problem taken care of.  I got to spend those three hours of waiting sitting and having some quality time with my son, even if we spent some of that time reading together about what Angelina Jolie's been up to lately. 

So the day didn't go exactly as planned.  But that's really okay.



Kristin said...

If you have your Auto insurance with USAA then you have some sort of roadside assistance program. Call them for details. I've used it when I've locked my keys in the car, etc.

wendy said...

if you're thinking aaa you should look into their politics some. they are a large lobby against mass transit options. and like above said your insurance might have it already.

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