Monday, February 07, 2005

It's Just A Simple Oil Change!

I love my car. It's a 1988 Buick Century that my grandparents bought and loaned to my uncle. He proceeded to replace the entire engine...and then they made him give it to me. He still wants it back. My grandfather didn't think the Taurus I was driving at the time was safe, cause it had been around the block and back a few times. Anyway, it's in great shape (except fot a small dent in the back- but I didn't do that). My car's name is Harvey, and yes, the car is alive. Harvey has a little quirk; often when the radio is on (which it always is), it starts going louder and louder. I know how to fiddle with it, so it's no big deal. One time, I was driving my friends Meka and Katie and Meka's obnoxious friend Brandon around. Meka was in the front and Brandon was in the back being a horrible backseat driver. I had the local Christian station on, which naturally annoyed Brandon. And the song just kept getting louder....and louder....and louder. Finally Brandon yelled, "Quit messing with it!" Meka immediately defended me, saying, "She's not touching it." I replied, "I'm not doing it. The car just doesn't like you." This scene repeated throughout the night. I found it fun and I'm sure Harvey did too.

I may love my car, but I don't treat poor Harvey right. He's usually dirty, and has loads of food/clothes/books/people being hauled around in him at all times. I'd put off changing the oil for a while, but since I was driving out to the boonies today, I thought I'd better get it done. After all, I didn't want to end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, right? I went to a place I had taken a previous car a couple of years ago. They asked me, "Do you want good sevice, better service, or the best service?" I said, "I want cheap service." They said it would take a while, and I said that was fine. I watched the second half of Ghost Dad, some Full House, and read the paper. After I finished reading, I went up to the desk to ask to borrow a pen to do the crossword puzzle. Reasonable request, right? Well, they couldn't find any pens other than the one they each had. They searched all over the place and couldn't find anything besides markers. I stood there going, "These are the people I'm trusting to take care of my precious Harvey?"

At some point, while I was watching this weird Discovery Channel program, "A Haunting in Conneticut," getting really hungry and cranky, they appeared and said I was almost done. The man then added, "Your tires are really bad. You should get new ones." I said, "I'll have to think about it, I don't know if I want to pay for that." He warned, "While you're here you should. I mean they are really bad." I just smiled and said, "Not today." He sighed, "All right," and walked away, no doubt muttering dire warnings under his breath about what was going to happen to my poor car.

Maybe I need new tires, maybe I don't. But I am smart enough to know that taking care of my car does NOT mean listening to somebody telling me, a young, lone female, that I need something expensive done to it. Especially since my grandfather checked it out at Christmas and didn't say anything about the tires. I'm sorry, Mr. Can't-Find-A-Pen, but I'm not taking your tires. Not today. And I hope not ever.


At 2/07/2005 02:23:00 AM, Blogger Pusher said...

Great story. You reminded me of my sister (the one I like) we to told us your car name. And I really like your ending of your story. It had something to it I would not want to put my finger on. I hope Harvey is filling better and you keep writing like this.

At 2/07/2005 02:46:00 AM, Blogger kopi said...

I have a bike, without a name. Whenever I wash my bike, I remember what my riding instructor used to say, "Take care of your bike and it will take care of you". Treat Harvey well!

At 2/07/2005 09:05:00 AM, Blogger Lori said...

Being assertive, that is what I like to hear! Good for you for not giving in to those men who thought they knew everything. (Because they don't!) I am very proud of you, and I am sure women everywhere are smiling because one less woman was taken advantage of at the mechanic's shop. Hurray! Mind you, they probably charged you and arm and a leg for what you did have done. Ha ha.

At 2/07/2005 09:08:00 AM, Blogger Guinevere Meadow said...

*Cheering* Yay Nettie! I remember a time I took my car to get the oil changed by myself, and they tried to sell me their whole store. It was ridiculous.I was still in high school, very timid, so I don't think I handled it as well as you did.

Now my hubby takes care of all the car stuff, relieving me of such discomfort.

At 2/07/2005 09:57:00 AM, Blogger Amigo said...

Examine the tires, walk around your car and look for uneven tread wear or cracking. Rememeber to keep the tires inflated properly to avoid the uneven wear.

Then I do the penny test. Press a penny edge on (and head first for President Lincoln) into the tread grooves. If the top of Lincolns hair is below the top of the groove, then the tread is still adequate.

How many miles has Harvey gone on the current tires?

At 2/07/2005 10:42:00 AM, Blogger Stacey said...

Those individuals working in the mechanic shop must be graduates from my school...everyday the seniors come in and ask "Can I borrow a pen." And everyday I tell them they need to be prepared...guess they still haven't figured it out!

At 2/07/2005 12:04:00 PM, Blogger Cori said...

I love the fact that you love your car and have named him? How do you know it's a him? Anyways I can't get too close to cars because I get bored with them and get new ones. Lucky me!!

At 2/07/2005 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

Buy your tires on-line at Tire Rack

It's almost alway cheaper than buying from a dealer; then you can just drive to a local service station or other place that will mount them for you. It'll surely be less of a hit on your bank account. I've bought from them several times, always been pleased.

At 2/07/2005 01:41:00 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

Just found your site while visiting Darlene's. I need my 15 minutes of fame....LOL!!
All I have to say about your car adventure is "You GO girl!" I can't STAND ANYTHING related to car maintenance :) I think cars should not have just "lights" and "bells" that tell you that something *might* be wrong... they need to have a little voice that tells you exactly what it needs and when it needs it ;) Keep bloggin', enjoyed the story!

At 2/07/2005 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Paula said...

You are way too funny! Harvey sounds like a great guy (car)!!! I can relate to having all that stuff around, but as Steven Curtis Chapman would say, "these are the signs of life"!!! Have a safe trip to the boonies!
Love Ya!

At 2/07/2005 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Anti-Blogger said...

You may not need new tires, but a better paint job will give you better gas mileage. It is proven. I swear!

At 2/07/2005 04:23:00 PM, Blogger Pusher said...

At 12:04 PM, Cori said...
"I love the fact that you love your car and have named him? How do you know it's a him? Anyways I can't get too close to cars because I get bored with them and get new ones. Lucky me!!"

Cori is being to light a very import fact most people just can't tell if there car is a girl or a boy. You don't want to go off calling a cindy, a jim. Or a phillup, a sally. The bulkier, older looking grey cars, and cars like them are man. But her littler, shinier, softer cars are women. Not to say a girl car can't be bulky or a guy car shine. But this is the norm.

At 2/07/2005 11:17:00 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Just look at the tread. Do they look bald? If so, HOW bald? Sean Connery bald or Kojak bald?

Weird radio thing. Maybe the Lord is trying to tell you to listen to Him.

At 2/08/2005 12:00:00 AM, Blogger Nettie said...

Kopi: give your poor bike a name. He probably already has one and is just dying to tell you.
RW: They definitely charged me more than I wanted to pay and tacked on a "disposal fee" to boot.
Jen: That could be an advantage of a boyfriend.
Amigo, Jeff and LBB: The tires look OK to me. Not Kojak bald, so hopefully I won't have to spring for new ones.
Cori and Pusher: I had been driving Harvey for a while before he established his identity. One day it just came to me.

At 2/08/2005 12:01:00 AM, Blogger Nettie said...

Cindy: Harvey is now making a funny noise. What did Pen Guy do???
Paula: Harvey is a great guy. That's where my web addy comes from.
AB: Right now, the best Harvey can hope for is a wash.

At 6/13/2005 04:21:00 PM, Blogger Ms D said...

One time I was having my oil changes at one of those oil change places. Come to find out that didnt, When you check it right afterwards and Its dark look out rip you off in a minute.


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