Going Nowhere, Fast.

I shouldn’t even be posting now, because I am not in the best mood. However, the family is out on a Boy Scout hike, my sister is in Key West enjoying a drink called “The Dirty Hoe”, and my local friends are otherwise unavailable. Heck, even my Facebook friends are away from the computer. So I will now speak to the blog and hope I will feel a sense of calm when I’m done.

Those of you who keep up with me in real life or even on Twitter know that I have had some car trouble in the past month. My car (model pictured above; not my actual car) has died in the parking spot twice, two weeks apart. It is 1400 miles and 2 months away from the end of the warranty. Should this stuff even be happening? NO.

Twice I’ve had to call Pontiac Roadside Assistance to get it towed to my dealer, where I am now on a first-name basis with several of the mechanics, especially Mark. I am at this point contemplating having them all over for Thanksgiving.

My car has the worst kind of problem: an intermittent one. (If you look up “intermittent problem” in the dictionary, I believe it says “Heck if I know.”) That means they can’t find the problem because just when they are testing my car, my car decides to go all reliable on them. The first time it was towed in, one of the mechanics tried to start it up right away (it didn’t). He neglected to do the diagnostic testing on it before trying to start it again (and it did). Basically they had my car for almost a whole week and were just starting it 8-10 times per day, hoping that it wouldn’t (it always did).

They couldn’t keep it forever, so we picked it up and prayed that something would happen again before the end of the warranty. It did.

Anyway, I won’t go into the whole story because it will take me forever, but the second experience I had with Roadside Assistance was complete and total nightmare. I was sick about it; Jim was angry, and though my car died at 4:00 p.m. on a Wednesday, we were back and forth with Roadside Assistance until 10:30 p.m. when we finally canceled the tow to put an end to the madness, and I had to call back the next day to reschedule.

That time, they had my car for almost a week (provided us with a rental car that time, though). They had to call the engineers at GM because they couldn’t figure out the problem*. The so-called smarty-pants engineers *suggested* replacing the negative connection cord to my battery as a solution. So they did.

We picked up my car again, all of us (especially Mark) keeping our fingers crossed that they fixed it.

But I knew it wasn’t fixed. I can’t explain it; the car pauses for a split second before revving up when I turn the key. I knew it.

And today, sad to say, I can say “I told you so.” I put the dog in her “house” and went to the car so I could run an errand. I put the key in and turned it.


Obscenities spewed forth from my mouth like the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. The guys were just pulling out of the driveway for their hike so I didn’t say anything because I know this drill quite well. First I got on the phone with the dealer. Mark was with a customer so I talked to the woman who works in the service department, who I really like. I completely lost it on the phone and cried those big, fat, ugly tears as this woman I hardly know, a woman who spends her days as a fellow grease monkey to a bunch of manly men, was doing her best to calm me down and tell me it was going to be okay.

When I was done talking to her, I went to the car and got all of my stuff (gym bag, Sunday School bag, loose papers, etc.) out and put it in the family room, and then went upstairs to call Roadside Assistance to set up the tow. The call went smoothly and I relaxed for a bit while I waited for the tow truck.

I laughed when I found out that the towing company that was sending a truck is called Last Chance Recovery. Seriously, has it come to this?

The tow truck arrived and, just as I was feeling a little better (the guy that helped me out was extremely polite and friendly: I love that), I went back in the house to discover that Roxie had gone into my gym bag and sniffed out a tiny box of two chocolate truffles that someone in my class gave me as a Rosh Hashanah gift. Argh!

It was only two pieces of chocolate and I know from my late, great beagle Bijoux that this amount wouldn’t kill Roxie; at the most we can expect some vomiting and diarrhea later (yippee?). Still though, not what I need today. I leashed her up and took her for a walk on the only reliable transportation I currently have: my legs. Now I’m back, with a million things on my list but zero motivation to complete a single one.

Regarding the car, I’m hoping that three time’s a charm. Keep your fingers crossed.

So, that’s my day so far. How’s yours?

*I totally don’t blame my dealership for any of this heartache I have been experiencing. I think they have been doing what they can and their level of customer service is superior, unlike every other facet of GM I’ve dealt with so far.


  • Mom24

    That really, really stinks. There’s nothing more frustrating than an “intermittent” problem. At least it did do it to them once. I hope they find the problem and that it’s all under warranty. Good luck.

  • Melissa

    What a nightmare! Here’s hoping the problem presents itself soon and that they can get it fixed.

    And my day…well, let’s just say it was interesting…but that’s a whole different story. 😉

  • Michelle

    Oh that is so not fun. Sounds much like the car I replaced this summer for similar reasons (ok, and the fact that it was 11 years old). Fingers crossed they figure it out this time… or do something larger to resolve it.

    My day has been a little better — see, I missed the reunion and am apparently safe for the next 9 or so years from now, but I am home with sickies…. I did make some granola today though 🙂 That’s always a pick me up (yes, I’m that pathetic).

  • Weaselmomma

    UGH, sounds like a really lousy week. Running naked and screaming up and down the street usually helps me feel better in these types of stressful times. Usually because of the padded room vacation that follows. Think of it, 2 weeks with no phone, all your meals are served, no dishes or laundry or bills to look at and the best meds ever. I hope this at least gave you a weak chuckle. You certainly need it.

  • Sarah Clapp

    Yeah, I totally feel your pain. I had problems with my last car. It caught on fire when I was driving it!! That puts a damper on the day.

  • Huckdoll

    Oh Melisa!!! I’m so sorry to hear about your ongoing car problems hun 🙁

    Despite such crappy circumstances, I’m so proud of you for keeping a positive attitude about things…you’re an inspiration when it comes to being positive and turning things around to be a little humorous…for example, that Pontiac picture above…did you create that?? Hilarious.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you, darlin’

  • k a t i e

    cheeky Roxie! I hope she’s not feeling too bad for her little chocolate snuffling incident – maybe you could train her to be a truffle dog, make a fortune and buy a new car without an ass load of problems?

    Be strong, beg for the rental car (is it any good?) and keep ear-bashing Pontiac. A warranty is there for a reason; they need to keep up their end of the bargain.

  • Jennifer

    I’m sorry Melisa! Car troubles stink! I have a GMC too (a Yukon) and have had a ton of trouble with it the past few months (needed a new transmission, a new AC belt, a new AC compressor, a new emergency brake cord, and new brakes) and it only has 70,000 miles! ARGH!!! There is nothing so aggravating! Hopefully today brought good news???

  • Kat

    OMG I hope things are looking up for you now. What a horrible start into the weekend.

    I am sending you hugs across the pond hoping that they will figure out what exactly is wrong with you car.

    Keep us updated.

    Hugs xoxoxo

  • Melisa

    Thanks for your nice comments, everybody. I feel a little better. 🙂

    Weaselmomma: I tried your suggestion but all I got were some ugly stares from the neighbors: no vacation. I guess next time, I’ll come and do it on your street. 🙂

    Huckdoll: Thanks! Yep, I did create that in my hysterical state on Saturday. I did it on a website that I got from Nukedad. I’ll probably post about it later today…

    Katie: As it turns out, Roxie didn’t even get gas from the chocolate. So although I will continue to treat it as the toxic-to-dogs substance that it is, I am pleasantly surprised that it didn’t affect her in the least. Or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the dog who electrocuted herself as a pup and lived to tell the tale.

    So today’s mission is to get my rental car so I can get to the Tina Turner concert tonight (the boys have to be at Scouts and Jim has a work function: one car won’t cut it!). I don’t expect to know anything from the dealer today, just because that will be my luck. I think the technician who looks at it doesn’t come in until 3:30. Thanks for your good vibes: keep your fingers crossed for me! 🙂