mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Keeping on truckin'....

So yesterday I had to take my truck - a 2006 Ford Ranger - in for service. Several times in the last few weeks, I've put it in reverse to back out of a parking space, only to step on the gas and have nothing happen. I've had to mash on the gas, until it would finally go "THUNK" and start backing up. I also had been having the entire front end shake when I went above around 65 - it would stop if I hit 80 or so.

Since I was worried it might be something major that was defective, I wanted to get it done while it was still under warranty - and I had 35,100 miles on a vehicle with a 36,000 mile warranty.

So I begged a couple helpful friends and coworkers for rides and dropped it off Thursday night.

So what was it? They said the transmission was because I hadn't had the 30,000 mile flush done. The rattle was due to the front tires being "chopped up" and needing to be replaced - evidently, the back tires will need to be replaced in another 5-10k miles. Throw in two new wiper blades and an oil change, and this cost me $788.

I'm not thrilled - it's an expense I wasn't expecting, and it will cut into my goal of saving a bunch of money in 2009. But everything was a wear item, and besides a brake job earlier this year, this is the first major work I've had to have done on the truck since I bought it 28 months ago. Given the number of non-wear stuff that broke on my previous vehicle, a 2002 PT Cruiser, I can live with this. Of course, most of that broke after the warranty ran out.

Of course, when it comes to cars, I can tell you a ton of info about makes and models, and can identify minor changes in model years. But I know nothing about how they work - they might as well be a closed box that runs on magic smoke. The dealership had suggested making sure the transmission fluid level was correct before I took it in, and I ended up standing in front of my house with a flashlight in one hand and the owner's manual in the other, trying to figure out where the dipstick for the transmission is. So when I take it in for work, I'm never quite sure if I've gotten what I need fixed at a reasonable price or if I've been completely ripped off.

The tranny didn't give me any trouble this morning, but it was intermitten anyway, so that doesn't really prove anything. I did take the beltway to work this morning, and didn't get the mad shake from the steering wheel, so it seems like the new tires did fix that - which will make my drive to NJ in a few days much more pleasant.


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