Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Let's review:

-September 9: Car's dash displays flickering lights and intermittent chime sounds. Car dealership technicians cannot get the problem to replicate and thus are unable to do anything.

-September 22: Car's odometer readout disappears and is replaced by a service code. Problem goes away next time car is started and cannot be replicated at car dealership. In the meantime, trunk latch breaks and needs to be replaced.

-September 23: While sitting at a stop light behind a truck, the truck backs up toward me. Honking the horn prompts the truck to stop just in time to avoid ramming into the front of my car.

-September 25: Trunk latch replaced. Dash weirdness has worsened in the intervening days. Problem is identified as bad instrument cluster. Dealership must keep the vehicle until the repair is made but a loaner car is provided at no charge.

-September 28: Repairs finished, car returned. Past week's work amounts to almost one thousand dollars of unforeseen (and unforeseeable) repairs. Majority of the cost is in diagnostics and labor. (Diagnostics to determine faulty instrument cluster, which I expected was bad, cost nearly as much as the part.) Most I've ever paid for a single car repair, perhaps the most I've paid for car repairs in any year. Mind you, I bought this car about two months ago.

While the car has driven fine while I've owned it, suffice it to say that I've had some pretty bad luck with it so far and was nearly on the receiving end of some more with that truck in reverse. Which brings us to today...

So I walk around to the passenger's side of the car this morning to put my things on the seat and can't believe my eyes. There are some things you see every day and expect to see. When reality doesn't match, it's almost as if it takes a little longer for your eyes to construct the images that don't conform to your expectations.

The passenger's side window had been smashed. The majority of the glass ended up in the car. The radio, which I had installed shortly after buying the car, had been stolen. The storage compartment between the front seats had been cleaned out of the approximately five dollars in coins therein. (Actually, a penny remained, as did the coffee sleeve half punched toward a free cup at a local place.)

Nothing else was taken. I don't believe the glove compartment was ever opened, not that there was anything of value in it. The GPS holder that I stick under the driver's seat was still there. There was a scuff on the back of the passenger side mirror and what look like scratches from an attempt at prying that door open. Since the alarm wasn't blaring, I'm assuming it never went off due to no door being opened.

Rather than anger, I felt a wave of defeat and feared that this might mean more electrical issues in the car. I called the police non-emergency line and was directed to another number that took me through a series of automated questions. Nobody was going to be coming to collect evidence. I called my parents to vent and the insurance company to put in a claim.

This was the coldest day in months, and one threatening rain too, so I had a chilly ride to work. After arriving I taped a couple garbage bags in the hole so the interior wouldn't get soaked in the event of precipitation.

The window was replaced while the car was in my employer's parking lot. I didn't owe any deductible, which was at least one victory. It doesn't appear that much (or any) damage was done to the dash when the radio was swiped. (The way the window was smashed and clean removal of the radio suggests this was done by someone experienced.) Things could have been worse, although I'm still feeling a little beaten down about it, especially with the timing.

I'm not sure how I won the luck of the draw in the parking lot. It doesn't appear that anyone else's car was robbed. Mine certainly isn't the nicest, and the radio wasn't anything super fancy. (Note to self when radio is replaced: remove faceplate every night from now on.)

A couple apartment complex maintenance workers were walking through the lot this morning when I was photographing the damage. They mentioned that someone else in the lot had something similar happened recently. The former occupants of the apartment below me experienced this a year ago or so. (Also learned from the maintenance guys: the reason they became former occupants about two months ago is because he died. Shows how much contact I have with people in the unit. And I'd probably talked to those two more than any of the others here.)

All of this, not to mention the minor recurrence of kidney stones this month, has me more than ready for September to end. No, I don't believe in curses, but I could use a few breaks right about now.

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At 8:08 AM, Anonymous LittleWit said...

Oh my gosh I am so sorry to hear that. It's the worst feeling in the world to walk out and see your car's been broken into. :( Hugs!

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Karen said...

When it rains it pours. Big Hug to you. October is a fresh new month and it starts tomorrow.

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous doniamarie said...

I'm so sorry! I know the feeling. Just get through today and it'll be October, which is sure to be better!

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Ruth's Place said...

Oh man, that sucks! Sorry :(


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