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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
February 2023
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all the people on the street

I have a sad story that culminates in a flat tire. A flat tire that I was sure had something wrong with it before it went flat, so much so that I took it to the dealership (where I bought the tires) and said, “I think there is a problem, can you please look because I don’t want to drive on it until it’s checked out.” They told me everything was fine so I drove to work the next day. I got to work fine, despite freaking out that the tire was still shaking/vibrating and making the flap flap flap noise. I had just gotten on the freeway to go home though when the tire popped.

At that point I was very shocked and disturbed. It seemed weird to me that I noticed a problem, had it checked out, and then the tire went flat. I pulled over, called roadside assistance (like AAA), called the dealership to make ANOTHER appointment. Then the guy came to change my tire. He was very suspicious when I told him it was a new tire. He was very surprised when I told him I’d gone to the dealership yesterday and had been told that there was nothing wrong with my tire. He told me that it looked like my tire had been damaged and possibly plugged and the plug had blown. I told him no way because I just bought these tires new.

Once he was done, I called the dealership back and asked to talk to a manager because at this point I was very upset. I explained the situation and how now I was going to lose a deposit I had at another dealership on a car for Bear and the manager was very dismissive of the idea that my tire problem might have had anything to do with him or his dealership or his mechanics. At some point I started yelling and he ended up giving me a rental and taking my car. When I was called to let me know the car was ready and had a new tire, I asked about my visit on Monday. I was told that there was “no way I could have been driving with a hole in my tire” so clearly I just picked up something that caused a largish round hole. I will share the picture tomorrow.

I argued with the guy when I went to pick up my car and got told a lot of bullshit that made me feel like a child. “The probability is that you ran over something.” “You clearly just want me to say that my guys did something wrong.” “The vibration and noise is unlikely to have had anything to do with the fact that the tire popped and went flat.” “There was no light on when you brought the car in on Monday.” “There’s a little sensor on the rim of the tire, if something had been wrong with your tire, the light would have gone on.” This would have been the end of the story. The manager at this dealership is kind of a jerk, they didn’t pay attention to the fact that there was something wrong with my car because there wasn’t a light that told them something was wrong, I ended up not having to lose work or pay for the rental myself. I walked away. My car isn’t vibrating/shaking/making noise. I had 2 really shitty days, but that’s life.

Last night I go to get the mail and in it is a letter from our dealership. It contains the bill sheet thing that has the writeup from the Tuesday night to Wednesday night time frame when they had my car, including the manager’s write up of the fact that he provided a rental and road hazard replaced the tire and “% is that customer picked something up on the freeway”. Taped to the bill sheet was $40 in gift cards to a gas station and $20 in gift cards to a coffee shop. Handwritten was a note that said something like “Sorry for the inconvenience.” I can’t make out the signature to know whether it was the manager. I know it wasn’t the service rep that dealt with me when I bought the tires. It makes me feel dirty and stupid all over again.

Now I’ve written out the whole incident. Written up a timeline that I shared with one of my uncles who is of the opinion that the dealership screwed something up. I’ve gotten their write up of the incident and now I’m posting it here for posterity. I feel sick and angry all over again just writing this. I also have a tiny bit of me that feels guilty because I did yell. There IS a chance that correlation in this case isn’t causation and I upset other people for something that they didn’t do. It’s a whole mess and I’m hoping now it’s really over. I also hope I don’t need to state that I’m never going back there.

(Rainbow Oreo, the title is from the song I Hate Everyone by Get Set Go)

  • adelnye

    the trouble with mechanics is that they seem to think that girls are easy to push over and “gee, what do they know abt cars anyway?”
    I find that the best way to avoid that, is to get the men in to deal with them on your behalf… preferably an older male. Annoying, condescending, yes… but saves you the trouble of going back and forth later.

  • adelnye

    oh, and always ask to see the old car parts that they’ve repaired/ replaced… to ensure you’ve got a new replacement and that the malfunction that they told you was true…. even if you have no idea what you’re looking at!! Makes them just that little bit more uncertain about trying to lie to you. :)

  • mef

    They DO think that girls are easy pushovers. The thing was that I tried to get one of the guys (husband or neighbor) that I have easy access to to come with me, but they were both busy. I’m just going to cut my ties to these guys. I think at this point, it’s better to just walk away. Not all mechanics are like that or at least so aggressive about it.

  • mef

    This is a great point! I don’t always do that, but I thought, hey it’s just tires right? WRONG. OMG. How wrong was I? But I will absolutely do this going forward. Thanks so much for commenting!