A Car-full of crap

Today has been a run-around day. I’ve been running The Boy around from here to there and back again. Well, not quite back – he’s getting the bus home after much research of routes, and bus stops, and what not. I’m on standby in case the journey turns to custard. My morning only comprised 2 hours on the road – only another hour to go now.

Along the way I dropped The Lemon in for a service and to get a couple of faults fixed; “The Lemon” being the fond family name for the Holden Astra TS. If something can go wrong with that car, it will.

When I had to fill out the form for the work security guards (yada yada what’s you car make, model, and rego number…) I filled out that its “The Lemon”. I hope the nice security man managed to crack the merest twitch of a smile.

So far, The Lemon has had rear brake disks replaced (TWICE), the air-con compressor replaced, and both rear power windows replaced. The A/C compressor come in at a mere $1000, and you don’t want to know what power windows cost when they cark it. In this case, cark it means “make horrible snap noise”, and after that the window falls down. Jolly cold in winter I tells ya.

So after spending 17 arms and 43 legs, The Lemon has another couple of small faults.

The T-bar automatic shifter has a button that you press in to change from Park to Drive, and so on. The knob pops out, and lands on the floor amongst ones feet, always at the most inopportune time.

And the poor dear is running a bit warm, and seems to be drinking coolant the way a wino slurps down cheap port.

So like I was sayin’,  I dropped it in for a look-see with the doctor today. Who just phoned. They did the service.

Yes, that’s right. They did the service. The T-Bar automatic transmission changer-knobby-thing can’t be repaired by itself, it needs a whole new assembly. $350. They need to order it from Melbourne. So that’s not fixed.

And as for the drinking problem. Well, there are a couple of hoses that are a bit weepy. One is $75. For the hose. The other one is $175. For a !#$% hose. And the expensive hose (that’s that latter, in case you were curious) is a bugger to fit – the trained mechanics take about 2 hours to sort it out.

So the drinking problem is not fixed either. But they advise getting it seen to soon, because if it splits completely it will be kind of catastrophic.

Err… ISN’T THAT WHY I TOOK IT THERE? I’ve been waiting all day for a call to say what it would cost, not expecting a call at the end of the day when it’s too late for them to just get in and do it.

Jeez… how do you get mechanics to actually repair something? Dimwits.

Now The @#$% Lemon needs to go back to the doctor again. This time to a backyard mechanic who will actually do some @#$% work instead of trying for the easy life.

(I think the next car after this one will be another Corolla. They seem to go forever.)

9 Comments

I’d fix those it and then get rid of it for good.

Comment by Mark B | August 25th, 2009 5:39 pm | Permalink

Hmm, I edited my comment, but missed a bit. Wish Wordpress would allow comment editing…

Comment by Mark B | August 25th, 2009 5:40 pm | Permalink

Leaky hoses? Duct tape. Much cheaper.

Yes, get a Corolla.

Comment by river | August 25th, 2009 6:42 pm | Permalink

My Corolla clocked 300,000km last Friday. Damn good cars they were making back in 80’s.

Comment by george | August 25th, 2009 10:41 pm | Permalink

The TS Astra’s have, with a few years on them, shown themselves to be utter lemons. It’s a shame because they’re very good cars in most areas except the most important one… reliability.

I did 143k km on mine and, in addition to some scary servicing costs, had a swag of relatively minor problems: wheel bearing, all brakes, replacement stereo, CD changer became flaky, squeaky rear suspension, engine surging at idle.

There are plenty of reliable cars out there but the Corolla definitely has the strongest reputation for reliability, even if they are boring as bat-poo.

Comment by Newman | August 26th, 2009 8:39 am | Permalink

Here’s a very interesting survey, looking at faults in cars during their first 5 months in customer’s hands. Although it’s over a relatively short time period, right at the beginning of the car’s life, there’s some interesting turn-ups there, but the general message is that the Japanese stuff is generally near the top, regardless of size/type of vehicle. http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=39115&IsPgd=0

Comment by Newman | August 26th, 2009 6:00 pm | Permalink
Comment by Dad | August 26th, 2009 11:40 pm | Permalink

Yep, time for a Corolla – but we’d like you to use your fancy camerawork for some pictures of the Lemon first!

Comment by Kath Lockett | August 27th, 2009 7:51 am | Permalink

Congratulations.. you bought a disposable car.. now dispose of it :)

I’m just about to finish the restoration of a 1964 EH Holden.. FORTY FIVE YEARS old.. and barely nothing was broken or not working on it. Now everything works.. how far we’ve come and how far we’ve regressed when it comes to cars.

Duncan.

Comment by Duncan Margetts | August 27th, 2009 3:53 pm | Permalink

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