Walker-Buerge: second time

Despite our previous disappointing experience with Walker-Buerge Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, we decided they were our only resort for my car.

(Side note: Did they drop the “Walker” from their name? An internet search serves up www.buergechryslerjeep.net, for Buerge Chrysler Jeep Dodge. Slightly less of a mouthful?)

What happened? I drove off to work one morning and realized that my car wouldn’t shift out of first gear. Fun times, driving down busy boulevards in L.A. trying to circle back home, my engine revving up to 3000 RPMs and barely hitting 30 mph, me frantically hitting the hazard lights after someone started tailing my rear. (I will never understand. If there is no one in the lane beside you, and the car in front of you is going too slow for your tastes, then move the hell over! What good does riding someone’s ass serve?)

Back home, I quickly switched cars and got to work, and my lovely Mum had my car towed in to Buerge the next morning and got the transmission module replaced so I didn’t have to take any time off work.

Once I got my car back I noticed that cars on the 101 were all traveling at 90+ mph. I didn’t think much of it, I figured it had something to do with summer being over, fewer tourists, more kids back in school, I don’t know. Being the slowest car on the road didn’t raise any alarms with me, because around that time I’d changed my driving style, trying to get the most out of my gas.

I began to suspect something was off when I couldn’t pass the big semis, even though my speedometer read 65 mph. When my odometer kept reading my trip meter at 270 miles every week, I knew then that something was wrong. My commute to work is a little over 23 miles, each way, and I wasn’t driving anywhere on the weekends. (No money for gas. :( )

I asked N why my odometer and possibly my speedometer were off, and he mentioned the possibility of the replaced transmission module having the wrong settings, but that he’d never come across that complaint in the five years he’d worked as an auto technician (the new, modern term for mechanic).

I did a search online, and while I didn’t find exactly the same situation as mine, there were people (mostly motorcyclists) who said that odometers and speedometers could be set up incorrectly, and they had to be taken in to techs to get adjusted.

After weeks of bugging him, my brother finally tested my car with me, using his GPS to find that while my car said it was going 65 mph, the actual speed was about 57. My car said 30 mph? Was really 27. 40? 35.

The first thing that annoyed me about using Buerge this time: calling to get an appointment. Before work I called to get my car looked at, but this was Labor Day weekend so I couldn’t take my car in on Saturday or Monday. (Nice to know there are some places that give their non-office work force the day or even the weekend off.) I don’t want to draw out what happened, but three phone calls later (because of my inability to talk on the phone and process information at the same time, I just kept hanging up [with a “Thank you,” of course] and calling back later) I still hadn’t managed to talk to the service writer who’d handled my car before, nor to make an appointment. Fourth time I called, this was how the conversation went:

Me: “Hi, I’d like to make an appointment with [writer’s name], as soon as possible.”
Her: “You can bring your car in on Tuesday from 7 to 10 am.” [Fudging the time, as I can’t remember.]
Me: “I can bring it in any time between then?”
Her: “Well what is it about?”
Me: “I’d like to talk to [writer’s name] about a previous repair.”
Her: “Well let me see if he’s out there.”
Me [thinking she was going to go check herself, then get back to me]: “Okay.”

Then she transferred me to his personal line, which I knew he wasn’t answering because it was a busy morning, and I didn’t want to leave a voicemail because I wouldn’t be able to take a call while at work.

My brother looked at the repair order himself later that day and realized that the module was set up for a 3.0-liter engine. He called Buerge and left a voicemail message, but the writer never called back.

Next week my mom called and managed to get an appointment so she took my car in, getting it back at the end of the day. They wanted to make sure that they got it right this time, so they put 10 miles on my car. (Compared to the 75k+ that’s already on there it doesn’t matter any. Especially compared to the roughly 200 miles that my odometer inflated.)

It’s nice they put in the time to ensure that my car was correctly fixed the second time around. (Do you know how much time it takes to drive 10 miles in L.A.? ;)) But why did I have to bring my car back a second time? What is wrong with this service department that the transmission module was set up for a 3.0L engine and the tech didn’t think to, or didn’t have the time to, ensure that the module was set up correctly for my 2.7L engine? Why is this the second time that my car has had to be brought back to make sure it’s fixed, or is working properly?

We’ve given up on Buerge and found that there is a new Dodge dealership near Carmax. So even if this Dodge service department is similar and we have to bring the car in a second time, at least we won’t have to trek all the way up to Santa Monica.

wave goodbye to summer

New layout! For my abandoned blog! Woo! Following the general theme of the previous two layouts: one color, one pattern, one season(-ish).

This one’s good for another 21 days, until the end of summer. Then I have to come up with an autumn version. But considering it’s taken me almost two years to make these three versions, well, I wouldn’t hold my breath. :)

I am holding this post hostage

Hopefully this’ll force me to write a real post to replace this. :)

California’s Prop 29 first came to my attention in one of the many petition activist emails I receive. It mentioned new legislation on the upcoming ballot, which the tobacco companies oppose. Easy enough, I thought. I’ll just vote against big tobacco, no deep soul-searching required there.

Wrong! Commercials started coming out on TV about Prop 29. The first one I saw had me guffawing. Prop 29 doesn’t put any money toward cancer research? Prop 29 doesn’t do this, it doesn’t do that. It just doesn’t go far enough, so it just shouldn’t be enacted at all!

But another commercial made me pause. Not because of what the official-looking doctor on the screen was saying, but because on the bottom of the screen it stated that the L.A. Times opposed the proposition. I’d never thought that anyone other than those with political or financial motives would oppose it.

I tracked down the Op-Ed piece (sorry, too lazy to find the page again) and it basically said that Prop 29 is flawed. California gets all these taxes and instead of putting it in the general fund, where it’s severely needed, it goes toward this whole new infrastructure where the people on the board can decide to send the money out of state. Additionally, it’s estimated that these taxes will decrease each year, as people quite smoking because of the higher expense.

At this point I wavered between my options: Yes or No? I’m not a fan of creating more bureacracy, and California could really use the money for things other than battling smoking. (People should just stop killing themselves and not smoke, simple as that, right?) And the decrease in taxes, if there’ll be less and less money going toward it, then why bother at all? Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to agree to vote with the tobacco companies.

But then the No on Prop 29 camp released another commercial, saying California’s tax dollars will be sent out of state, instead of creating jobs here, in-state. That argument never holds with me. (I am no statist! State elitist? … I don’t know.) I don’t care which state gets the jobs, as long as there are jobs being created. And calling them California’s tax dollars? The money came from people who smoke; it’s not my money.

So I took a step back and looked at the big picture: smokers will be paying money to … “fund cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement.” (Ballotpedia on Prop 29) I’m fine with that! Count me in as a Yes vote!

And this way I won’t agree with any tobacco companies! ;)

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My Little Blogging Corner

I came across this blog entry by Elena, who found a question posted on Thistlewood Farm:

Do you ever wonder where people blog?

Do you ever wonder how they write a post? […]

Why? When? Where? How? Do you blog?

I blog right here:

Where I Blog

At a desk set in one corner of my bedroom. Yes, I know it’s very cluttered. Which probably explains a lot of my life and why my blog goes unupdated. The pile, one of a few in my room, represents projects or tasks I have yet to complete.

But I never get around to them because I spend most of my time trying to catch up with all the social media updates: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Livejournal, Youtube, and deviantArt when I can remember. (I’m a year behind on dA. *shame*) This by itself doesn’t take up much time, to be honest. But a lot of links are posted for such interesting articles or news items or random knowledge, I get stuck reading and reading and … reading …

After that on my list of priorities (which is topped by tv, sadly) is writing up my backlog of trips to Disneyland for my personal account. (The count is currently 15 trips over the past 8 or 9 months, waurrgh!)

At the end is writing at least one entry a month for my blog. I have a tiny list of ideas for blog entries. They are so unwieldy and require so much time to write, however, that I usually skip writing about them and go with the most recent idea that’s been floating around in my head for a couple weeks.

There’s no real process to writing for my blog. I just decide that Today Is the Day and I shouldn’t (or can’t!) put it off any longer, and I spend an hour or two writing. I don’t have drafts stored on my blog (mostly because WordPress’ storage of drafts as completely separate from and filling up the same database slots as published posts irks me), and I don’t write much of anything beforehand. It’s partially laziness and partially lack of time, but I think it’s mostly because when I do write out or plan out blog entries in my head, like during long commutes home from work, the thought or idea leaves my system, and I no longer feel a compulsion to post it up here.

That’s about it. Boring, I know. But I managed to fit in my “real” post for March! Yeah!

leaping over February this year

Oh gosh, I managed to do it again, not updating for over a month. At least I have a better excuse, because even though it’s a leap year, February still has fewer days than other months! February was also a busy month at work, not only were we finishing up the busy season but we had to put everything together for a big expo as well.

I also spent my extra day of the year very well, I think, at Disneyland’s One More Disney Day. Twenty-four hours straight of Disneyland! Woo! March 1st I spent in front of the tv, trying to recuperate.

Hopefully this won’t be my post of the month, because I do have ideas for blog entries, I just lack the time to formulate my thoughts and type them up here!