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The Long Road, But Worth Every Step

Oh Kia, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

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by , 06-07-2010 at 10:06 AM (1498 Views)
The Toyota Saga has been put on pause while we wait for the title. Our car journey did not end there though, seems as if there is a few new chapters to toss in.

Thursday (I'm starting to think Thursday's are a bad day for cars) Elvis and I jumped in to my cute 2006 Kia Rio Lx. Destination: Local car dealers - sans rats. While we were traveling, we hear a woman yelling in our direction. Seems our brake lights weren't working.

Easy fix, right?

Slight delay as we stop to buy fuses. Neither of us were able to get the old one pulled out, so back in to the car and to the mechanic. He checked the fuses, he checked the bulbs. Diagnosis was a bad brake switch. Since the Kia is still under warranty, onward to the dealer!

When we finally arrived at the dealer, I spoke to the Service Manager, and he thought I was someone else who had the same problem (is a recall in the making?). He assured me that it is covered under the warranty, but the part is not in stock - anywhere. After a few calls, he was able to locate one, but it wouldn't be there until Friday.

Now what? Elvis and I are both at the dealer. Our only car was resting in a bay.

After a back and forth exchange of ideas trying to get us a temporary replacement, I suggested he speak to the Head Manager about it. A few more phone calls and the SM arranged for us to split the cost of a rental until Friday. Finally, something going our way.

Or so we thought.

Fast forward a bit, we now have a rental (same make and model as mine). We were back under way. We checked out a dealer that advertised good cars, and financing. What he failed to mention is the cars are over-priced, and the interest rates if you go through his bank is 21% !!!

Another rat.

Almost giving up, I suggested we stop at the dealer our mechanic suggested. I looked at their online inventory and knew we didn't have the cash to buy one outright, no clue if they financed. At that point I was tired and yes, somewhat cranky. The salesman came over to us and asked what we liked. Point blank I told him he wanted something that wasn't a 2010, but with low miles and a factory warranty. He showed us 2 cars. I wasn't fond of either. Elvis was starting to show signs of fatigue and would accept a horse and buggy as long as the horse had at least 3 legs.

There it was!

Sitting among bigger, more expensive cars was a black 2008 Toyota Yaris. What caught my eye was the stickers on the window. Low Miles (25K), 1 owner, Carfax, Factory Warranty. It was as if the car was dropped from the sky just for us. He signed papers on it and as of Friday afternoon after picking up the loan check from the credit union, Elvis had a new-to-him car. We just needed to get the check to the salesman to make it official.

My automobile pride and joy, my Kia, was finally ready. We returned the rental and left the dealers feeling good. We have my car back, we have another car. The sun and clouds were dancing a tango. We were on our way to drop off the check for the Yaris and surprise Diva with the 'new' car and take her out to celebrate.

The celebration was short lived however.

I jumped on the Connector to take the highway home. I hated taking the Connector, but it was the closest entry to the highway I needed. I missed my jumping on point, I always do. Go north, turn around, go the right way. No big deal, I've done it a handful of times. Usually when I have done this in the past, the car would happily accelerate until I was able to get to the next exit.


Of course, when you have something really special and you're happy, something just has to come along to mess things up. How lucky for us that we didn't have to wait long. The car wasn't accelerating. Worse still, I wasn't able to maintain the 60 mph I was traveling. I called the dealer as soon as I realized what was happening to have them meet us with a truck. I can only imagine what it sounded like to the guys in the garage when I started screaming because we were almost taken out by an 18-wheel truck that was traveling behind us. At that point I had had my flashers on and looking desperately for any signs of a break down lane. Even though I was less than 7 minutes from the shop, they told me I would have to call Kia Roadside assistance for help.

Gee, thanks.

I was going 20 mph! There was no place for me to pull off to. The first exit emptied to a rotary, there was no way I was going to try to crawl through it. It was dangerous enough in a car that could get out of the way of the other cars. Finally I was able to get to an exit that I knew would be safe, as long as I could get far enough away from the end of the ramp. I was feeling a bit better now that I was off the highway and heading to a plot-able location. It would have been nice if my brakes worked when I hit the end of the road.

No Acceleration--No Brakes--No Battery--SMOKE

Elvis and I jumped out of the car and ran up the street a bit. We were convinced the car would explode. The pitch black smoke and the loud popping sounds worried me since I was now parked across the street from a gas station. Many calls back and forth to the Kia Roadside people. Shrugs and Diva came up to get Elvis so he could drop off the check and they would meet me at the dealer since the tow truck was on it's way.

THREE HOURS LATER the tow truck arrives.

I won't bore you with the details of my 'stuck on the side of the road woes'. Just know it was hot, I was dehydrated, my cell phone was dead and I was ticked off more than you can imagine. By the time I was dropped off, the garage had been closed for well over an hour. Being Friday, nobody would be in the shop again until Monday morning. I dropped my keys in the box with a description of what was wrong with the car. I think "Dead. Won't move, lucky it didn't blow up" will catch their attention.

Fast forward to Monday

Elvis is enjoying his little Yaris. I am borrowing Shrugs second car. Diva is starting her last week of school. The Kia has been looked at. The SM said that they intend on going over the car with a fine toothed comb because they can't understand why it happened. The calipers locked up. With the brakes locked, I couldn't accelerate. He also said he's never seen anything quite like this.

And, here we are, at the end of another installment of "Car Wars".

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