Monday, July 24, 2017

I hate complaining

I hate complaining about as much as I hate hearing complaints. I am wading through a fair amount of negative stuff and just need a vehicle to cast off some ballast. July should be a time of relaxing, swimming, BBQs, sleeping in, vacations, and just taking time off.

This has been my usual practice anyway. School is out and the traffic a little lighter so driving up and down the freeway is less stressful.  This July has gone against the grain. One of the reasons I like July, in addition to it being right after Father's Day in June, is it is my birthday month.

As you have guessed by now, it has not gone according to previous years. 

It has been hot temperature wise in northern California this year, after a wet winter and my allergies have been debilitating.  I have had a couple of days I could not stop sneezing and blowing my nose. I took lots of decongestant with no relief.

My auto registration renews in August and this cycle, I had to get a smog inspection. This minor inconvenience turned into a major expense. I took my car to the station that inspected it a couple of years ago and was informed they could not do it because of equipment repair that would take 6 to 8 weeks to complete. That surprised me a bit but I just found another service establishment to do it.

Everything was going swimmingly. After a short 15 minutes, I received a new smog certificate and a bill for $54.00 with a comment that looked like someone had not tightened the coolant reservoir cap sufficiently. I did not think too much of the warning and drove my car on the 4-minute drive home.

After parking the car, I noticed the fan continued to run after shutting the car off. It was a hot day and I know they have to run the car while doing the inspection, so I did not think anything was amiss. I was wrong. I did not drive the car for a couple of days but the next time I did I went on a very short drive and the fan continued to run after shutting the car off. This is something that had never happened before getting the smog inspection. I began to think about the warning I received at the auto service center and wondered if I had been "had." It would not be the first time I experienced a failure after getting something minor fixed.

I called my Volvo dealer and explained my car was overheating and he told me to bring it in. After inspecting the car and burning his hand on the coolant reservoir cap when he tried to remove it; he sent me home with a loaner car and said he would call with his diagnosis. He called and said he had to replace the radiator, the coolant reservoir, and cap because I had a radiator leak. This was on a Monday and they were extremely busy. When he called to tell me how much it was going to cost, what I thought I heard him say was it would be $477.00. When he called after doing the work, he said the bill was $984.00. This was more than I was expecting.

I visited the emergency room at Kaiser on May 29th and had a few tests done because I was having lower abdominal pain after having a colonoscopy at the VA a week before. I figured I would get a bill for $400.00 or $500.00. When the bill finally arrived and it came in chunks, it was more than $8,000.00. So my budget is hemorrhaging.

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