August 1, 2006

38 Miles to Empty: A Saab Story

My excitement about the new car quickly faded, no wait - was completely dashed, destoyed, obliterated - last night as I spent some Quality Time with the side of the freeway. During rush hour traffic and well into the late, late evening. Do you know what kind of garbage is on the side of the freeway? Do you know what 4 (as in F-O-U-R) hours of standing in the dirt on the side of the road in heels does to your feet?

OK, I didn't spend all 4 hours in the dirt, I spent a lot of it in my car, but my feet did hurt by the end of the night.

On one hand, I was pissed off that my computer LIED to me. Did you know? Computers lie! I was really, really pissed off that I trusted it. And it betrayed me. It's one thing when a person lies to you because you know at least they have a good reason (like wanting to screw you over) but it's an entirely different thing when a computer lies. They have no ulterior motive. Or do they? Matrix, here we come.

On the other hand, there are some pretty nice people out there. So, my faith in humanity is partially restored.

Thirty-eight miles to empty. HA! HAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's a good one! *knee slap* *snort* Hohohohooooooooooo! *wipes tear from eye* heheheheee. Shucks! You're so cute when you lie.

So, I'm talking to my mom on my cell phone when suddenly the gas pedal stops working. The car feels really heavy and I'm all like "My new car, blah blah blah, reliable and cute, blah blah blah. Hey, I should let you go so I can focus on driving!".

OMG! WTF!!! I got PWND by my CAR!

I pull over, ever so gracefully and with all the subtelty of a drunken ho in a bar during Fleet Week. And then... I spend the next 4 hours - as I said it was 4 hours, as in 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. On a MONDAY - on my cell phone with various car dealers, roadside assistance people, the CHP, and in person with various good samaritans, roadside assistance people and the CHP. When my husband came to hang out with me while I waited for a freaking TOW truck, I was on the verge of tears.

Apparently, when your new-to-you SAAB says 38 miles to empty, it's really more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. Also, apparently, when you run out of gas, and your car is fuel injected, a pesky little thing called "vapor lock" happens which makes it impossible to start your car after filling it with 5 gallons of gas (thank you to the CHP! and Roadside Assistance Guy!).

Anyway. I'm driving a loaner car now and even though it's a convertible, I am not happy about it.

In other good news, I now know that I have no trouble attracting attention (or phone numbers) when I am stranded on the side of the freeway. I had a number of kindly gentlemen (and one scary dude/freak) stop to see if I needed any help. It turns out that I exude all of the confidence a Damsel in Distress needs in our modern times. Long hair? Check. Long legs? Check. High heels? Check. Nevermind that I have Roadside Assistance and the CHP is already assisting me! Thankyouverymuch.

Saab: 1
Me: 0

Next time, I'm buying a VESPA!



At 11:54, Blogger Craig said...

That sucks.

I thought vapor lock was almost nonexistant in fuel-injected cars.

So, if you were just out of gas, why are you now driving a loner?

At 12:32, Blogger Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

Oh no! That's terrible. But on the plus side, you did get an awesome blog post title out of the deal...

At 17:11, Blogger Beth said...

Oh damn. Karma, man. Maybe your checkbook is giving you a little payback - it didn't like the pounding it took when you bought the car.

If you don't mink me asking, was it a new or used car? Personally I've only owned used cars and I know you can get some lemons from dealers, but if it was new then WTF?

At 17:53, Blogger Andrew said...

Oh, yes, computers SO lie! The one at my bank keeps telling me I don't have anywhere near as much money as I think I'm entitled to. The one in my car has decided it should burn the gas twice as fast now that it costs twice as much. The one I use to book airline flights tells me, "Yes, you really do need to wait 6 hours in Philadelphia for the next connection." Let's unplug 'em. What do you think?

To Love, Honor and Dismay

At 19:39, Blogger Ms. Q said...

UPDATE: The car is fixed and it turns out that I broke it (sort of). My first mistake was trusting the on-board trip computer. I did not know it would run out of gas and then I did not know that if I repeatedly tried to start it without gas in it, I would burn up the fuel pump. I guess I am too stupid to drive a car.

The car is a 2003, with 30K miles. It is supremely clean and new looking. I love it. It drives so well. I won't ever let the gas tank get so low (but 38 miles to empty didn't seem that low to me!). And if I ever run out of gas again, I will not try to start the car until it has gas in it.

The moral of this story is: I break cars. I am cursed with cars. I am too stupid to drive. But I insist on doing it anyway! And, also, Saab always makes things right for me. Let's hope I that the next time I see them it is for regular maintenance!

At 08:13, Anonymous Danielle said...

Oh no! I'm glad you were able to find out what was wrong. From a fellow car-breaker, I feel your pain.

At 15:03, Blogger Serena said...

Long waits like that have happened to others I know. I wish tow companies, et al would get their shit together.

At 08:46, Blogger Rude Cactus said...

That blows. How many points does it have to get before you hire a dude named Vito to firebomb it and take the insurance money?


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