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"You're crazy Petunia!"

June 1st, 2009 at 03:13 am

That's what my mom said to me when I told her about fixing my car with Google.

Thanks Ma, for your vote of confidence in me.

My car saga continues. My car guys fixed my original problem (car dying during acceleration on to the freeway), but another problem turned up after that problem got fixed. When I drove on the freeway for 30 to 40 minutes, my car would stall when I stopped at the end of the off ramp. Sometimes I could keep it from stalling but the idle bounced around between 200-800 rpm. After it stalled I could restart it with no problem. Something about doing that reset the idle, and I could continue on my drive without the problem.

When the problem first turned up, the car guys thought that the replacement part was bad. I took my car back in, they replaced the part (free of charge), same problem. Took it in again, they replaced the second replacement part (free of charge - different manufacturer), same problem. Told them I thought they ought to look at other things that might be causing it. They replaced a different part (charged for service). Same problem.

I then Googled my car's problem - "make model year car stalls when warm" or something like that. Found a bulletin board with seven pages of postings - car owners of my car's make and model discussing this exact problem. I read through all 122 entries. I can't say I know much about the inner workings of my car, but I could pick out the two most frequent causes of the problem.

I printed a few of the postings and took them into my car guys. They looked at them, but kind of dismissed them. They found a part that was kind of dirty (my interpretation of what they said), cleaned it up (no charge) and sent me on my way. Same problem. (I'll add here that they couldn't always reproduce the problem in the shop. Tough to troubleshoot when you can't do that.)

I called them up again. They had become more and more apologetic as time marched on and my car wasn’t fixed. I asked for their email address and told them I was going to send the link to this discussion. By this time my car and its problems had been passed up the chain to the "second in command" of the car repair shop. He read all 122 entries and used the information to look at the car. He found a part that might be causing the problem, replaced it and sent me on my way. (charged for this service) Interestingly, the part he replaced was one of the two most frequent causes of the problem, per this bulletin board entry.

I haven't completely tested the car - just too busy with other things over the weekend. But I should have a good indication tomorrow if the most recent fix is the last fix for this problem.

And my mom? Well, I'm used to her. I said, "Mom, I am not crazy. I am smart and resourceful, and using the resources I have available to me to solve my problems."

3 Responses to “"You're crazy Petunia!"”

  1. boomeyers Says:

    How awesome! I think it is great that you are using your noodle and not your pocketbook! Fore armed is fore warned. Wish the guys at the shop would have taken you more seriously the first time you showed them the email! Keep us posted!

  2. dmontngrey Says:

    That's the ONLY way we fix our cars these days - message boards online! I had a similar problem with my 98 Jetta - it would stall when I came to a stop and had the A/C running. Turned out to just be a dirty throttle body. Very easy for DH to fix himself. One year VW free now and I sure don't miss that car... Smile

  3. Petunia Says:

    LOL! Thanks boo and dmontngrey! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who uses google that way. So far so good today - and I did a lot of freeway driving!

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