Raccoon was packing a blade

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just when I (and you) thought it was over—the saga with my car continues.

On Thursday, I took my car to a local Honda dealership (that will remain nameless) for scheduled routine maintenance. There was a laundry list of what had to be done, including an oil change, tire rotation and inspection.

I also had to take it in for the replacement of the ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) sensors because of a safety recall; it’s never a good feeling when you get a letter saying your wheels may fall off when driving down the road.

When I got to the dealership, I was informed I should probably get the coolant system flushed since my car was at a particular mileage.

I had to ponder about my bank account for a moment, since it seemed as of late every nickel that has gone in has been spent on my car. (You may recall my column about my car’s run in with a raccoon a few weeks ago.)

After thinking about it, I decided to rely on the “expert” advice I was getting from the person before me.

So after adding that to my car’s “to do” list, I handed the keys over, with somewhat a feeling of dread as I didn’t want to see the bill after all the work that was going to be done.

It was a non-paper day, so with Cal Bryant’s permission I took the day off to spend with my mom and aunt who are visiting.

The day was fun; we got out of Dodge and spent the day shopping.

When I returned to the dealership later that day to pick up my car, everything seemed fine, even after the monstrous bill I paid.

Of course, as I pulled out of the parking lot, all hell breaks loose.

As the car picked up speed, a thudding noise came from the right front tire. I had no choice, but to return to the dealership.

Subsequent to one of the mechanics taking a look at the wheel, he simply stated: “You need a new tire.” He then showed me a gash in the tread of the tire.

I was shocked, to say the least, since the car had just had a tire rotation, not to mention an inspection.

“Well how did that happen?” I questioned.

“You must have hit something,” he said.

“Really? I hit something between here and the stoplight down the road,” I sarcastically asked. “I didn’t hit anything between here and there; there was nothing in the road to hit.”

He tried to quash (more than likely he saw more dollar signs) the situation by suggesting I take a trip back to the “parts counter” to see if I could get a new tire.

While writing down the type and name of the tire, he was met with my barrage of questions.

“Why didn’t I notice this before, like when I was driving here? And why did you not discover this in the inspection?”

It seemed with every question I had, he had some obscure answer.

“Well (the tear) was probably in a different place when we inspected it,” he said.

However, they still failed to notice it during the tire rotation. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know anything about cars, but I’m assuming you need to remove the tires from the car in order to rotate them.

Just like the Hulk feels each time he turns muscular and green, I started to feel the Yankee run through my veins. I wanted to tell this man where to put his poor responses.

After discussing with the auto parts personnel where I could get a tire, I decided to take my problem to the expert above them all—my mom, who was waiting outside.

While talking it over with her, I suggested that maybe the gash could have come from the raccoon I hit.

With all seriousness she looked at me and said, “Oh yeah, the raccoon was carrying a knife when you hit him and he slashed your tire.”

The comment made me laugh despite my anger towards the buffoons inside the nearby building.

Even if the raccoon was packing a blade, I don’t believe the gash happened while I was driving the car. Of course, I still had to pay for a new tire, but I made sure to take my car elsewhere.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.