Friday, July 11, 2014

Oklahoma... It's not OK anymore

A lesson in patience... Once again! 
Norman, OK 

It's 10am on Thursday morning and we are in Shawnee, OK getting ready to go see the hospital where Natalie was born. We pull into the hospital parking lot and Chris notices that the temperature gauge is spiking high when we are sitting idle. We snap a few pictures and we head towards a "Kwik Lube" place nearby to see if they can give us an answer. The techs look it over and say all of our fluids are fine and they do not see anything wrong with it but told us to go to Fred's Tire and Battery for them to look at it. 

We went over a street or two to Fred's where their techs looked it over numerous times. In fact, Mr. Fred himself looked over it and said it all looked fine but "who ever your maintenance guy is he isn't doing a very good job be use your coolant was completely empty". They looked it over and didn't see a leak so they replaced the coolant completely free. This would NEVER happen in Houston and really made us miss the kindness and generosity of Oklahoma. We left thinking the car was fixed and went to eat lunch with some teacher friends of mine. 

After lunch Chris went outside to look for a leak and sure enough he saw some spots of oil/coolant under the car in the parking lot. He immediately came in and took the kids back to Fred's while I stayed and visited with my friends. This took about 2 hours and FINALLY the guys at Fred's said it was a "Time Cover Gasket" and it would take 6 hours to fix and they didn't have the part in stock. 

We were staying in Norman (about 40 miles away) with our friends so we decided to take the risk of driving the car and having it over-heat just so we would not be trapped without a car and/or luggage in Shawnee. I called several places in Norman and finally settled on taking it to the dealership. We arrived at the dealership around 4:15 and were given a loaner car. Thank goodness because I do not know what I would have done without it! We were led to believe our car would be ready the following day or Saturday at the latest. 

We did find some humor in the situation: 
1- We are used to a large SUV and didn't think about the constrictions that would take place in the car. We loaded Luke into the loaner car behind Chris (drivers side) as he always is in our car. I put him in and buckled him. Chris then got in the car and pushed the seat back as far as possible due to his height. Luke immediately started screaming. He had a very long day and was so tired so neither of us really thought anything about it until he screamed "foot". Sure enough, Luke's feet were bent up and squished between the car seat and the back of Chris's seat. We stopped and got him out and readjusted. Poor guy practically broke his foot. His feet were bruised for days. 

2- We left the dealership in pretty good spirits and laughing about poor Luke. But the loaner car was one with a manual transmission over-drive and Chris accidentally put it into manual as we pulled out. Here we were trying to "get up and go" and the car wouldn't shift gears. I was panicking thinking we broke this car too, Luke was still recovering and sniffling from the foot situation,  Natalie is saying "daddy this car is making a weird sound" and Chris is freaking out. THEN we noticed the over-drive... We immediately put it into the automatic mode and laughed once more. 

The loaner car, a Chevy Cruze, we used for 5 days! 

Friday came and went and we didn't have our car. In fact, Friday at 4 they had not even looked at it yet! The mean side of me was brewing up and I was ready to yell at someone. Finally, on Saturday at 11am we got the call that it was a "Front Cover Gasket" and would not be ready until at least Monday afternoon because they had to order the part. Then they told us that it would be a $1050 bill. We did NOT find humor in this part. 

We ended up being trapped in Norman for an additional 2 days but luckily we were staying with friends and were able to spend additional time with them. We discussed other options like renting a car and driving home on Saturday and my dad and John offered to come and get us and take us home but we decided the best thing would be to stay and wait it out. On Monday at 4:30 we got our car back and were headed southbound! 

I have NEVER been so excited to see this "beast" of a vehicle! Praise The Lord, we are on the road! 

It was a long trip for our kids AND us but despite the craziness of a broken car and loaner car, we had a great time with our friends!
Thank you Jeff and Wendy for letting us stay with you! 

Gas to Lubbock then Norman- $200+
Loaner Car-$250 
"Front Cover Gasket" with labor- $1050 
HOME SWEET HOME after 9 days and a $1050 bill- PRICELESS 


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