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Roy Janik

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Iffy Lu [Dec. 24th, 2006|07:30 pm]
Roy Janik
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So I'm stranded in Houston. Well, Kemah to be precise.

It  all started on Friday, when I took my car into Jiffy Lube to be serviced. Since I was leaving for Houston on Saturday, I decided that an oil change was in store before the long trip.

Jiffy Lube changed my oil, and also did a fuel system cleaning. It took much longer than they promised. I drove downtown to find parking to meet the troupe before our Christmas show, and the oil light came on. GRRR.

In the morning I drove straight to Jiffy Lube and had them fix whatever it was they had done. They said that they'd broken a gasket or something when changing the oil. They fixed the problem and I was on my way to Houston.

(tense change)

90 miles to Houston and my car starts sputtering. loudly. I pull off to a gas station and look for leaks or anything, but find nothing. So I keep going. The service engine light comes on and the sputtering stops. Fine. I keep driving. White smoke occasionally billows out of the tail pipe and I have trouble getting the car above 70. Yikes. 

Eventually the smoke gets worse and I pull off, just north of Houston. I actually find a BMW dealership off the feeder, and count my blessings. BMW owns the Mini brand. Unfortunately, this BMW dealership doesn't service Minis, and the one that does is closed. More out of shock than anything, I start her up and leave again. The smoke is much much worse, so I pull off at a hotel.

It's at this point that I look in the manual and find that my car still has Mini Roadside Emergency Assistance under a 4 year warranty. Woo. So I call that and they promise to send out a tow truck and tow me to the nearest Mini repair shop.

The tow tuck guy has to be at least 80 years old, and is mostly incoherent. I try to drive the car up the ramp, but by this point it's stalling out and doesn't have enough power to make it. I give up, and the guy tells me to back off the ramp.

The front bumper snags on a metal towing hook that's on the ramp, and gets pulled off. MY BUMPER GETS PULLED OFF.

Okay, so it's kind of my fault. but not really. I mean I'm just some clueless jackass. This is this guy's job. Well, we'll see what my insurance company says. I just hope I don't have to talk to that guy again. I can't understand a damn thing he says.

I play it cool and get towed to a Mini Dealership, probably the same BMW place the original dealership told me about. There are people about, and I drop my key off, but the place doesn't even open again until 9AM Tuesday.  Roger, my brother, picks me up and takes me to my Mom's.


Jiffy Lube screwed up my engine.

Some tow truck guy pulled my front bumper off.

And I can't even think about going home until Tuesday.

I'm sure it will work out one way or the other. But my original plan was to go back home Christmas night and spend time with Kaci and her family.

I'm missing her hardcore right now. I mean, I knew I would, but if I could just see her, I'd feel a lot better about this whole thing.

At least I have the uke she bought me. I practiced playing "The last unicorn" earlier. It's in A minor.

[User Picture]From: jzf_k
2006-12-25 02:16 am (UTC)
I'd heard horror stories about Jiffy Lube tightening oil plugs to much and stripping them, then just putting a stopper in, instead (usually just an oil plug thats a lil to big). Then when it falls out and you bring the car back they usually say the last guy to change the oil stripped the plug and they can't help you. Anyhow, maybe thats what they meant when they said they "broke a gasket"...it seems like there really isn't that much else you can screw up if you're just doing an oil change. "Fuel system cleaning" sounds like they just dump a bottle of stuff in the tank.
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[User Picture]From: ms_goose_says
2006-12-25 02:22 am (UTC)
Sorry, babe. That bites! I'm just glad you are safe and sound.
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[User Picture]From: ripresa
2006-12-25 03:15 am (UTC)
aww .. it sucks :(

well andy and i are in houston if you wanna hang out with us. call the hideout phone.

*hugs* have a Merry Christmas regardless.
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[User Picture]From: acrouch
2006-12-25 03:19 am (UTC)
Ditto on the empathy and offer to hang out.
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[User Picture]From: bellatrixamici
2006-12-25 03:47 am (UTC)
Oh, baby. I'm sure these next few days will fly by, and I'll see you again very soon...but, it still sucks. A lot.
It's not your fault, though (that bit is important).
Enjoy the family time.
and know that, well, I miss you a lot too.
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[User Picture]From: kbadr
2006-12-25 04:22 am (UTC)
Hang in there, Roymund. We'll go out for a pint and comiserate when you're back in town.
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[User Picture]From: nekomouser
2006-12-25 05:27 am (UTC)
Make that 2 pints. Sucks, that.

Still, may your Christmas be merry and your repairs covered under warranty.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2006-12-25 06:06 am (UTC)
Warranty, maybe not. But hopefully either 1) it won't cost much or 2) Jiffy Lube and the Octogenarian tow-truck driver will admit their culpability.
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From: wettoad
2006-12-25 07:36 am (UTC)

Only read on if you want me to scare the hell out of you... sorry in advance....

Jiffy Lube probably did not attach the drain plug or the filter all the way and you ran out of oil. The engine then overheated. (White smoke is usually coolant/Bluish smoke is usually oil) You have most likely cracked the block/cylinder. This is really bad and you'll hate me when you find out what it costs.... From what you have described it is Jiffy Lubes fault, but you'll have a hell of a time getting them to pay for it. As a future note, a 4 year old car does not need a fuel system cleaning, and such a thing should not be done at a Jiffy Lube. Also sorry about the bumper that was just dumb luck.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2006-12-25 07:42 am (UTC)

Re: Only read on if you want me to scare the hell out of you... sorry in advance....

I'm a little worried about that, too, but a few things: 1) the temperature of the car never changed... I watched for overheating. 2) the smoke only came out of the exhaust, not the engin., 3) when the oil was leaking the night before, the oil light actually came on. The oil light did not come on this time. 4) I kept looking for leaking oil, and didn't see anything.

So i dunno. We'll see.
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[User Picture]From: vyvyanbasterd
2006-12-25 10:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Only read on if you want me to scare the hell out of you... sorry in advance....

Smoke coming out of the exhaust means it was coming out of the engine. Had the smoke come out of the area around the engine, it'd either be a bad head gasket or something in the coolant area. I think Todd's right here, sadly.
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[User Picture]From: wolfeskitchen
2006-12-25 08:43 am (UTC)
Wow. Damn.


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[User Picture]From: zeitgeist
2006-12-25 01:35 pm (UTC)
That really sucks, man. No tow truck driver should have let you drive onto the truck.. that's his job.

As for Jiffy Lube.. well, it's already been said above. Sorry to hear about that. Crossing my fingers things work out for the best.

Wanna hang out sometime before Thursday?
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[User Picture]From: cailin23
2006-12-25 05:35 pm (UTC)
you are utterly cursed in the car department. happy holidays!
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[User Picture]From: warhol
2006-12-26 02:16 pm (UTC)
Oof. What a horrible, horrible experience.

I don't think I realized that you had a MINI.
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