Have you ever reached a point of absolute frustration where you want to:
- Pull your hair out
- Start cussing everyone in site
- Hire a vagrant to pelt excrement at people, or in the absolute extreme
- Walk around naked with your dirty underwear in hand wiping it in people’s faces?
Well I am happy to say that I am so past these points of frustration now. I am indifferent. Totally lost all ability to feel, care or let certain matters upset me. Who or what, you may ask, has brought me to this state? Frankly, it is my car.
Now don’t get me wrong I love my car. I love the fact that it prevents me from having to ride along with common folk in public transportation vehicles. Breathe their air, smell them and sigh…engage in actual conversations with them on topics I really don’t care about like Cricket or the PNM/UNC/COP/ Race Relations etc…
My car just has me tired at this point.
Now back in December 2005, I purchased a Renault Megane II and I was in love. The car drove really smooth, hardly made any noise whatsoever and was very fuel efficient plus it seemsd to look more expensive than it actually was. I thought I had found a gem.
I will leave out the fact that most people advised me not to buy a Renault but I wasn’t going to purchase a:
- Nissan – the most stolen car in the world
- Toyota – Do I really want to drive a box?
- Audi – Do I really want someone to lock my neck and take the car?
- Volvo – Well, this one I really liked but Maintenance Costs start at TT$1500 with every visit to the dealership and there is a 2 week waiting list for parts
- Peugeot –Had one. Nuff said
- Mazda –The M3 looks like a girly car
- Honda – Had one of those and they have no features whatsoever
- Subaru – This car just ugly without its flare kit and I’m sorry but I don’t want anyone coming up to my car asking me to race.
- FORD – Fix Or Repair Daily? Ummm no. one month waiting list for parts.
- Mitsubishi – Ummm No
So I had narrowed down my choices to Renault or a Ford (well Ford is now European made so I was assured that the old problems no longer exist). In the end, I chose the Renault. Why you ask? Umm well…the salesperson threw in a 6 CD changer plus the built –in single CD one that was there already .so I can play 7 CDs in my car. That sold me totally. When I asked Ford if they could change the single Cd player in their car, I was informed that the car cannot be altered. So my decision was made.
Hey, don’t knock my decision for a car based solely upon the inclusion of a CD changer. It is a very good CD Changer system and is probably the only thing that hasn’t gone wrong with the car since I purchased it 2 ½ years ago (knock on wood).
Bear in mind that the Renault comes with a 2 year warranty on its maintenance.
From out of the gate, problems started up with this car. First off the block, there was some constant squeaking while driving. Carried it back in with two weeks of purchasing it and they said they fixed it. Really? You fixed it? Ok so why did I have to visit the dealership two more times before I actually stopped hearing the noise?
My 5000 service came up really fast (as at the time I was still living in Arima and working in town so I was stuck in traffic for most of any 24 hour period) and they found some sensor wasn’t functioning properly so they changed it. Err Ok, I didn’t notice anything but my driver’s side handle was peeling at a rapid rate. They promised to change it since it was under warranty. I got the handle changed in August 2007 (it was on special order apparently – No cost to me).
For the next few months in 2006, nothing went wrong with the car, all was well. She drove well and I was still finding new features in car that made life much easier. For example:
- Automatic lights when the light outside changes. So I go into an underground parking lot and the lights come on and automatically switch off when the light level increases. Hmm let’s see a Nissan or Toyota or Mazda do that!!!
- Control of Car Stereo from the steering wheel.
- Trunk space enough for three dead bodies
- Back Seat has a tray that comes out in the middle where on can place drinks etc
- Car Key: did I tell you that my car key looks like a card so there is no mistaking it when people come asking if you picked up their keys by mistake.
But I could go on and on. The car basically has features only found in a lot of high-end cars and at a price of TT$140,000, it was a steal of a deal.
Then 2007 arrived and the squeaking started back and the service center at Renault kept insisting they were not hearing anything. Then the car started to give me a hard start and shut down all over the place. After making me pay for every time they had to change some coil in the car in an attempt to fix the problem, it stalled totally in front of a traffic light in St. James one weekend in November 2007.l. I got it wrecked to my home then carried it to Renault who refused to pay for the Towing since it was their fault the car still wasn’t working. They just ignored my rants and cussing.
They fixed it after keeping the car for a week and me having to bum rides to work as I was NOT traveling to do anything. They gave me a discount on the bill. A $500 discount on a $4000.00 bill. Yaay…Yeah right…
2008 got a little better (I think).
In one small swoop, I had my 60,000km service , which was now outside the 2 year warranty period and lo and behold, they needed to change EVERYTHING in the car on top of keeping it for two days for the service. Cost after their 10% discount….sigh.. I’d rather not say. Let’s just says “they bull meh real good”
To make matters worse, after paying that hefty bill, I park my car in front of my aprtment and some IDIOT hits my back door while reversing near my car and drives off without even stopping to tell me anything.
Renault placed the cost to replace the back door at $8,000. Their straighter/painter/Dick Turpin type money grubber saw the damage and said minimum $4,000 to repair. Hmm and here all I thought they needed to do was just push out the dent, the window was still working so no glass internally was shattered.
I went to a guy recommended by a co-worker and got the door repaired for $1,500 and it looks great.
By now, I am hemorrhaging all around from this car. I’ve cut down on entertainment expenses, established a fund for my car, and haven’t taken anyone for a nice meal in a long time and I cook at home (sigh, I’m becoming poor.). Anyone wants to take me out, I’m available but can you come pick me up? LOL!
If this is what it is like to have a child, then I good just the way I am.
I just made another appointment to go in to the Renault Service department because the last one I scheduled for changing my wheel bearings (or something like that), they told me nothing was wrong with them. Huh? What? But you gave me a paper from my 60,000 service telling me that I need to change them soon.
So after that wasted visit, I’ve scheduled another one since the car seems to be making more noise than before and I feel as if the tyres are dragging on something. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Based on these recent developments, I have cancelled a planned trip to Barbados for Crop Over, as one never knows who will be more expensive.
To make matters worse, every time I go to the Service Department, there is someone new there whom I have to bring up the learning curve with my car. So much so that one girl called Afeeyah would run and hide whenever she saw me coming into the building. It is Afeeyah’s fault. She spouts the most garbage to me when I arrive and therefore suffers my wrath. One time I came into building really quietly and she was the only attendant there. As I walked in I saw her in her office on the phone and then I blinked and she was gone. No honestly, she disappeared. No where to be seen but the sound of a slamming door in the distance indicated that she had fled the building to safety.
The General Manager of the Dealership, Sebastien Proux (aka ze French bastard), refuses to answer my calls and emails. I just see discounts on my bills when they hand them to me. I don’t want n stinking discount, I want a NEW FREAKING car.
One girl at the dealership offered to purchase my car from me for the lovely price of TT$40,000. I asked her in a very calm manner (but I was boiling inside), if she was also going to take over the loan I have. She just laughed and said, “Mr. Simmons yuh real funny yuh know.”
Murder was the case that they gave me started to play in my head for some strange reason.
I don’t know what to do anymore. I am stuck with a car for another 2 years while the maintenance bills on it mount up to high heaven and while the resale value dwindles. Serves me right for buying a car solely for the gift of CD changers.
The CD changers work brilliantly though and they help ease my tension when I can be seem on any road in Trinidad screaming y head off in the car to one of the randomly selected tracks that comes up on my player.
Don’t you just love it?