Thursday, November 12, 2009

When Words Hurt

It's amazing how just a few words can ruin your day; we're going to let you go, we lost the heartbeat, you have cancer, I want a divorce, you need a new transmission.

Up until earlier this week, I had been blessed not to have heard any of those said to me. That was until I received some hard-hitting news on Monday; "Paul, I've got the worst possible news I can give you, your carrier bearing is broken. Our recommendation is a new transmission." Now, I understand, that's probably not the worst news I'll ever hear in my life, but it is probably the worst thing a service advisor at the Honda dealer can tell me. The total estimate of a new transmission - $4,500! That's a lot of money to spend on a car that's worth just that. Not exactly a day-brightener.

My once-trusty Honda is almost a decade old and has enough miles on it to have driven the circumference of the world almost 5 1/2 times. Maybe it's time to put this old girl out of her misery. Maybe, but my last Honda lasted twice this long and still ran great when I sold it. Typically, Honda's are known for running a long time with a lot of miles. My car should be just entering it's mid-life crisis, not picking out burial plots.

After a little research, I discovered this particular year and model have known transmission problems. So much so, that Honda extended the warranty to 109,000 miles. Of course, this car has 134,000 miles on it. I always wonder if the warranties they provide are designed to last as long as they know the parts will, minus a few thousand miles. I don't know, call me a conspiracy theorist.

So, now I'm doing research on where to bring my sick car, because I'm pretty sure the Honda dealer isn't in the business of giving people deals. In the meantime, if you happen to be driving through my town and see me walking home from the store with a handful of groceries and a bag of rice balanced on my head - feel free to give me a ride, I'm not doing it for the exercise.

I remember when I was a kid, people used to say "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Whoever said that was wrong. Words can hurt - but they can hurt your wallet even more.

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