Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bad 'Carma' Continues...

Yesterday, the Volvo died on a small rotary in Norfolk. Just died. Thank goodness I was able to pilot it (minus power steering, or much else for that matter) into the parking lot of a gas station right before the Norfolk train station. The gas station was a preferable landing spot to the RR tracks. The nice guys who work there got it ruining well enough for me to drive back home to Boston, but recommended I take it to the Volvo place, as they couldn't quite figure out why the engine was making that horrible stuttering noise.

Anyway, I drop it off at the Volvo place in Dedham and now I've got yet another rental car- this time it's a Nissan Altima. Which is very nice. However, someone at Enterprise forgot to tell me something important about the car. I pulled out of the parking lot and wondered why the engine sounded so loud and then noticed that it was red lining, with RPMs around 6 and 7. I stopped at a light. Noise subsided. A number on the electronic display went from 3 to 1. Huh? Now I know very little about driving stick, but I do know that it involves RPMs. I look at the gearshift. It seems to have some plus and minus signs. I experiment and tap the gearshift. The car sounds a bit better. I tried again. Yep. That seemed to do the trick. For now.

I pull over into a parking lot to check out what the driver's manual has to say. I reached into the glove compartment and pull out... a DVD. Yep, the owner's manual is a DVD, which is not very helpful when driving down Route 1.

I made it to work, playing around with the shifter the whole time, and check out the Nissan website. Turns out the car is a a half-assed standard, not a true automatic. I also managed to find a non-DVD version of the user's manual. This was helpful, allowing me to figure out how to keep the car from sliding out of automatic and into standard (which seems to have been the problem this morning).

On a similar note, I swear my Volvo is it's own anti-theft device. No one in my neighborhood would want to steal it, since it would probably just break. (Not that a Volvo has the street value of a Lexus or Honda.)


Bill R. said...

I hate having to rent a car on my own dime when my car's in the (expensive) shop... it's all because a) no boyfriend/girlfriend/serious buddies who can drive me around town to and from work and b) bought it from a third party so it was even more As-Is No Warranty than anything you get from a dealer.

So are your rentals still under warranty?

Mel Balsamo said...

I've learned my lesson on buying a Volvo. That car is know for tis safety features and thats all it is to it. Now I own two Honda cars and BMW X5. I'm telling ya, the honda is definitely worth my money's spent. Top of the line performance I guarantee!

Mel Balsamo

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