Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I hate driving and I hate cars

I have always said that if horses were our mode of transportation, life would be easier. I have been having an on-going problem with the ABS and Brake light on my van. They come on randomly. Sometimes they stay on, sometimes not. They almost always reset when the van is turned off then back on. I had it checked last year, they said it was just a weird thing, that it could be the fluid level sensor could be floating around and hitting something.

This summer, when the light comes on (always when the a/c is turned on btw) I can feel a thumping under the pedals. So to solve and ignore the problem, I have not been driving with the a/c on. Yep--we have been sweating! So enough is enough. I take it in yesterday to get this solved. I drove it all the way over to Shore Tire because they have always been very honest with me. The diagnosis was the van has a bad ABS module.

Okay, how much to fix that? The guy tells me that only the dealer can do this because it is a computer thing that needs special programming. That sucks! So I call the dealership and I get this "advisor" on the phone. He proceeds to tell me that the ABS module is $800 (not including labor). Then he tells me that really I don't need the ABS and to tell the repair shop to simply unplug it. Really? I give him my thanks and call Shore.

The Shore guy says yep he can do that. He didn't suggest it because that is not the safe thing they are suppose to tell people. I say go ahead and unplug it.

Soooooooo, you know this doesn't end that simply right? I pick up the van and notice the ABS and Brake light are lit up. I call inside Shore and ask about this and am told they will stay on since it is unplugged. Okay, cool. I can live with that. I'm on my way home, happy that I had this free fix. Then I notice that my odometer is all dashes. There are no numbers there--ummmmmm that could be a problem. Then I notice the O/D Off light is flashing. Oh man!

At home I google my problem and find this stupid ABS module is a huge trouble maker in the Windstars. I went and drove the van around the block hoping that all this would just disappear. No luck. Then I notice that my speedometer doesn't work either. I'm sure it didn't work on the way home from Shore, I just didn't notice at the time with the dashes and the flashing.

This morning I spoke to the nice guy at Shore. He asked me to call the dealer back and ask them some specific things. I have a call into the "advisor" I spoke to. Now I wait, but I know I have another day of waiting for repairs ahead of me.

I guess if I don't care how far I drive or how fast I am going to get there--the van is fixed!


jrchaard said...

Kerry. I told you the windstar is a lemon. I hate ours for all these same reasons. The only difference is that we always have been ignoring it, for years. Our problem now is that all the guages in our dash flip around wildly while the car is on. They eventually settle down. We also slowly lost our radio, to which it now hasn't been working for 6 months or so, and yes our break lights come on. And of course, the factory defect paint job always makes me proud to drive.

Shawn said...

Sounds like you need a new car! :)

Lisa said...

Stupid cars. :)

Maricar said...

OMW - We had similar problems with our Windstar back in KC. But not as bad as your friend's jrchaard's, whose comment/story about her van just made me crack up. Hmm .. I didn't realize that Windstars were pains in the a$$ for everyone! I thought we were just unlucky.
Next time, though, I think I want a Honda Oddesey.

5CheeryO's said...

Hi, Kerry
Welcome to our world... well, close anyway. We have been dealing with all sorts of little strange issues with our Windstar. Only in the last few weeks have the ABS and brake lights been coming on and going off seemingly at random. Scott added brake fluid and that seemed to help the brake light but not the ABS. So, the advisor said you don't need Anti-lock Brakes? So that is what they unplugged? It is so annoying, and you never know what lights to take seriously.
Let me know how your next call goes...