Fuck Carmax

I didn’t really have anything bad to say about Carmax, until today.

Flash back to June, 2001 (almost three years ago): They gave me $7k for the Snooge (1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS) and sold me the Blackura (1999 Acura 3.0 CL) for $22k. I test-drove the Blackura on Friday. I spent eight excruciating hours of Saturday there (Carmax) suffering through their (Carmax’) administrative shortcomings in dealing with my financial institution of choice.

Flash forward to June, 2004 (today): The Blackura found itself at a local, reputable auto care facility.

I’d let it go about 750 miles over the 3k recommended (but not necessarily necessary) oil change; but–during that questionable lapse–it’d passed the 60k mark on the odometer, and its “service required” idiot light had been red for a week or so. I’d been planning on getting it to the shop for the standard change and 60k look-see-fix. Then…

Yesterday (5/31), the Blackura had been sitting for the better part of three days in [her] parking lot. Call it a holiday weekend respite. Regardless: When it came time to jaunt over to McD’s for a vanilla shake and Oreo Flurry, the dashboard’s battery lamp stayed lit. Having fought through an almost-Gary-stranding situation with the Piglet (1985 Plymouth Turismo) back in the day, I know full well what kind of potential pigfuck a battery/alternator/cable connection mishap can precipitate. But, the Blackura made it all the way home yesterday, and to work, and to the shop today.

Bad alternator (The World-Famous Doug called it a couple of months ago): parts and labor = $350. Battery’s about five years old, so why not drop another $80, replace it and preclude another visit?

Because of the anti-theft measures. If your car radio gets disconnected from power, it requires a special code to re-activate it. From an OEM standpoint, your radio got disconnected from power because it was stolen. From my standpoint, I had a new battery installed (or, arguably, the alternator replaced… as they’d have to disconnect power from the battery). Either way, I’m fucked.

Fuck Carmax because, apparently, part of their turnstile concept of selling cars doesn’t include asking for factory-provided information like the fucking stereo code cards which are issued to new-car buyers by default nowadays. They didn’t ask me for that info, but I included that shit with all the Snooge’s documentation (incl. maintenance records, valet and spare keys, etc.), so maybe it’s a “Fuck Gary for possessing the talent of foresight” rant instead.

I called Acura. They need the serial number off the back of the Bose unit to provide the code. I went out to the Blackura to inspect the center console and dashboard fascia; but I can’t tell how to remove the pretty plastic to get the goddamned radio out of its DIN slot. I called Crutchfield (rulez). I’ve installed a few in-dash receivers using their awesome step-by-step removal & installation sheets (customized to the vehicle in question). They don’t have a ’99 3.0 CL sheet. It’s going to cost me $80 at the local Acura dealership to have them yank the stereo and give me the code.

I have an “appointment” on Thursday… although I can’t understand how I actually have an appointment, since they never took down any information other than my name. So maybe it’s a “Fuck Pohanka Acura for being such tools” rant instead.

In other news: the fucking air conditioning no longer works. I can’t say for sure that it was the “local, reputable auto care” facility’s fault, though. Last time I used the A/C was almost a week ago, and the alternator’s been going bad for months. Who’s to say these weren’t merely a couple of ill-timed-yet-coincidental failures?

This may prove to be the death knell of my beloved Blackura.

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2 thoughts on “Fuck Carmax

  1. Hmmm…. No AC eh? Just think aboot this… the alternator is a belt driven appliance shall we say. Not to mention so is your air conditioning compressor. Sounds like somthing may have went wrong when they took off or put back on your belt(s). They may be independant belt driven circuits (some manufacturers don’t use a serpentine belt), but sounds fishy to me. As for the stereo… Most of that dash board is snap-in pannels… but, always look for misc. screws hiding under lips and tucked back into any cubby holes.

  2. A/C problem fixed w/ no add’l cash outlay. The mechanic disconnected the wiring harness to the compressor so it wouldn’t snap off when re-belting the new alternator. That was awfully nice of him. He forgot to plug it in is all. “No charge, sorry for the inconvenience,” Butch stated as he handed back my keys. Goddamned radio bullshit tomorrow.

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