I noticed this morning that the Echo was due for an oil change. I was only over by a couple hundred miles, but trust me: when you commute almost 200 miles roundtrip on a regular basis to be with the ones you love? You take care of the car! You don't miss oil changes. You don't want to do anything that might jeopardize your ability to get where you most want to be.
So, first thing this morning, I called up the dealership (they are almost the same price as the quick spots for oil changes, and they are so professional) and made an appointment. They could get me in right after work. Great!
Before I left for my appointment, I even found a coupon online, making the oil change only $20.
When I arrived, there was no wait, I got checked in, and headed to the new "luxury lounge" to play Scrabble on my phone.
About fifteen minutes later, the gal who checked me in comes into the lounge.
"Your battery needs to be replaced," she announced.
"You mean like soon, or now?" I asked.
"All I can tell you is that the diagnostic 27 point inspection checks it and I've seen it say low, but I've never seen it spit out a report that says 'REPLACE'," she said. "It's $129."
My $20 oil change had magically multiplied significantly.
I walked out $169 lighter (oil change, battery, parts, labor) and irritated to the max, but then I thought to myself about what a pain it would have been to go out to my car some morning /evening/whenever and have a dead battery that couldn't be charged because it was too old.
That battery was the original, more than 5 years old and had over 101,000 miles on it. It's been through five wicked winters and lots and lots of amazing trips. It did a good job.
And now, the Echo is fired up and ready to go! Isn't it funny? An oil change, tires inflated, car wash - okay, and fresh battery - and suddenly, it's like having a new car.
The timing isn't ideal. Still, while it sucked to spend the money, I'm counting my blessings!
I've gone my 13 miles tonight on the bike and now I'm sitting here with a cold beer, in our little home, knowing that Steinvic and son are happy in AZ. Everything is as it should be...