Squeaking car noises

Red Saturn (not mine but mine looks like this)My car is my baby. It’s not quite 7 years old with less than 35,000 miles. I keep up with regular servicing and faithfully pay attention to those regular maintenance check-ups to keep things ticking smoothly. Sometimes that seems pretty weird to me since with the low mileage on the car, I’ve been out of synch with those 12,000 interval routine visits since the very beginning. Mechanics have told me more than once that women are much better at taking care of preventive maintenance than men are – of course, they tell me that when I’m there already and about to write a check.

I’ve spent a fortune on Mimi The Car since January – how much was really necessary is a subject of great frustration, since I have plenty of other things to spend my money on right now, things like a move. Sometimes I worry that I’m being taken advantage because I don’t really know anything about what I’m doing, only asking those “knocking noises on the driver’s side when I brake” type of things. Before going in, I check out the Car Talk website (they’re good mechanics, just not very convenient for me) and ask my brother questions.

First it was the brakes, then a knocking sound, and new struts (with mounts and alignment; who knew they went together? who knew how a strut was different from a shock absorber, which I understood?). Then the knocking was back, accompanied by little chirpy sounds when I’d turn the wheel. That got looked at by multiple places, each blaming the other for not doing something. I feel like a ping pong ball going between them, armed with my thick file of receipts for work done and knowing that the chirps are still there.

Today the chirping car was back at the dealer to have it fixed before I leave town in 10 days. Except they said I needed new strut mounts and probably struts and, oh, an alignment, too. So either they are lying or the people who gave me new struts and mounts and an alignment back in April didn’t do their job right. I hate confrontation when I feel so out of my depth and unsure.

So I did the logical thing – came home and scooped up my file of receipts, and went back to the OTHER car place. I practiced my approach in the car on the way, accompanied by chirping, and just blurted out my disappointment and frustration at having it be still unsolved after all this time. Not to mention noisy.

Saturday morning it’s going back AGAIN to be supervised by the manager, who said they would do whatever it takes to get it resolved to my satisfaction, at no additional charge even if it means more parts. It had better work – it has to drive me to Connecticut in 10 day, and I want to hear music, not chirps.