Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Hyundai Accent

My Latest Adventure: Tire Repair at Oh-Dark-Thirty (by Good Samaritan)

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Folks, it’s taken me a bit over twenty-four hours to write about this, but I had a bit of an adventure on Wednesday evening.

I was driving back from Mom’s place about a half hour before midnight, and I heard one of my tires go “flap, flap, flap.” This is a very ominous sign; it means the tire has blown out, nine times out of ten.

Anyway, I went to the closest gas station (about a quarter of a mile away), and tried to put air in it, just in case it would hold enough air to get back home, seven miles away.

It didn’t hold air.

At this point, a Good Samaritan (who told me his name, but I was so scattered, it went in one ear and out the other) stopped at this gas station on his two-wheel pedal bike. (Not an e-bike.) I have to admit that I was startled, as I was putting air in the tire at the time. He took over trying to do that, and asked if I had a spare tire.

I’d already looked in the trunk, and I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t in the standard place — at least, not where I usually expect it to be, close to the wheel wells and underneath just about everything else in the trunk. Nope. Instead, this was closer to being underneath the backseat, in the trunk, than anything. (It still was underneath everything else, so I guess that’s something.)

I can hear at least a few of you asking why I didn’t call for roadside assistance. Well, I tried, as I do have AAA. They sent back a link to follow, which would’ve been fine if I used a smartphone; I don’t. This meant I had no way to get a hold of them whatsoever.

Anyway, after nearly an hour, the Good Samaritan (a sixty-year-old Black man) and I found my spare tire and the jack. Within the next twenty-five minutes, he’d gotten the old tire off (yes, it had blown out, and had steel belts sticking out the sides of the tire in a weird, almost retro fashion) and put the “shorty” — also called the doughnut — onto the car.

As some of you might be wondering, the police saw that me and my car were in distress and stopped by. At that time, they also saw that my Good Samaritan had things well in hand, thanked him, and drove off again. (I was happy with that, as by that time we’d found the spare tire and the jack, and the old tire was nearly off.)

I didn’t have much money to give him, but I gave him what I had, plus some of my mom’s good coupons. (Mom is what you might call an extreme coupon clipper. She usually has excellent coupons for $5 off toilet paper or $8.99 off specific brands.) I thanked him profusely (at one point, he told me to get out the baseball bat he’d seen in my trunk, just in case anyone else tried coming along who wasn’t so friendly, so I used my baseball bat as a cane while all this was going on), and then drove off.

The car felt really weird with that doughnut on. The vibrations — which I always notice, being a musician — were wrong. That’s an emergency tire only, which is why I went to get tires on Thursday afternoon…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Back to the story.

So, I had called my father to let him know there was a problem right after I’d pulled off into the gas station, which was at least one hour and forty-five minutes before I ventured on back home. My phone decided it didn’t want to call anyone else, thank you, and lost all charge (even though I’d left Mom’s with a full charge; this phone is very strange). Once I was back, I let my father know I was OK, and we talked a little bit about the earlier Brewers game (which they lost to St. Louis).

Because of the emergency — which lasted a little over two hours — I sweated through everything. I managed to take a shower despite muscle cramps in weird places and all sorts of back and leg spasms. This helped somewhat, at least with the pain.

Anyway, I didn’t sleep all that well, or for very long. I knew I couldn’t leave that doughnut on the car, as I said before…so I started calling various places to try to find tires at a price I could afford.

Most of the places quoted two tires of the type I needed as being over $300. (As I have a 2010 Hyundai Accent, this seemed odd. A few years ago, I got tires — I think it was even all four tires — for around $175.) None of the places had these tires in stock but said they could order them.

At this point, I talked with my friend Lika (who also lives in Racine). She had found some good used tires of the same type as I needed and recommended this tire place called Mickey’s LLC on Twelfth and Washington Avenue in Racine. As my car has 130K miles on it, tires that have a good amount of tread but aren’t necessarily new are a whole lot better than having that doughnut on one side and a tire that was nearly as bad on the other. (Worst of all, my car is a front-wheel drive, and the two bad tires — the blown-out one and the other — were both on the front.)

Anyway, I was pleased with the service I received and with the tires. They were affordable, the tire repairman was quite pleasant, and he told me that my Good Samaritan had told the truth. Both tires needed immediate replacement, and one of the two back tires also needed replacement before winter starts. (The other went bad about eight or nine months ago and was replaced at that time.)

With the new-to-me tires on the car, it once again had the vibration it should. The tires were the right size and the right shape, so that made sense.

The tire repairman also told me that probably next spring, I should have someone rotate the tires and do an alignment, considering the aberrant pattern of wear on the old tires. This also made sense to me. (It was also suggested by the Good Samaritan, who said that he could tell I had a lot on my plate with various responsibilities, and that he wished my husband were still alive so this had never happened. Michael was good with cars, in the main, and having two people rather than one person checking the car before going anywhere is a sensible suggestion.)

For the moment, I have the doughnut on the top of the trunk, along with the jack, just in case that back tire goes bad before I can replace it. (The tire repairman said he may have a tire for my car tomorrow, and if not, by Monday. I intend to replace that other tire, which might make it a month or two and that’s all, ASAP. No more blow-outs for me, thanks…not even slow-speed ones.)

So, that was the entirety of the adventure. I met a very kind-hearted man who helped me a great deal in that Good Samaritan. The police came out and were friendly, kind, and made sure I was OK before leaving again. The tire repairman at Mickey’s was also friendly, kind, and helpful.

It was an ordeal nonetheless…but it was much lesser of an ordeal than it could’ve been.

There are indeed good people in this world.

Written by Barb Caffrey

September 16, 2022 at 2:45 am

The Campaign to Fix My Car Continues…

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Folks, it’s been 44 days, and my 2010 Hyundai Accent Blue is still not fixed.

Why not?

Some of it is a matter of money. Some of it is a matter of principle. And some of it is because it takes time to repair a faulty transmission — especially when it catastrophically fails, like mine did at 67,000 miles for my Hyundai Accent.

I was only seven thousand miles over the warranty, as I’ve said before. I did try to get it addressed at 52,000 miles (as I’ve also said before), but I didn’t demand satisfaction.

Normally, I would’ve. But it was cold that day. It was nearly closing time. And the guy was rude.

I probably should’ve blogged about the bad customer service at the time. But I didn’t.

And I wasn’t given any documentation at all. So I’m just screwed as far as this repair goes.

I’ve set up a GoFundMe page to help defray costs for this car repair, as I am not wealthy, this car repair is ruinously expensive, and health concerns demand that I have a car (for both myself and my mother).

So far, four lovely people have donated $125 toward the cost of my car repair. I appreciate their help.

I still need more help, unfortunately, as the car repair will cost at least $2200.

I’d rather talk about anything else than this car repair. Sports. Politics. Current events. Even Kim Kardashian, for pity’s sake.

But this is all I’ve got time to talk about, as I’m trying to finish off a comprehensive edit in order to perhaps generate a little more revenue for myself.

Why should you help me? Well, I’m hard-working. Honest. I’ve tried my best to get this resolved, if to no avail…and I do not deserve this bad of a result, merely because I didn’t demand satisfaction at 52,000 miles.

I pray that someone out there will care that this has occurred, and will want to help me. Because it’s obvious that I’m not going to get any satisfaction from the Hyundai USA people — and the folks at the dealership just can’t do that much. (I believe they do want to do more, or I’d be much angrier than I already am.)

Please Help Me Fix My Non-Working 2010 Hyundai Accent

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Folks, I’m beyond frustrated. I had to set up a GoFundMe page to help me fix my car…and I didn’t want to do this.

Here’s what happened:

Over the past 41 days, I’ve tried to get Hyundai USA interested in fixing my non-running 2010 Hyundai Accent Blue. I bought it in November of 2011 at 37,000 miles; it conked out due to the transmission’s casing having cracked at 67,000 miles on September 1, 2014 — three days before I was scheduled to go in for surgery.

So I had the use of my car for less than three years before the transmission’s casing cracked. I’ve never had a car do this before. Not at any amount of miles.

Mind, I have had transmissions go out before. But not like this, and certainly not this early.

I realize that cars, like anything else, are on a continuum. Some cars do very well and last for over 300,000 miles; you tend to see those on Toyota commercials, or maybe for a Ford or Chevrolet truck. Most tend to last anywhere between 100,000 miles and 200,000 miles.

And then there are cars like mine, that have something odd happen when they’re seven thousand miles out of warranty.

As I’ve said before, I tried to get this addressed at the 52,000 mile mark. The old Hyundai dealership in Racine, Frank Gentile Hyundai, has since gone out of business and took all its records with it. My attempt to get the car looked at back then didn’t get put into the computer, so Hyundai USA has no record of it — and I wasn’t given anything at the time to prove I went there.

An aside: Forewarned is forearmed. Get documentation when you do something like this, even if it’s fifteen degrees outside with a howling wind and it’s near to closing time. Don’t assume they will do the right thing. And do not take no for an answer; I did, and I’m paying for it now.

All I have is my bare word. Plus the fact that I did try to get a hinge fixed on my car’s fuel door, and was denied that at Gentile — that is in the computer.

Why didn’t Gentile want to do anything? Well, they didn’t like Autowerks (the place I bought my 2010 Hyundai Accent from). They didn’t like Autowerks at all. And because I had bought my car from Autowerks, they just didn’t care about fixing it even though all warranty work is 100% covered by Hyundai USA.

The new Racine Hyundai has tried to help me. They sent a car for me yesterday so I could fill out forms to try to get financing (I was denied; I’m a writer and editor and my income stream isn’t very high yet, nor is it like a forty-hour-a-week job). I talked with the service manager, Raffaele, and believe he’s an honest man who knows I didn’t cause this repair and did try to address it properly.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much to Hyundai USA. That’s why I have to fully fund this repair on my own. And as it’s extremely expensive, I’ve had to set up a GoFundMe page.

I am a private person, and I don’t like going into all my personal business in this particular way. (Sharing some of it on a blog is one thing; admitting I don’t have the money to fix my car is another.) I feel like I’ve failed because I can’t handle my business, and I feel like I’ve failed even more because I truly believe Hyundai USA should pay for my repair — that they aren’t is unjust, unfair, and immoral.

I say this in regards to the Hyundai USA corporate enterprises, mind. I have no problems with the local Racine Hyundai dealership. I believe if they had been in business back when my car first started having problems at 52,000 miles, I would’ve been able to get this repaired in warranty and I wouldn’t have had to go through all this.

Yes, Hyundai USA should pay for this. They should realize that alienating a customer like this is a bad move from a customer service perspective, and look into whether or not I’m telling the truth about Gentile having a terrible relationship with Autowerks. (That shouldn’t be hard, by the way.)

But they won’t.

And since they won’t, I somehow must raise the funds to get my car back. I need it for three reasons:

  1. It will improve my quality of life. (Not being able to get to doctor appointments is quite stressful.)
  2. It will improve my mother’s quality of life. (See #1, as she needs to get to doctor appointments, too.)
  3. And it will ease the stress I’ve lived with since my car died three days before I had surgery, which should help my health a little.

That’s why I set up the GoFundMe page. Even though I’d rather have done anything else.

In Racine Without a Car, 28 Days and Counting…

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Folks, some of you are aware that I had surgery a little over three weeks ago. I kept that to myself until the surgery was over, as I didn’t want to worry anyone — besides, as an independent contractor, I couldn’t afford to drive away any potential writing and/or editing jobs.

And some of you are also aware that I have been without a car now for 28 days. My 2010 Hyundai Accent stopped running on September 1, 2014; the cause appears to be a transmission casing which cracked somehow, damage I could not have possibly caused on my own.

These two things have made for a goodly amount of frustration. Walking everywhere in Racine, Wisconsin, is not easy; yes, we have a bus service, but it only runs every half-hour to an hour at best, and is far from the excellent public transit many cities have — including my late husband Michael’s hometown of San Francisco, California.

So when I’ve needed to go somewhere, I’ve had three choices:

  • Walk,
  • Call for a ride,
  • Or do without.

Now, why haven’t I been trying to use the bus system? It’s mostly because I’ve been extremely tired due to my ongoing surgical recovery. The energy I have must be put into whatever work I can do, as again I’m an independent contractor (so if I don’t work, I don’t make any money; if I don’t make any money, I’m in big trouble).

But it’s also partly because I’ve been fighting with Hyundai over who should pay for my car repair. A cracked transmission casing repair costs $2400. I don’t have it. And I’ve been reluctant to set up a Go Fund Me page for a number of reasons . . . partly because I truly felt Hyundai would do the right thing here.

As it stands, though, I haven’t a clue if they will do the right thing or not. It’s now been 28 days since my car’s transmission casing cracked. It’s been over two weeks since Hyundai itself was alerted. And it’s been about a week since the local Hyundai dealership was alerted — they recently changed hands, and they’re the most likely ones to do a repair if any is to be done.

For those of you asking, “What about the warranty, Barb,” here’s the answer to that: I’m about seven thousand miles over the expiration of my car’s warranty. I bought it used at just over 37,000 miles, and am thus not the original owner. So a six-year, 60,000 mile warranty was all I had.

Of course, if I had been the original owner, this would’ve been repaired and replaced weeks ago. Because Hyundai gives a 100,000 mile warranty on the power train, of which the transmission is a part.

But I bought it in November of 2011 (a few, short days before my best friend Jeff passed away) from a reputable used car dealership in Racine County, Autowerks in Sturtevant (next to the Educator’s Credit Union on Highway 20).

I knew something was wrong at the 52,000 mile mark, mind you. And I called Autowerks at that time. But nothing was done because my own garage, Wild Rides (not a Hyundai place, but I trust them), could not find out what was going on. The problem was intermittent, you see, and the car was still running . . . and no one wants to tear apart a transmission that’s still working.

I also drove into the former Frank Gentile Hyundai dealership at the 52,000 mile mark, but wasn’t given any help. All that happened there was that a young male mechanic drove my car (without paperwork being given to me; a grave oversight, and I should’ve demanded it), didn’t find a problem, and sent me on my way again with a messed-up car.

Mind, one of the reasons nothing was ever done was that Autowerks and Gentile Hyundai had a strained relationship at best. Most attribute that to how Gentile acted — and all I know is how I, personally, was treated. (So I’d tend to believe it was Gentile’s fault.)

Anyway, even though I knew something was wrong, I had no idea the transmission’s casing would crack so it won’t hold fluid in it. And without fluid, the car won’t drive anywhere.

My contention is that this car should’ve been repaired at 52,000 miles by the former Hyundai dealership. But they blew me off, my car died, and I believe it should be covered under warranty because I did my best to do the right thing before the warranty expired.

So here I am. It’s been 28 days since my car last worked. I’ve paid auto insurance the entire month, because I’d hoped the car would be repaired by now — but between my surgical recovery and some unfortunate miscommunication, Racine Hyundai (the new dealership) only got my car to do their assessment (required before they’ll help me, or not) this past Friday.

I remain in limbo.

This wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t recovering from surgery. Or if my Mom’s health were a whole lot better . . . but I am recovering from surgery, and my Mom’s health decidedly isn’t good. Which adds to the stress of not having a car and multiplies it at least a hundredfold.

Tomorrow I’m going to see if I can take care of some pressing business by bus. I shouldn’t be doing it so soon after surgery, especially considering the lengthy wait between bus routes and transferring and my complete unfamiliarity with Racine’s current public transportation, because it will exhaust me.

But I have no choice. Bills have to be paid. My Mom can’t do much. So I have to do it, whether I’m ready or not, and hope my body will stand the strain.

So why have I written all this? Frankly, I’d like some advice. I’m not at all sure this problem is enough for people to respond favorably to a potential Go Fund Me page. Because it’s not life and death — I admit that freely. But it is incredibly annoying and inconvenient, has definitely hurt my health and quality of life, and more to the point is something that should not be happening, as my 2010 Hyundai Accent Blue shouldn’t have given up the ghost this soon, nor in this way.

What would you all do in this situation, other than continue to go after Hyundai and hope they’ll do the right thing?

—————

Note: I’ve had many cars in my lifetime. This is the first time a transmission’s casing has ever done this.

I know I didn’t cause this. And I believe firmly that Hyundai should pay for it. But I can’t guarantee what they’ll do — but I will keep you posted.

All I know is, if they don’t help me, I think people should never buy a Hyundai. Ever. Because they don’t service what they sell.