Saturday, January 29, 2011

How I saved over 200 dollars today and other stories

Today's entry is about how I saved over 200 dollars and really no other story, but I thought the title sounded fun. Anyway, to the story. Yesterday, I went to a place on the Greenway, the dealership to which I take my car. I don't want to specify the name because I don't want to be charged for defamation. In the past six months four things have broken on my PT Cruiser. It is six years old and things start falling apart by the sixth year. The air conditioning, the hydraulic lifts on the trunk, the wiper pump, and the wiper on the back door all stopped working.

I took my car in for an oil change since I had a coupon. While there the attendant offered me four oil changes that would cost me 69 dollars if I paid them in advance. At first I agreed but later changed my mind. You will see why.

Next I asked for an estimate to repair the hydraulic lifts for the back door which had gone kaput. The estimate was for 140 dollars. I said I would do it later. I figured I could keep using a long thin board to hold it up a while longer. On the other hand, I had a more pressing problem with my windshield wipers. The pump would not squirt the windshield wiper cleaner any more so I found myself in a jam each time it rained. This was something that needed to get fixed, pronto. So, I asked. According to the serviceman that would also cost me around 140 dollars. Then the motor to the back wiper was broken, another 140 dollars. It was really adding up. Well, I said I had to think about it and I would come back another day. I became uneasy thinking that if I had to come back to get my oil changed three more times there, I might need a lot of repairs. So I decided not to come back. Buying the oil changes was out of the question. What I was certain of was that those repairs were getting costly. I needed these things repaired but the dealership was too expensive.

I decided, I needed to go someplace else where they were friendly and considerate with their clients. So, I went to Advance Auto Parts. I had gone there before to get my wipers changed and you purchase the wipers and they install them for free. They are friendly, fast, and courteous. I ordered the parts first of all. The two hydraulics cost me around 54 dollars and they told me it was an easy on and off job. I also ordered the motor for the wiper in the back. They told me that that was a matter of three screws and I would be good to go. Then I also asked the attendant, Adrian about the wiper pump, if he could just let me know if I needed to buy a new pump. He tested it, and said, " No the pump is fine." and that what was wrong was the nozzles were clogged and broken, and needed to be replaced. I was able to purchase new nozzles and he quickly replaced them. So in a short period of time, I had my trunk door fixed, my wipers working, and on Monday, I will get my part to repair the back wiper. The air conditioner has to wait and thank goodness it is still cool outside.

While there, I also got to talk to a lot of nice people, and had an opportunity to thank some soldiers for their service to this nation which made them beam with pride, and finally got a whole new respect for the people at Advance Auto Parts. Thank you very much Adrian and all the guys at Advance Auto Parts on Lake Underhill in Waterford Lakes. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stormy Day Yesterday

Wow, it was nail biting time yesterday evening when severe weather tore through Central Florida. It didn't even occur to me to even think of writing a jot, dot or tittle on my blog, I was so busy watching the weather report on television and staying alert for the weather around my house. My little cat, Mesha, was all tied in a knot with the thunder so I let her in the house to escape the awful noise. There were two primary sources for the weather that I always use: first weather radars online. They can be enlarged or reduced to see the direction and projection of a storm's arrival time. The other of course are live reports. Those live reports did not disappoint at all. I watched both WESH and WFTV with Tom Terry, and although both stations are vying for viewership, their in depth reporting is intense and benefits all of Central Florida when we needed it most. It was scary. There was a long line of severe weather moving diagonally across the peninsula, and basically no where to turn except to climb into a tub and cover one's head.

We do not have basements in Florida into which we can run for cover. That is why advance notice is so important because it gives people in the area some hope and precious time to secure themselves. Fortunately, for all of us, there were no deaths directly as a result of tornadoes, falling trees, and flying debris. Unfortunately, there was damage in Groveland and in other places in Lake County and on the east coast but with no loss in life. There were several traffic accidents as a result of the slick roads, lashing rains, and wind which made it difficult to keep cars steady and one person did die, I am sorry to say and several injured, but all in all, we were fortunate. The last time we had such severe weather back in 1998, many people died in the late night storms. To say I am grateful is an understatement.