quote of the moment

"in traffic cases where you are not represented by an attorney, things
like discovery, the law, your right and presumption of innocence are
mere annoyances."

-- "EWYLTJ" on expertlaw.com


quote of the moment

"Think of it from a cop's perspective: you spend the day trying to stay alive, work at a thankless job where almost everyone hates you or wants to hurt you....you get this stupid thing in your box...what would you do?"

-- "sexcopper," on NASIOC.com, describing the possible cop-mindset on responding to trials by written declaration


quote of the moment

"if you learn nothing else from this book, learn that a police officer
with a ticket book in his hand is not your friend."

-- "fight your ticket & win in CA"

quote of the moment

"the best way, of course, to minimize your chances of receiving a ticket
is not to drive."

-- david brown


how likely is a car to fail?

this straight from the world's best mechanical engineer:

R=(1/6,000,000)(M^1.5)+(.5(Y^1.4)) where M is miles and Y is time in
years. This would give you about 3.5 failures in the first three years,
which is about the average (I saw the numbers on this once and was
surprised the average car gets so much warranty work done).


57,065 service & first service contract work

went back to michael stead chrysler for this service ... they have a coupon right now that honors any other local dealer's coupon, so i clipped a $20 oil change at antioch and took it to michael stead instead -- saving me $20 and another 20 miles of driving.

the change went fine, with no inspection problems found again ... but what's more interesting is my first "true" service contract claim.  the air conditioning had stopped working and up until this point everything i'd had done on the continual car was bumper-to-bumper warranty work ... my air conditioning complaint would be the first time i was asking to have something done that hit purely against the service contract.

my service advisor (who i would best describe as having a "brusque" demeanor) told me that it would be $165 merely to inspect and diagnose the AC problem; the fix could mean added additional charges.  he noted, "if it's covered by your service contract, you'll just pay the $100 deductible, we'll bill chrysler for the rest."  the implication, of course, being that if it wasn't covered i'd be on the hook for that ... and maybe a whole lot more.

"okay," i said, "i read through the service contract and i don't see anything about the AC that would not be covered.  would there be anything that wasn't covered?"

he shrugged in that just-sign-this-damn-thing manner and said, "i don't know, sign here."

doesn't exactly leave you with a happy feeling in your stomach.

and yet, when i woke up this morning, i had a phone call that my car was finished.  the freon level was low so they did a pressure check -- found no leaks -- and re-filled the system with freon and dye.  when i called back to ask if the repair was going to be covered by the service contract, my advisor's response was "yes" in an of-course-why-haven't-you-already-hung-up kind-of-voice.

so even if my blood pressure may have been artificially elevated for 16 hours, i did get what i wanted -- no questions or hassles over the work that was done.  no matter what my paranoia says, i can't honestly ask for more than that.  for the record here i probed a bit on how much the repair would have been had i not had a max care wrap and it looks to be the $165 plus "20 to 30 dollars for the dye."  i'll just call that a bill that would have been $200 -- and knowing this is a dealer, it wouldn't have surprised me if it somehow would have become more than that.

oddly, i wasn't charged tax on either service.  that might be a mistake, but the $0.00 tax is clear as day on the invoice.

for the records here i'm going to keep separate accounting on the service contract work from the normal work.  i will be using the deductible dollars spent in my TVC, but will not be counting it against "standard service" -- that will give me a better feel for what the normal dealer service price is.

for the record, the AC works now, but everyone everywhere is suspicious -- it could well go again at any time.

$20 standard service
$100 service contract deductible