Monthly Archives: November 2008

Dealership, part 2

I picked the van up from the dealership last night after work. It was fairly uneventful. The only strangeness was that they tried to charge me $490, when the mechanic had quoted me $420 on the phone. I was willing to pay the difference, but I wanted to know what caused the increase in price. Rather than explain the difference to me, the guy working the register went in the back with the mechanic, they talked about something, then the cashier brought back the bill. At that point, it matched the phone estimate to the penny.

So I’ve no idea why the initial bill was higher, but they fixed it without too much trouble, so whatever. It’s nice to have the van back and working normally. (:

Update: I think what happened was that the replaced my fuel tank cap (which did need replacing) but didn’t ask about it first. I’m not sure, but that’s what I think happened.


Recently the minivan’s transmission controller failed. The symptoms were that the van was permanantly stuck in second gear or reverse. Needless to say, this is a problem if you ever want to go faster than 35mph or so. For a week, it sat in the driveway while I tried to figure out what was wrong. I was worried that it was the transmission and that it was going to be expensive.

Finally, I got smart and took it to Autozone. They read out the error codes for me. The code that mattered was P0700, indicating the Transmission Control Module (TCM) failure. Googling indicated two things: 1) this was not uncommon for my van (2001 Grand Caravan). 2) I could not possibly fix this myself, as the module requires dealer programming (presumably)

Normally I’m too paranoid to let other people work on my vehicles. I do what I can, and pay/beg family to do the rest. This dealership (Eastgate Chrysler) comes highly recommended by friends from church, so hopefully things will have a happy ending. I’m supposed to go pick the van up in an hour. We shall see. (:

Debit double charges

Lately Melissa has been noticing some strange behaviors in our checking account. Several times now, restaurants have debited the amount we owed twice. In all but one case, there is also a credit for the amount on there once. In that one case, we were charged twice, but never credited. I’ll stop by that place and figure out what they want to do about it.

What gives though? Is this normal? Does it indicate something funky with my account? It’s exceedingly strange, but I don’t know what the cause is.

Election Retrospective

I only had any sort of mental investment in two races: Presidential and Indiana Governor. From what I’ve seen, the incumbent Governor has been doing a good job, so I voted for him. He kept his seat. I’m not a fan of McCain, but I did feel like he was the less dangerous candidate. In other words, in spite of most of his policies, I thought he would be safer in office opposing a Democratic congress (in hopes of very little getting accomplished).

I don’t have any doubts that Obama can make a good president in some respects. He’s in favor of killing babies though, and his fiscal policy is scary. Similar tax cuts for lower brackets and increases for higher brackets have led to economic disaster in countries like Germany. I would be far more comfortable with spending reduction in order to accomodate the federal government within the income that they currently have.

I’m interested to see how his ideas play out in Iraq, but I’m worried about how much Iran and Syria like him (the friend of my enemy is my enemy?). Finally, with the Democrats controlling congress (they do, don’t they? I have heard final results on that.), I’m worried that change (both good and bad change) may start happening too quickly. Overall, I’m not scared really. Things will play out how they play out. God is still in ultimate control. We’ll have to see how things play out over the next year.