Dave and I took Zhadi (my beloved Saturn SL2) into one of the last remaining Saturn dealerships in the Bay Area this morning. Her (yes, she’s a ‘she’) Service Engine light (and why can’t I get one of those?) flashed on yesterday during one of the infrequent occasions I drove into work and the engine started chugging like the moment in A Little Engine That Could when the reader is REALLY worried the Little Engine can’t. I made it to work and then on my work related errand later that morning, and then home again, although I had some serious doubts for a while as she lurched and coughed her way up an incline on the 280.
Sadly my beloved Saturn of Colma, an easy 15 minute drive (or tow, if necessary) shut its doors permanently and without warning a few months ago. Research turned up two remaining Saturn dealerships: one in San Jose and the other in Santa Rosa, both about 60 miles from San Francisco. We chose Santa Rosa because it’s just a much prettier drive going north on the 101 and also because it’s smack in the middle of Wine Country. The biggest issue was simply whether or not Zhadi would make it another 60 miles.
Well, Zhadi was the Little Saturn That Could and we did indeed arrive safely at the dealership where Dave and I spent about three hours working on our respective writing projects (a car dealership is, btw, a GREAT place to focus ’cause there is just nothing else to do there) and waiting for the news. I was pretty much expecting the worst. Blown engine, dying transmission. Upwards of $3,000 juggled somehow on low interest credit cards. I’d already had my panic attack, so now it was just a matter of ‘how bad is it?’
Jen, the service manager, poked her head around the corner of our little computer cubicles around 11:15 with a big smile. “It’s not bad at all,” she said. “You need new spark plugs and the engine filter is dirty. Oh yeah, one of your brake lights is out and needs replacing.”
All in all, less than $300. Not a drop in the bucket, mind you, but comparatively speaking, SO much less than I expected! Happy dances were performed and we were out of there by 12:30, in time to have lunch and do a wee bit of wine tasting before driving the very happy Zhadi home again. All this and a productive writing day too!
And as a postscript, please go check out my current blog post at Ravenous Romance. It’s PG rated! 🙂 http://tinyurl.com/cf9zp9 blogging about The Joys of Jezebel http://tinyurl.com/cf9zp9 and unexpectedly good fortune http://www.danafredsti.com/… and sipping w