We got up at our regular Sunday time, and the Grumpy Old Man headed out to get petrol for the car. He was gone a little longer than I had expected, so I was getting a bit toey by the time he sauntered in forty minutes after leaving. Turns out he had decided to go for a little drive on his lonesome. If I hadn't been so happy to see him enjoying the car, I might have been jealous because at that point, I'd only been around the block once!
I wrote up a shopping list and we faffed about for a while before realising it was getting onto midday and Erik needed to be back home by 2pm to be picked up for a hang-out at a friend's house (apparently with teens it's not the done thing to call it a playdate - who knew, certainly not me until I got the eye roll and the, 'Muuu-ummm!'), so I called the mate's mother and told her, rather proudly, that we'd be dropping him off ourselves.
We all hopped into the car and after a 'radio silence' lecture to the kids, eased off down the road. You could have heard a pin drop on the trip to the shopping centre - the kids were taking the silence lecture very seriously, even Ari managed to keep his little noises to a minimum.
Got to the shopping centre and found a park the GOM liked. Went inside, did our half grocery shop, and then checked the time, turned out we still had forty-five minutes to kill before we had to be at the mate's house, so we went and treated ourselves to some made-on-the-spot cinnamon donuts.
|Parked at the shopping centre!|
|Superhot fresh donuts to warm your hands by!|
|Taking the trolley to the CAR - instead of the taxi rank!|
|Car loaded! Woot!|
Then back out to the car and dropped Erik off on the way home. The Grumpy Old Man initiated some low-key conversation in the car and made a joke or two - all signs that he was relaxing and becoming more confident.
At home we pottered around and basked in the glow of our first ever grocery shop in our own car.
At five, the GOM had to go pick Erik up, then drive out to Warrendyte to pick my brother up from my parents. When they got back we had dinner, and I helped bro set up a Facebook page for him as tattooist. Then the Grumpy Old Man drove bro back to my parents.
And thats where we get to the 'nearly' part. On the way home, in heavy twilight, the GOM went to put his headlights on and they flicked on then immediately died away. His park lights were working but whenever he switched on the headlights they either didn't switch on at all or died away immediately. He had noticed the left indicator light often didn't turn off automatically when he came out of a turn, though the right was working fine. He made his way home, and parked and turned off the engine but could still hear a fan going. He turned the engine back on and off again another couple of times, but the fan wouldn't switch off.
We decided to call RACV. I had put in a membership application on Saturday when the car came home, and I told them this but they informed me it hadn't been processed yet, so if I want to get someone out to look at the car then and there I would have to pay for two years membership instead of one because I was signing up 'roadside'. Argh! $234 instead of $145 because I called them 12 hours before my application would have been processed anyway.
The guy came out and solved the problem of the eager fan by pulling a fuse out of the fuse box controlling the electricals. He said the issues with the lights meant the car should not have received a road worthy certificate just four days earlier. He also said the battery is four years old and isn't properly secured and that one of the headlights isn't reflecting as well as it could be - the reflector is 'dull'.
He said to get back to our dealer and get him to fix those things.
So right now, Clover is sitting outside the house missing a fuse and going no where. We don't know how much having the fan going with the car turned off has drained the battery. The Grumpy Old Man isn't keen to turn it back on because then he has to fiddle with fuse box before and after.
We called the dealer, and told him what the RACV guy had said, his initial response was, 'Well, he should mind his own business.'
We pointed out that s-dad had told the dealership that the indicator wasn't working properly and the battery wasn't properly secured and that they said they would fix those things. The dealer replied, 'We did fix those things.'
Then he started to ask for the RACV guy's name and number but cut himself short and instead told the GOM that we had two options. Either we bring the car in on Wednesday and they will fix the problems or we can pull out of the contract. The Grumpy Old Man said he would rather get the problems fixed.
Since then we've tracked down the mechanic who did the road worthy certificate, so we can check with him about his certification if we want to. We are also considering having the car inspected independently after it has been fixed to make sure it is road worthy, if it is not, we could pull out of the contract or take the dispute to VCAT.
I just want a car that works so that the Grumpy Old Man can get some work and we can move on from this stressful time in our lives!
I really love this car already and want to see it work, but I also don't want to live with anxiety that at any minute it will break down again because people take short cuts or simply don't care.