Sick Of Car Breakdowns

@Janey1966 (24127)
Carlisle, England
April 26, 2013 11:19am CST
I've known John for over 10 years and I've lost count of the car breakdowns he's had, both in his previous Honda Concerto and his current Ford Focus, both of which were second hand. He's just rang me now (after work) to tell me that one of his tyres has a puncture. It's not a normal type of puncture. The valve is 'shot at' so John can't have the tyre blown up at the nearby petrol station in Penrith as it's a waste of time. So he's having to ring up Daddy. Daddy will pick him up in his car and bring him home, as far as I know. There is no spare wheel so that's that, the Focus will have to stay in Penrith overnight. Now, where is all this leading? I shall tell you where. THE AA! OR RAC! OR GREEN FLAG breakdown services, that's where. Yup, John isn't in any of these so has to rely on Daddy..and he can't help him anyway, other than to bring him home. It annoys me big time that NO-ONE in that family has signed up to be in a breakdown service. I want to know why so if anyone out there has a story to tell, please feel free to do so, as I cannot fathom out the reasons why they are not in one. One of these days John will be stranded on the motorway somewhere, freezing cold, in his breakdown Focus and Daddy won't be anywhere near him to pick him up or to sort the car out 'there and then.' It annoys me that he won't join organisations designed to help him out in such a scenario. It's not the fact that he has to ring Daddy up. It's the fact that - all along - I've had a 6th sense about this car and I've been proved right. Cosmetically, it's ace. Nothing wrong with it at all..but it's not DESIGNED to be driven 40 miles a day, over 5 days, each week. Yes, the car was cheap to buy and yes, it's fairly cheap to run (especially when it is compared to the Honda) BUT, it cannot cope with the general wear and tear of travelling, pure and simple. Something like this always happens when he's got some extra money i.e. his bonus this month. How reliable is your car? How long have you had it and would you prefer a better one (if such a car exists) lol.
6 people like this
13 responses
• United States
26 Apr 13
We have such service through our auto insurance, so we don't bother with the additional expense of AAA. However, if we didn't, you better believe that we would be members. The major repairs we've had to do with our car were due to my boyfriend not knowing anything at all about cars. The car itself would have been fine if not for my boyfriend's complete lack of knowledge early in our relationship about cars. I agree that a Ford Focus isn't really designed for heavy use. He would be better off selling it and buying a Subaru or other sturdy auto.
2 people like this
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
Subarus..love 'em! Bit of a boy racer car but I don't care.
@dawnald (84155)
• Shingle Springs, California
26 Apr 13
It's a 5 year old Dodge Caravan, and it's had issues, but I do have a lifetime warranty on it, so at least I'm covered if the engine blows or the transmission or something goes. It doesn't cover tires or brakes, but it's been worth it so far...
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163805)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Apr 13
oh and SUB stands for stupid useless vehicle
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
LOL! That good, eh?
@p1kef1sh (45647)
26 Apr 13
Join the AA or the RAC via a cash back site. Alternate between the two and it never costs me more thatn £15 a year. You have to pay up front and then they give you money back after about 4 months.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
Many thanks for the suggestion!
@GardenGerty (93571)
• Marion, Kansas
26 Apr 13
My cars are all well over twenty years old. Hubby fixes things. I have one that bothers me that hubby is emotionally attached to. We have emergency road services on our car insurance policies and have used it occasionally. We got to ride in a tow truck over thirty miles for an anniversary. We took the problematic car and were going to go out to eat. This was preliminary to going on a trip.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
I don't know if women become as attached to their cars as men do..but I doubt it! Both John's Dad and his grandson are mad about cars but, (and this is a good thing as far as me and John are concerned), they're also good at finding out what's wrong with ours..for free lol. The tyre thing was unfortunate but it's been sorted now and my FIL is buying a new spare wheel for it tomorrow..which is nice of him!
@Dominique25 (9476)
• United States
26 Apr 13
I as well get tired of car problems. Our vehicle is always having some type of car problem. I get tired of them as well. That is one reason I'm working hard to get a good savings going so that I will be able to have a good emergency fund.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
Good for you! It's always a good idea to do that my friend.
• China
27 Apr 13
The car has seen better days.I wonder by what John will go to work tomorrow.I have mentioned I have no car.Not that the car would cause more problems than it is worth,but I live in a small city and it didn't take long to go to work before retirement.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
27 Apr 13
Yes, when I met John in 2003 he worked at Thurnams and could walk to work as it was in the City Centre. Then he got moved to another building but had to drive to that. It could actually take him half an hour to get there due to traffic build up (he started later than in his present job) but, I guess he's not that bothered about driving to Penrith anymore as he's now on more money of course. I've been looking at Nissans (as I love the quirkiness of them), as our Sunderland plant make the Quashqais, Jukes and Notes. It would be ace to buy a car built here in the UK for a change. Our Focus was built in Belgium or Spain. No Fords are made in the UK anymore although Dagenham build engines for the Transit I think. Nothing like the production of old. Anyway, in Swindon they make the Honda Civic and I'm a big fan of Hondas, as you know. All we need now is a lottery win in order to buy one!
• China
28 Apr 13
You never think of car but you think of your Hondas.You do like it .I still remember its photo you uploaded.Maybe it is the time you think about whether or not your Ford is worth fixing.
@veganbliss (3903)
• Adelaide, Australia
27 Apr 13
Well, I've always been a member of the RAA, which is about $150 a year for the "Plus" option (extented towing distance, because everything is so far apart down here!). The problem is that I only ever use it for other 'mates' breaking down!. I drive a 12/2005 Holden Commodore that was second-hand in 2007 & it has cost me a lot less to keep on the road than my other cars. My first car was a 1969 Toyota Corolla which I bought secondhand. I used to use it for pizza delivery many years ago now & thrashed the living daylights out of the poor thing so it needed another secondhand engine every few months worth more than the car. The good thing was that everything else could be fixed with fencing wire & a stocking!
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
27 Apr 13
Yes, I remember Toyota Corollas. Yours wasn't brown was it? They usually were or a dirty looking silver lol. Very efficient though, Toyotas, I believe. I've just been looking at the cars we make here in the UK (albeit for overseas companies these days) and I knew about the Nissan plant in Sunderland, which is extremely efficient but I hadn't realised that Hondas are still being made in Swindon (usually the Jazz and Civic), which begs the question, how come John's Concerto was made in Germany? It was from the early 90s though, so that might explain it. I can never understand the import/export thing. Most Nissans (81%) that Sunderland produces are sold overseas. And the Micras aren't made here and I bet there are more of those in the UK than the others that Sunderland produces. All very odd!
• Adelaide, Australia
27 Apr 13
Perhaps trade restriction, tariffs & other barriers are to blame? It's good to see you still have a good vehicle manufacturing base up there. Don't they still make Landrovers in England too? You also still make your own electronic auto parts too - Intermotor in Nottingham, where I think we still buy from! I think consumer demand plays a part too. By the time we set up to build something that we think people need or want, they change their minds & we need to import hundreds of thousands of little Mazdas instead.
@derek_a (10903)
27 Apr 13
I am still in the RAC even though I don't do very much mileage these days and don't have to travel to work. I have always seen this as a must because it is bad enough waiting on a motorway in freezing conditions waiting for a breakdown service to arrive, as I have done many times when I was a pro musician. When the engine won't run the car quickly goes as cold inside as outside. Of course you can't leave a car on the motorway, so it will have to be towed costing 2 or 3 times as much as a yearly subscription. I remember once when there was a huge plank of wood across the carriageway that I hit in the middle lane. It tore out the inside walls of my two nearside tyres. I managed to get onto the hard shoulder and called the RAC. I had to pay for two new tyres as they were irreparable, but I dread to think how much it would have cost me to get a garage out to get the wheels, take them to a garage to have new tyres fitted, and then bring them back to me. All in all the operation took just over 2 hours. I have a Focus now and have always had them since they came out, before that it was an Escort. They are reliable, and providing that the engine and transmission is in good order, then should do 40 miles a day. My wife as an Fiesta, smaller engine, and she does drive it around 50 miles a day and then at weekends. I check the vehicles regularly, as I do now something about them. Tyres, brakes, fluids and oil level and lights etc are important. I change the oils myself in both our cars, but get our local garage to fix anything that I find that is wearing. Tyres can go on any car, new or old, so it is just bad luck with John. To check valves, put a little fairy liquid over it and see if any bubbles come out. If so, then best to get the valve changed. But get a basic breakdown cover as it could save money in the long run. Hope everything works out of you and John, Janey... _Derek
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
27 Apr 13
Between them, John and his Dad managed to get the car fixed as a garage stayed open for them (6pm Friday night) and it was just the rubber tyre that needed replacing in the end. Only charged a fiver too as my FIL has a good rapport with many garages in the area as he was in the trade many years ago. His grandson is brilliant with cars as well to, between them, they can usually help us out. I do think that John relies on them too much at times, as his Dad is nearly 65 and his nephew might decide to leave Carlisle in future, who knows? I dread to think what would happen if neither of them were around. This is why he should buy a Nissan 'cos they don't break lol.
@Hatley (163805)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Apr 13
OKAYSECOND TIME COpy. Janey I do think John should sign up for those help lines as he is having trouble all the time with his car.Sometimes depending on daddy will not work so he needs that protection. Do convince him to sign up for that help.As for me I have never owned a car and cannot drive but yet I do not have all the troubles that go along with owning a car. I hope John can get this fixed up before he does get stranded someplace.best wishes and God bless,
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
His Dad was quite useful in the end lol. He's buying a spare tyre for a start (as it had already been used when John bought the car second-hand) so it's always a good idea to have a spare in the boot. Anyway, the wheel itself has been fitted with the rubber tyre on the outside, as the trim wasn't damaged. This enabled my FIL/John to take the thing into the garage for a new fitting, so to speak. It was also good that the garage in Penrith stayed open as it was due to shut at 6pm and they got there on the dot. I'm wasting my breath about the AA, etc but at least I tried..and the car is fixed, so I can't complain..until the next time!
@wolfie34 (26877)
• United Kingdom
26 Apr 13
I have been with the RAC since 2007 and I think I've had to call them out once in all that time! Regardless, it's knowing you have peace of mind that if anything did happen, I am covered. I have ironically got a renewal reminder, it self renews every May, and I pay it, it's well worth it. I also get a good loyalty/membership discount because I have been with them for some time. Although I have to say, touch wood my car is very reliable, I have a Nissan, it's 8 years old, I got it when it was 1 year old and it's passed every single MOT. It really is worth John getting breakdown cover.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
Well, at least he has a new tyre fitted now. The garage in Penrith stayed open so he and his Dad could use the place, which was nice of them. Only cost £5 as well, even better! One thing about living in the North of England is that (generally) the garages don't rip the punters off. It depends where you go, obviously but if you strike up a good relationship with them they're usually extremely reliable. Anyway, onto Nissans. I love them, actually, especially that Juke thingy that's built not all that far away in Sunderland. I saw loads of them in Blackpool so I reckon there must've been a discount on them at the local Nissan Showroom. Honestly, I've never seen so many in one Town lol. I reckon the Honda is in the same vein as Nissan, Mazda..possibly Hyundai these days. My heart sank when John bought a Ford Focus (as they're one of my pet-hat cars) but it was determined by how much money he had at the time. I really miss the Honda Concerto but it was definitely on its last legs. It did have leather seats though, which is something else I miss. It was so comfy!
@WakeUpKitty (8709)
• Netherlands
26 Apr 13
all the cars I had, except for the first (mazda 323f) broke down. The vw golf station given to me (yes it was a present) broke down over 8 times last year and already once this year. I visit the garage more frequently as I am able to drive. Before a long journey I let the garage check everything, same if I come back home but still it breaks down (so I have doubts about all these garages). It's really annoying since I know plenty of people who just drive, do not take care of their car and it always drives. Anyway it's time for an other one but no money is the problem plus I don't know what to look for. In my country they say the Honda is the car with the less trouble on the road. Just spoke some people who all said: buy an old car, before 1995, after that it's big trouble too (cars are build to throw away just like most things nowadays they want us to buy). The new technoology is a crime if one thing is not working (chip) 8 or 12 other things are broke as well.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
26 Apr 13
Funnily enough, when I met John with his Honda in 2003 he'd hadn't had it that long. Originally, it was from 1992 and only had a couple of owners when he bought it. Don't know the year but - probably around 1998, something like that. Anyway, that car was driven EVERYWHERE! He used it to pick me up from Blackpool (as I wasn't living with him then) and back again but, crucially, he wasn't using it for work as it was within walking distance at that time. It only started going wrong when he had to start driving to Penrith as it wasn't used to being driven every day. However, despite that, I guess it was its age that went against it in the end. The Focus is a bit younger but was 10 years old when John bought it (similar scenario to the Honda) but, in my opinion, this car isn't screwed together as well and I doubt it will last nearly 21 years like the Honda did. By the way (long story) but John now has a new tyre replacing the punctured one. Fortunately, the wheel itself is undamaged. It lives to fight another day!
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
29 Apr 13
I think I've already written something here about how frustrated I am with my Dodge Caravan. Aside from all the mechanical issues I've had over the years, this recent month, it developed another 'practical' issue! I haven't been able to open the trunk door. So it means I haven't been able to use it for what it's intended -to carry out stuff, as it is a van. Even grocery shopping is a pain, as bags have to be loaded from the side doors. Argh! I'm about to give up on this van!
@lacieice (2065)
• United States
26 Apr 13
I do not have roadside assistance. Never have. We have a 2008 Pontiac. It has never broken down, but our last car did. We simply called for a tow truck. Why couldn't John just do that instead of calling his family?