Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When a Fox is a lemon

Not long before we met, N had purchased a new Audi Fox. He loved the way it looked and especially the way it handled. I remember those "me and my first new car" photos, someone had taken of him--N happy, N proud. It was a short love affair that soon turned sour. If there had been a lemon law in the 70's, this car would've been it's poster child. But the *best* part of all? When the owner of the dealership told us there was nothing he could do to help us out. But he understood our situation because (after all) he put his pants on the same way N did . . . one leg at a time. (Eh?)

From audi fox

By the time I entered his life, most mornings N was having to call the dealer to have them tow the Audi into their shop. The mechanics would look at it again and again and say they couldn't find anything, "started fine for me!". One morning a mechanic suggested (instead of sending out the tow truck again) that N pour gas directly into the fuel injection system while someone turned the key. He only had to do that once to realize what a crazy idea it was and to be glad he had a fire extinguisher in the house. (Eyebrows? Who needs eyebrows!)
Finally the head mechanic asked N to bring the car to the dealership the night before to see if they could replicate the car not starting. And they did. That's when they replaced the battery and handed him this short piece of wire with a u-connector on each end. They dubbed it "a relay". I can't remember if we ever pulled that piece of wire out of the glovebox. Not to say there weren't anymore problems. There were plenty, but they were varied. (I never said she was a dull car!)
That Fox went through batteries at least twice as often as a typical automobile. We learned much later from a seasoned Audi mechanic that the engine needed more cranking power to turn over than the specified battery provided. Thanks to the car breaking down 3-4 times between Tillamook and Kalama we encountered some great tow truck drivers Especially the one who towed us to a mechanic who specialized in Audis and knew exactly what was wrong. Never underestimate a tow truck driver's ability to dispense advice.
After Fran was born, the backseat began to get more crowded. Shiloh, our Golden Retriever was squished in between the girls. Nanny-Shiloh probably didn't mind being in close proximately to those sticky little hands and faces, but it was time to buy a new to us station wagon. After signing the papers and driving out of the car lot Liseanne was thrilled sitting in the station wagon's backseat and leaving that Audi behind (she still remembers being broke down in Portland during rush hour). Fran (3 yrs old) sobbed all the way home. N and I? We were like Lise, not understanding why anyone would cry over THAT car.


Salem Man said...

We bought a new 2000 Ford Focus that had a bunch of weird problems compounded by it falling off a car jack at the dealership. We wound up trading it in for an older model Ford Explorer.

KandN said...

There should be some kind of "falling off a car jack" provision to replace your car in a dealership's contract. I thought those things only happened on Car Talk. I suppose the Explorer worked well for that stage in your lives, though.