Thursday, February 15, 2007

Frozen Car Sends NY Woman To the Loony Bin

It seems that the global warming scare has got the government of New York quite complacent because after this week's ice storm, nothing was done to clear the roads of the snow and ice that completely blanketed New York.

Wednesday morning we woke up to a blanket of snow and slushy roads that hadn't been cleared or salted, as attested to when I looked out my window. I called my boss and told her I wasn't going to make the 36 mile drive, but we were car pooling that morning and she really wanted go and convinced me that the news always makes more of the road conditions than we ever experience. She hypothesized that they are always talking about New Jersey and Connecticut, not New York City, when they say that the roads are slippery and dangerous. Don't they always clear the roads quickly? Well, yes, they do, at least they did. I found out later that her window faces the back so as she told me this she hadn't actually seen that they had done nothing to 12th Street. (We live on the same street, just a few blocks apart.)

After the two-hour crawl to work, we passed one plow that didn't have the plow down on the road, and there was no salt. She apologized profusely for convincing me to drive, and she bought us a very nice box of cookies from the Arab deli where we stopped to get bialys. Arab bialys... well... we were hungry.

So we worked all day and I left the office after 5:30 to start my 36 miles all over again. I stayed later than most, thinking I would give them enough time to plow and salt, and for everybody else to get home in their panicky way. Well how wrong was that? After a FULL DAY they still hadn't plowed or salted. And this wasn't just Long Island, where I work, it was a mess all the way to the city. Truthfully in Queens it got a little better, but not much. Somebody ought to be in big trouble, or at least spanked, for missing the boat on the road clearing.

But that's not where it ended for me. My almost brand new Honda Accord was frozen with a slick sheet of ice all over it, and I could not, for the life of me, clear the ice away from the squirty buttons that produce windshield wiper fluid. I thought after driving for an hour it would melt from the heat of the car, but, I stopped halfway when I was totally blinded, squinting through a small spot in the windshield that wasn't covered with dark streaks of dirt and grime. I washed down the windshield with fluid and a rag and drove home hoping that everybody had their lights on, because otherwise I would never see them coming.

This morning I had an event in the city and asked my husband to clear my windshield and buy that de-icing spray for me so that by the time I got back it would be clear. He did his job, but alas, the fluid was still frozen, not flowing. I filled the tank to the top with fluid and that didn't help either. After wiping down the windshield I started to drive to work. On the way I called the Honda dealer and asked what I should do. The answer was "you have to wait for it to melt." WHAT??? WAIT for it to melt? So I am paying several hundred dollars a month for a car that I can't drive when it is COLD? Were they for real? Yes, they were. I told the woman that if I got into an accident before I arrived at her door, I would sue them. She hung up on me. I wish I could have thought of something more original.

Blindly, and this morning it was even worse because the reflections from the sun make the streaks dark black, I drove to Queens to the dealer. They were actually quite nice, but still insisted that I had to wait for it to melt. When he drove my car into the shop he looked at me and said, "you were actually driving like this?" Yes, I was you idiot, why do you think I am so angry. It is HARD to drive when you can't see through the windshield. I told the Honda dealer-mechanic that the reason I bought a new car was SPECIFICALLY so that I would NEVER have to see his face, ever. I bought a new car because I wanted it to be 100% hassle-free. In fact, I have a mechanic who changes my oil by coming to my office, taking the key, doing the work, and returning it to my parking space without my ever knowing. He has my credit card on file and doesn't charge extra for the delivery. He even gave my boss free hubcaps because he thought her car looked so pathetic without them. Honda was telling me that my next month was now going to be spent buying a new car. It was awful and I called everyone I know leaving insane messages on their voicemail. They seemed to think it was funny. Apparently I was cursing a lot.

Honda did manage to unfreeze my washers, and they put in some new fluid that supposedly doesn't freeze so fast. I got to work and after work tonight the washing was still working. I will give this car one more chance, but if it freezes again I am sure I will be blogging about being ripped off while buying a new car. You cannot buy a new car and not feel ripped off. I dare you to try.

1 comment:

SP said...

You must have gotten one of those Hondas that are actually made in a region of Japan where it never snows. How would they know how make a car that can de-ice itself? Maybe you should go for a Volvo or a Volkswagon next time - seems like they would know how to deal better with wintry weather.