There’s a very specific reason I always make my boyfriend call the car shop when I need anything done.
He has a penis and an adam’s apple.
Plain and simple.
See, when I call I get some gruff man on the phone who tells me that whatever I am saying is incorrect and is as condescending as possible about the whole thing. When Steven calls, they’re BFFs by the end of it.
It’s one of the oldest forms of sexism. I am a woman and therefore can’t possibly know what happens when an alternator goes bad on my car or when the starter isn’t working. My starter is the reason I called them. Over the period of a few weeks my car has been getting progressively worse. I would go out to go home or go to work and my car wouldn’t start. The battery would work, clearly, because all the lights and the radio would immediately come on. But no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t connect to the starter and START the entire car. It didn’t even make a noise like it was trying to turn over. Or thinking about it but struggling with the follow through. Just nothing. Initially if I just tried repeatedly the car would finally come to life after a good 10-20 minutes. This last time I went out, on Christmas Eve no less, and boom, nothing. Well, something I guess. There was a loud TICK coming from the engine when you tried to start the car. So we gave up and Steven has been driving me to work ever since. So when I called them today and explained the issue and they told me it was the battery, I was dubious. I just got the battery 6 months ago when these jackasses fixed my alternator (see below for that fiasco). Unless the battery is dying at an alarming rate, I don’t think that is the issue. I never leave the lights on or just sit in my car with the battery going…
Of course the car started, though. But I’m still skeptical. It’s been sitting for almost 2 weeks and had plenty of time to decide to screw me over. Plus the combined juice of 2 batteries could have easily just forced the thing to come on. Plus, the aforementioned problems with the car suggest that the battery is, in the end, not the culprit.
Like when I needed a new alternator. I was complaining for YEARS that my car was doing this weird jerking thing when I turned the AC on. Or tried to accelerate. Then in started this loud ticking from the front of the car. Eventually it would get to the point where the car was just shutting off while I was freaking driving it. I went repeatedly to the shop telling them the problem. Every time I got “well we can’t duplicate it so we can’t fix it because you’re a crazy lady and nothing is wrong with the car.” I told them, point-blank, it was the alternator. Instead they decided to rewire the entire thing. I told them, again, it was the alternator. Nope. 3 new batteries and a huge pain in my ass later the whole thing just died on me completely enough that Ford couldn’t argue the point. And, hey, guess what it was? The alternator.
My point here is this, I am a woman. An educated, 20-something, woman. Who owns a car. And who would like the men of the automotive industry to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that I’m not totally insane. Or unintelligent. Also, I have a boyfriend who knows things. And I have this really cool, new thing you may have heard of. Called Google. It’s crazy, I know, but if I type in something like “2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SES won’t start and loud ticking.” I get all kinds of neat stuff that agrees with me about my starter malfunctioning. Strangers on the internet aren’t usually the best place to get information. And if you try hard enough you can usually find some moron who agrees with you. But when the first 50 topics tell me that I am not deranged in thinking that the problem is my starter and not my battery, I have to wonder if these people are disagreeing with me because my sexual organs happen to be placed on the inside of my body, rather than dangling around between my legs asking to be kicked repeatedly.