Saturday, March 27, 2010

Those sneaky Acura designers

The short story is that I need a new half shaft. I've never heard of it before and I don't know what it does. I know that it is somehow involved with the CV boot and the transmission and that I am lucky neither of those are damaged. That is great news and I am very fortunate for that. However, the needed part won't be in until Tuesday and it is crucial that I don't drive my car. Long story short: Loaner.

If you are the proud owner of an Acura, you know that their loaner cars are probably one of their strongest marketing points. I took in my '99 CL and they gave me a 2010 TSX with less than 1500 miles on it. Automatically, I imagine myself with this car (which I think is why Acura gives you a brand new car as a loaner. Clever.)The car is super snazzy and (as with all nice cars) I am a little nervous driving it.

I got into the car, adjusted the seat and the mirrors, took a deep breath and turned the key in the ignition. The car started 'ding'ing at me and the annoying bright red letters popped up "Very Low Fuel". No big deal. There was a Smith's on my way home; I'll just swing in and fill 'er up.

I pulled up to the gas station, parked the car, and began the search for the fuel door release button. On my car, this button is found on the floor right next to the trunk release. I looked to the floor where I found the trunk release but no fuel tank release. I reached over to the glove compartment. No button and no owner's manuel. I yanked open the center console. There was an AUX input and a USB drive (nice!) but no button. I looked at the door of the fuel tank but there was no way to pull it open. It was flesh with the car. In a panic I called my dad. My mom used to drive a TSX so I figured they would know better than me.

"Dad. Do you know how to open the door to the fuel tank?" I asked, having been sitting at the gas station for a solid 10 minutes looking for the stupid button.
"It should be on the floor."
"Right. That's what I thought too but there's only a trunk release."
While on the phone with my dad, we went place by place through the car to figure out where I hadn't looked. After exhausting ever possible place the release button could be, my dad said, "Well, call the dealership. They'll know."

Still sitting at the gas station, I called Andy to get the number for the dealership. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my inability to figure out how a stupid door opens. Andy answered and I quickly asked for him to look up the number of the dealership. I explained the problem.
"Is the button on the floor like on your car?" Andy asked.
Ugh. "No, that's where it should be but it's not," I snapped now 15 minutes into the process of locating the fuel door release.
Andy, being ever helpful went through different spots where it might be. Finally he offered,"Do you want me to come see if I can find it?"
"Andy, if you think you can do a better job looking, by all means, but I really just want the number to the dealership." As Andy began looking up the number for the dealership, I got out of the car to see if i could pry open the door with my bare fingers. I pushed on the fuel door and...dammit.

It popped right open.

"Nevermind," I told Andy. "The effing thing just pops open."

I began fueling the car when my dad called back.

"I just figured it out," I answered the call.
"Yeah. So did mom," he replied.

I hung up the call, not wanting to spontaneously combust from static electricity. I hung my head in shame. Seriously. One of these days I'll learn to use my brain.

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