And the lemon tale draws to a close...

...with an epilogue I'm sure I'll laugh about someday. Maybe.

I had my appointment to turn in my Elantra on Friday morning, to complete the buyback. Everything with that went well – even better than I expected. They did an inspection to make sure it didn't have anything beyond normal wear and tear (it didn't) and I had to sign about a zillion forms and then I was done.

So phase I went pretty well. Phase II was to buy a new Mazda 3. I had that all arranged with the dealer – they had the one I wanted (titanium silver, five-speed, hatchback) located at another dealer, and they went to get it Thursday night.

I found out, though, that the car they had gone to get had damage when they arrived at the other dealer, and they told the other dealer they didn't want it. Fortunately, the dealer did have one with the same specs in lighter silver (the other color I said I liked...obviously I like it since my last two cars have been that color). It also had a pinstripe, which was ugly. It seriously looked like somebody had taken a Sharpie and run it down the side of the car. Why mar that pretty little car like that? Fortunately pinstripe removal is easy enough (peel and rip, in case anyone was wondering).

The dealer suggested I take it for a quick drive, just to make sure everything was okay with the car. Turns out, everything wasn't okay. The check engine light was on, and I thought maybe it was just the gas cap. So I pulled into a parking lot and it was indeed loose, so I tightened it. Check engine light was still on.


Turns out the old gas-cap-check-engine thing is pretty common and the light needs to be reset by service. So we drop the car off there and go do all the paperwork.

I sign a zillion more forms. It's a wonder I didn't have a hand cramp. Also, I discovered in all of this that my signature scrawl doesn't really account for needing to sign my middle initial.

Back to service, and turns out that the gas cap code wasn't the only one that the computer (oh, I know SO MUCH about these computers now) stored. There is an air leak somewhere that is affecting the mix of air and gasoline, which the car can't run at its optimum self without. They found the source of the leak pretty quick, but getting the part to replace it was another issue.

I needed to get to work, but they got me a rental car (there is a rental car place right in the service bay, which makes so many oodles of sense I wonder why I haven't seen that before), so I drove that in to work. Didn't hear anything on the car that night, and I needed to drive up to Akron for Mother's Day on Saturday, so I stopped in first thing Saturday morning.

No luck on getting that most important combo of the part and somebody who could install it. So I was going to have to wait until Monday. But they said it was no problem to take the rental to Akron, so I made it home for Mother's Day, which was really my main concern. It's important to note that the dealer was absolutely stellar throughout all of this, which was....refreshing, to say the least.

They called Monday, and had the new part in, but they wanted to keep it overnight for tests. Like, they had a nurse check on it every hour or something. Hee. But the idea was that I should never have to bring it back in again. WHICH I AM ALL FOR.

So Tuesday afternoon, I finally went to go pick up my little 3.

SO WORTH THE WAIT. Even when I test drove it, this car really amazed me in that I got in and instantly felt comfortable. With everything — the pickup, the handling, the seat, the interior. There was absolutely no adjustment period. I thought I'd drive awhile without the radio just to concentrate, but within a couple minutes I was busting out new Red Hot Chili Peppers (how I managed to love-love-love the first two tracks and not give a crap about the rest of a double album is probably for another blog post that probably won't ever get posted) and rocking out, flipping lanes, cruising right along. The pickup is great, but it's the suspension that really gets me with this car. It handles amazingly well. That and the Mazda seats. Oh, how I missed Mazda seats.

So, yeah, it took a little while, but I finally got my awesome little car. And while yes, you ordinarily want to drive the car off the lot the day you buy it, the whole lemon thing has given me some perspective:

The car never put me in danger. I never had to sit on the side of the interstate while semis blew past and made the whole thing shake. I never had to beg anyone for a ride to work. No one ever said, "Well, unless we can recreate the problem..." They told me exactly what the problem was, and I didn't have to dig to find out what had been done to the car. The writeup was extremely detailed. They even had the exact error codes.

My old Mazda Protege had a problem within the first 30 days, too. Granted, it was the power window getting stuck, and I drove it off the lot the day it arrived. But I know that these things happen. The difference between the Protege and the Elantra is that the Protege was nearly perfect after that. To the point where in the midst of all the problems with the Hyundai, I was kicking myself for ever giving that Protege up.

And that's why I'm glad to be back with Mazda. There's something to be said for brand loyalty.
And/or Japanese car companies whose names end with "a".

I'm really amazed that this all happened, and worked out the way it did. The people at the dealership got a big kick out of doing the paperwork and informing they have to do for Lemon Law. Like when you have to sign a form saying you're aware of it. Uh, yeah, I'm aware of it. Heh. But while I'm sure I signed that when I bought the Elantra, I never thought that it (buying a lemon) was something that would happen to me. Even now, I think of the Hyundai and go, "did that really happen?"

But now it's finally over. And yes, when I drove that 3 in to work, I used whatever damn lane I wanted. I'm thinking about maybe driving it over the Brent Spence Bridge, just for kicks.

Maybe not. Nobody drives the Brent Spence for kicks.


public sushi announcement

After sampling the spicy tuna rolls from four area grocery stores, I would like to declare the Hyde Park biggs the winner of my highly unofficial Spicy Tuna Contest. It broke down like this:

1. Hyde Park biggs: The clear winner because, while it was no AOI spicy tuna roll, it had the required smoky tang. The sesame seeds were fairly light, but the flavor still came through. I am not normally a fan of cucumber but in this roll it gave things a nice crunch. There was also avocado involved. And the pieces were small enough to really catch all of the flavors at the same time, which is a major plus in my book. They also sell the spicy mayo in containers, which I'm trying not to think about too much, because I'd be tempted to buy a tuna steak and just slather it with the stuff and eat it raw, perhaps with sesame seeds on top, and there's a few too many bad ideas right there.

2. Hyde Park Kroger: Oh, Hyde Park Kroger, clearly things are not going well if you let biggs get you here. I'm sure you would say it is just a spicy tuna roll, but in reality, we both know it starts with the spicy tuna roll, and then it's the whole seafood department, and then the produce, and the wine section, and the organic department and then THE WHOLE DAMN STORE WILL BE FLATTENED BY BIGGS. AND YOUR GAS STATION, TOO (But biggs doesn't have a gas station, you say. Yes, but just wait until they reveal their SPICY SAUCE STATION and that they've been in cahoots with Toyota to produce the new Prius Tuna Edition). Everything in this roll just seemed a little limper, although the ingredients were the same. Not as flavorful as the biggs roll, either.

3. Oakley Meijer. I really wish Meijer would get its sushi act together, because it is right next to Target, and we all know of my love for all things Target. But alas, this was a typical Meijer roll. A little too big. They only had a combined spicy roll (tuna and shrimp), and I actually preferred the shrimp ones better. Things seemed a little...dry....oddly enough. Not sure what was going on there. Meijer gets a few bonus points simply for me making it through the checkout unscathed, instead of vowing never to return, which is usually what happens every time I go to Meijer. Unless I get so pissed off I abandon my groceries and never make it through the checkout, which also has happened. Freaking Meijer. You'd think Target would have started to rub off by now, but NO.

4. Rookwood Wild Oats. Wild Oats, you have fallen so far. You used to have the most beautiful sushi. And while this was actually fairly pretty in the container, it is clear something went horribly wrong. This thing didn't taste spicy at all, although the wasabi was overwhelming. I used the same amount as normal (a lot), which leads me to believe one of two things happened: 1. Wild Oats wasabi is four times as spicy as anyone else's wasabi or 2. Wild Oats sushi makers think spicy tuna rolls are made with copious amounts of wasabi instead of spicy sauce. As there was no spicy sauce either visible or tastable in the roll, I am leaning towards number two. Add to that the fact that these pieces were so freaking huge they were the only ones I couldn't handle with chopsticks, and it just gets worse. When sushi gets that big I find myself dissecting pieces in my mouth...."That was cucumber. Oh, think that was fish. Avocado?" Think 12 pieces instead of 8, people!

So why the sudden spicy tuna analysis? Well, sometimes Carrie just craves sushi. A lot. For days.

(No, I did not eat them all in one day. Or two.)