Scammed!
Mysterious Ways|October/November 2020
BEEP-BE-BE-BEEP!
Roberta Messner

A chorus of angry horns blared at me as I sat in my Altima, stalled in the middle of a busy intersection. It was a blazing hot August afternoon. Quite the time and place for my car’s entire electrical system to give out, including the power locks on my doors and windows. Trapped inside without air conditioning, I had to wait for a police officer to arrive to assist. He pried open my vehicle, shifted it to neutral, pushed me to a parking lot, and called a tow truck to transport the car to a garage.

“It’s your alternator,” the mechanic told me. Really? I’d just had the alternator replaced. Twice. Then I learned my transmission was practically on life support. “You’ll be lucky to get 25 more miles out of it,” he said. “Cut your losses, ma’am, and find another car. Soon.”

This was far from my first issue with the Altima. Over the past months, I’d been taking it to the same garage I’d relied on for years. I was making frequent long-distance trips for a health crisis, so I wanted to make sure my car was safe and well-maintained. There was a new guy in charge, one who charmed me with his concern for my well-being. When I first met him, he leaned over the counter and whispered confidentially, “When it comes to a vehicle, the best ability is dependability.

I kept having issues with the car, so I was in and out of that place every other week. It seemed like an awful lot of effort was required for dependability. But I was so ill, I didn’t dwell on it.

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