It ain’t got no gas in it.

There’s a funny scene in Slingblade when a guy asked him to figure out the issue of a broken lawnmower, and Carl (played by Billy Bob Thornton…whatever happened to him?), the idiot savant of lawn mowers, rather quickly deduces the problem:

That’s what happened to me.

For over a month now, my new truck had been doing something weird. Basically every now and then, when I turned off the engine — but before I took the key out of the ignition — the entire dashboard would just go black. Everything. This was usually preceded by my radio flaking out very briefly while I was driving. And on two instances, my lights dimming very briefly.

After the lights dimmed, I took it to the dealership. The SUV is under a year old and only has like 16K miles. Totally under warranty. They had it for a week, which meant I had to pay for a rental car for a week. Naturally, they couldn’t find anything wrong because that’s how it always goes. I picked my vehicle up on Friday.

On Saturday, I was driving around and stopped at a store. When I turned off the engine, sure enough, everything went dark. I wrote down a bunch of things for later troubleshooting at the dealer (time it happened, temperature, etc.). I went in the store, came out, started it up, and for giggles, killed the engine. It went dark again. But then a new thing was added to the party mix; it didn’t immediately start back up. After I got it started and since I was close to the dealer, I drove over to it, hoping I could duplicate the issue there.

Once I got to the dealer, I pulled in the garage and killed the engine…AND IT WENT DARK. YES! I could duplicate it at the dealership!! Not only that, it wouldn’t start back up!! I know I shouldn’t be excited about that, but I was. I could not only duplicate it, but it was bricked at the dealership. I literally couldn’t think of a better place for that to happen.

I spoke to the adviser (? I don’t know, the people that take the info) and she told me Jodie (the adviser who handled all my info before) wasn’t here, nor was the service tech who had been working on my car. However, someone said have Mike look at it because Mike is real good. He is. He’s awesome.

Mike came out and had me explain what I was experiencing. Then he got in the car and asked me if I had work. I couldn’t think of any. He said, are you sure? I said, “Yeah, the door was replaced, but that was months ago. It shouldn’t be that because this just started happening.” He asked me what door, I told him, he popped the hood, moved shit around, and in under a minute, my dash came to life.

“What did you do?”

He moved shit around again, the dash went dark, then came alive, then dark, then alive. “See this?” He was holding a cable. “This is your battery cable. I should not be able to pick it up like this. It’s barely on it. Whoever worked on your car last probably disconnected it but forgot to tighten it.”

Then I realized the dealership had replaced a part ABOUT A MONTH AGO. This was on them.

After he tightened it and cleared the check engine light, everything worked as it should. I know it’s fixed because something else that hasn’t been working in a month (the auto-kill-the-engine-when-stopped-to-save-gas feature) works again.

I’m not even mad. This shit happens. I work in IT and I’ve been there. I’ve worked hours on an issue, only for it to be something incredibly easy.

However, I’m on the hook for a $250 car rental fee, which is bothersome. I’m going to call the dealership and ask if they’ll at least meet me halfway, especially since I paid extra for an extended top-of-the-line warranty. I’m going to call them this week to hash that out, and if they don’t, I will take it up the ladder.

Unrelated video. This song always makes me laugh and is a great summer driving tune. I wonder what happened to OMC.