This past week was brutal. The transmission on my truck has to be completely re-built…here are the details.
I drive a 2006 Ford F-150 (purchased in 2008). All you Chevy owners will, of course, tell me that was my first mistake!! When I bought the truck I purchased the extended warranty which I have been able to utilize on a couple of occasions. Here’s the timeline from the last week-and-a-half.
- WED. APRIL 27 – Truck is absolutely fine…no issues.
- THURS. APRIL 28 – I notice a little hesitation as I press the accelerator.
- FRI. APRIL 29 – Noticeable hesitation in reverse and accelerating. There is definitely a problem. I’m going to take my truck in tomorrow.
- SAT. APRIL 30 – “Transmission Malfunction” light comes on as a drive to FORD. I pull over, call BCAA, and have the tow my truck the rest of the way.
- MON. MAY 2 – I find out my transmission needs to be completely rebuilt.
Here’s the best part!? I took my truck in on April 30, 2011….my extended warranty expired April 23, 2011…7 days earlier. The repair on my truck will be somewhere in the $4500 range!
Now, it’s at this point that I have a choice to make; who do I choose to be?
On the one hand, my warranty had expired and while it had only been a week, it had been a week. Try telling the insurance company after a car accident that your car insurance has only been expired for a week…I think we all know how that would turn out. However, my truck has been well maintained and my warranty had only been expired for a week – we’ve all heard the stories about things going wrong after the warranty expires…now I am one of those stories!
While I was obviously not thrilled with the prospect of paying for the repair, I kept my perspective on what was happening. Was there anything I could do to change the circumstances? No. Would getting upset, ranting, or pouting change anything about my truck? No. Would all of this matter a year from now? No. Would the way I treat people during this process matter? You bet!
I made a conscious decision almost immediately that I wasn’t going to damage any relationships or my self-respect during this process. It is easy to treat people well when you feel good; much more difficult during a time of stress. Being aware of how I was feeling made it a lot easier to be mindful of my emotions. This situation could either get the best of me or I could keep it in its proper place. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an extra $4500 lying around waiting to be spent, but it’s only money, there is nothing I can do to change the situation, and I was convinced that something was going to be done in my favor.
The local Ford dealer was sympathetic and “made my case” to the warranty dept. at Ford Canada. After a couple of days of silence I heard back on Friday; Ford is prepared to cover 50% of the repair. I thought that was fair. They didn’t have to do anything to help me out, but they did I was grateful for it. Could I have got a better deal? Maybe. Would Ford have eventually covered the entire cost of the repair? It’s possible. Could I have pushed it? Probably.
However, to do all of that I would have had to choose to be someone else, and in the end, I wasn’t prepared to be the kind of person I don’t want to be. Adversity, I once read, introduces you to yourself. I continue to learn about perspective and what truly matters in life. Five years ago I think I would have handled this situation much differently; far worse from where I sit now. I don’t think there is ever a time where it’s okay to compromise who you are. That doesn’t mean there aren’t issues (much bigger than a transmission) that aren’t worth fighting for. I think that while we are fighting we still have a choice. You can never take a timeout from being you – there is no fee pass. I was happy with the way things turned out and, through it all, more happy with the person I was during the entire process.