Friday, May 2, 2014

Black Coat Syndrome

Have you heard of White Coat Syndrome?  In case you haven't, it's the phenomenon of being perfectly healthy until you walk into a doctor's office.  Once you get called back to a room, your body functions go completely haywire.  Your blood pressure may fall within the normal range everywhere else, but as soon as the nurse pulls out the blood pressure cuff, it elevates through the roof.  My car is the exact opposite of  White Coat Syndrome, so I've decided to name it Black Coat Syndrome (Why?  Because what's the opposite of white? Black.).  Every time I take this car to the dealership to look at a specific problem, they pronounce it to be in perfect working condition. 

car repair, air conditioner, heater

The heater and air-conditioner have been making me crazier than usual when they refuse to turn on and heat up or cool off the interior of my car.  Or worse than that, right as you start enjoying the cooled or heated air, it randomly shuts itself off. 

This past winter when it was 10° outside, I drove past people who looked deliciously warm and comfy inside their vehicles.  I, on the other hand, was bundled up with my heavy duty parka, ski mask, hat, gloves, muffler, ski googles (because my sun glasses would ice up), and lap blanket.  And I was still freezing.  My children were so cold they vowed to eat popsicles to warm up.

Last summer, when it was 105°+, my air conditioner worked wonderfully.......... so long as the car was going over 40mph.  As soon as the speedometer went below that, or heaven forbid, came to a stop, the cooled air would shut off and all I could get was outside air .......... which was so hot you could roast marshmellows near the air vents.

As I said, I have taken my car to the dealership's service department several times for this problem and so far, every time I take it in, the car will not replicate the problem.  Black Coat Syndrome.  They've replaced a couple of things they think might be wrong, but nothing has fixed the problem.

It started acting up again last week so I dropped it off at the dealership.  They kept the car for 3 days trying to get it to repeat this tremendously uncomfortable and annoying issue.  They were wholly unsuccessful.

No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get the car to repeat the problem.  I told them that if they'd load the car up with a trunk full of frozen foods, you'd almost be assured of the a/c quitting and having everything melt in the back. 

My service advisor was sad to report they tried it and the air-conditioning worked perfectly and still can find nothing wrong with my vehicle.  The mechanics, however, are quite happy to report that they were enjoying a whole lot of popsicles and have requested I bring my car in every day the forecasted temperature exceeds 80°..........  it's Black Coat Syndrome..........  and I'm ready to euthanize the car.

Written by:  Christie Bielss

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