We were passing through Albuquerque on our move from Joplin, MO to Lompoc, CA just a week and a half ago. We were driving my 2007 Subaru Forester with a UHaul trailer attached. It was me, my partner Max, our three miniature dachshunds (Clementine, Arlo, and Boudin), and my 14-yr-old cat, curlyQ. Our check engine light came on later that night after we’d stopped to rest at the Motel 6. In a panic, I searched google for Subaru service providers and found three options. After checking them all out, I decided to give the guys at Reincarnation a call because (honestly) I’d giggled so much at the avatars on their website. Not only did they appear to have sound knowledge of Subaru mechanics (something I’d learned matters tremendously when I lived in Florida), but the avatars created for Eric, Ben, and Jared were humble, silly, and unapologetic.
I will NEVER regret the impulsive decision I made. The first person I spoke to, Eric, made me laugh on the phone and launched in to stories immediately (I love story-tellers, and that made a HUGE impression). He assured me that I could bring the car down right away, as I happened to have called on a day when they were not overly busy.
We won’t dwell upon the fender-bender I found myself in on the way to the shop (young college student racing to class and not paying attention to the old lady in her Subaru towing a 6X8 ft. Uhaul trailer turning the corner at the breakneck speed of 7 miles an hour! SMH)
Instead, I want to dwell on the way Eric and Ben (Jared was busily helping other customers) took in me and my vehicle, treating both of us as worthy of attention and care. This in spite of what was apparently the end of an illness for Eric, and despite Ben having other things on his plate.
The guys figured out the problem, addressed it efficiently, while noting down several other issues that need to be addressed in the near future, but could wait since the expense would be considerable, and they regaled me with stories–including jokes about how everyone breaks down in Albuquerque (something I’ve had reaffirmed by numerous friends since!). Ben went so far as to top off my fluids, check the tire pressure on all 6 tires (UHaul should be honored!), and ensure the vehicle could survive another 1000 miles of driving. He even gave me a hug before I left!
I have had a dream for a long time to live in Albuquerque. While I didn’t want to end up there as the result of a vehicle break down, it is sure good to know that I already have mechanics when I do! My partner and I even discussed that logistics of making a trip to see the guys every 7000miles for an oil change. I really want to give these guys my business! I will tell every Subaru (and other foreign car) owner I know about these guys.
If you are still doubtful about the generosity of these people, let’s just say that when we got to Gallup, NM our check engine light came one AGAIN. I called up Ben, who advised me to take the car to AutoZone, where they run a diagnostic for free. Based on the results, he told me that vehicle was fine to drive, but to not have the check engine light reset, as it will just keep coming back on. What a relief! We proceeded down the road, doing our best to ignore the orange light on the right, and the flashing green “cruise” light on the left of the dashboard. The day after we got to Lompoc, after I dropped off the trailer, the check engine light turned itself off! The vehicle has purred like a baby ever since.
I have not yet kept to my end of the bargain. Ben asked me to give them a call when we got here to let them know we were safe. Alas, I had to hit the ground running in order to get ready for a new semester teaching at a new university, but I’ve not forgotten. For now, we made it, Ben! Thank for all your help and understanding. Max and I both value the humanity and compassion of all the folks at Reincarnation.
Ednie Kaeh Garrison