My car snitched on me…

Last week, I received a phone call from DePaula Chevrolet.  “Hi Chuck, we heard that your car needs an oil change, can we schedule an appointment to get that taken care of for you?” the voice sweetly asked.

Wait a sec.  I know it’s time to change the oil on Dracourage … but how did DePaula Chevrolet know this?

I snitched, Chuck…

“We heard from your car that you needed to change your oil.”

Wait … how is that …

And then I realized.

The last two cars I’ve owned – my 2013 Chevrolet Cruze “Dracourage” and my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS “The Blackbird” – both came with factory-installed OnStar vehicle monitoring services.  Now even with all that OnStar could provide for me and all it advertised it could do, neither car’s OnStar really met my needs.  And even as I let the service lapse out, I found that Dracourage would still e-mail me a monthly report – mileage, fuel economy, pump up the air pressure on that left front tire…

Which is all well and good.

And with Dracourage, I purchased an extended vehicle service contract with DePaula Chevrolet.  No, not one of those cold-call vehicle service contracts that doesn’t cover anything more expensive than an air freshener – with this VSC, DePaula would take care of oil changes and repairs and maintenance for at least three years.  And they’ve done that in the past with my car – oil changes and air filters and whatnot, for very little out-of-pocket expense to me.

So now I figure it out.  When Dracourage e-mails me a vehicle report each month … it must also be e-mailing a report to DePaula Chevrolet.  And sure enough, the moment I hit that point of necessary fluid replacement .. Dracourage not only let me know, it let DePaula Chevrolet know through the OnStar program.

Great.  My car is possessed with the spirit of a tattletale.  All I need now is Ann Sheridan’s voice blaring through the car stereo at me.

So bright and early this morning, I’m off to DePaula Chevrolet for an oil change (I think, at 27,000 miles, I’m either getting regular or semi-synthetic) and probably a top-off of all my fluids.  That’s fine.  While I’m at DePaula, I’ll nosh on their breakfast treats and coffee and window-shop their showroom displays.  Oh yes, I’ll take that powder-blue Corvette, can I get that in an automatic transmission?

I suppose this also means that Dracourage is looking out for me – even the most rudimentary owner knows that the best way to avoid major repairs tomorrow is to keep your car’s oil fresh today – but what’s next?

“Hi, Chuck, this is Dr. Mohler and Choo, D.D.S., your dentist.  Your car e-mailed us and said you are due for your cleaning.  We have an 8:00 a.m. appointment tomorrow, your car says you don’t have anything scheduled, would you like to come in?”

“Hi, Chuck, this is McGreevy Pro Lab.  Your car just e-mailed us and said that you were in the Adirondacks taking pictures, so don’t forget to drop your rolls of film off with us on Monday.”

“Hi, Chuck, this is Hamilton College calling.  Your car just e-mailed us and said that you should be making a donation to us this week.  We can take cash, check or money order, how would you like to pay?”

Yep, folks, it’s official.

My car is a snitch.

And I guess … if that’s the worst thing I can say about Dracourage…

Then that’s not so bad.