Monday, June 15, 2009

Remember, folks, I'm the only one who's allowed to call the car that; from anyone else it would just sound snide.

I'm not sure whether to thank my car for waiting till payday, or roll my eyes and accept that this isn't the month I start building up the savings either.

You'll notice (since I'm pointing it out) that I haven't used the Car Trouble label once since I bought the Purple Hatchback of Loveliness (TM) almost exactly a year ago. This is not because the car has been maintenance- or repair-free, but simply because I have decided to like this car and be glad we found each other, and the things I do to it and for it are therefore not to be classified willy nilly as Car Trouble.

Nevertheless, it is a car that requires its fair share of attention, and its latest bid for such is a need to have both the brakes and the steering checked. Now, that makes the whole safety issue sound rather more dire than it is. The brakes need adjusting, yes, and that'll be done tomorrow, since the mechanic was all tied up with a more challenging case than mine* when I went in today. But the car still stops and everything. You just have to be a little more persuasive with the brake pedal than may be strictly ideal, especially for the first half mile in the mornings.

And the steering thing is subtle enough that the three people besides myself who have driven it recently haven't really even noticed it. So that maybe can wait another few weeks, especially if it turns out to be a Big Expensive Thing.

* And by "challenging" I mean that, while I stood and waited, and before we determined that coming back another day would benefit us all, the mechanic went from hanging from the Challenging car's suspension with his full weight and bouncing up and down, to looping a handful of rusty chains around said suspension and thence around a stationary portion of the lift, tying a knot in the chains, and then jacking the car up a few more notches on said lift. Whilst, and at the same time (and this was the part that stood out to me), keeping his hand on the (rusty) chains as the tension on them increased. For my part, I chose to wander back over to where Bob was sitting in my car, out of range of any chain-popping fun.


PortlyDyke June 15, 2009 11:48 PM  

Hmmm. Must be car-fussiness time. My trusty van, which I've had for over a decade, decided not to start today -- after I'd driven it to the bank drive-through, and turned her off (as the tellers request, so they don't die from exhaust fumes -- and rightly so).

So, there I was in the drive-thru, holding EVERYONE up, and I reached down to pop the hood and see if it was a battery connection thing -- and the hood release latch popped off in my hand. Ruh-roh.

Two nice women (from inside the bank) helped me push the van to a parking space, miraculous help from my mechanic (via miraculous help from a friend who showed up to help me with his cel phone, as I had not thought to bring mine -- hey! I'm just running to the bank!) allowed us to take the grill off the van so that we could pop the hood and get her started.

I felt fortunate, but damn.

Jennifer June 16, 2009 6:34 AM  

Okay, now I'm glad I never told my car about this blog. It hardly needs encouragement like that.

On the other hand, the Universe is more than welcome to read this blog, and that comment, and take notes as to the approximate level of serendipitous helpfulness one is entitled to in such a situation.

Steve June 16, 2009 5:59 PM  

maybe my mom has moved on to haunting other cars.
who knows?

PortlyDyke June 17, 2009 11:22 AM  

Steve, I doubt if it's your mom -- my mechanic's response was "Is this on the Plymouth?" "Yeah."

"That cheesy plastic handle, right?"

Turns out he's worked on a ton of Voyagers with this exact problem.

So, you mom's off the hook. ;)

Jennifer June 17, 2009 11:25 AM  

Well, that or she haunts all Plymouths.

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