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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Me : Cars / Oil : Water / Match : Gasoline

Short Pier : Long Drive.


It occurred to me that I should entitle my memoir "My Life In Cars", but it would have to be X-Rated due to language issues.


On Monday, I drove three different vehicles and none of them was my car.  Let's morph back to Friday.  I am minding my own bees-wax, listening to Rick Bragg's My Southern Journey, thinking of the long weekend stretching ahead, mentally ticking off all the items on my List.  Then, three blocks from my office building, I smelled something burning.  Like rubber.  Since there was no one in front of me, I figured it was my piece of junk car.  I asked the building super - long-suffering Steve - if he could just take a look at it and figure out what could be causing the problem.


His verdict?  The clutch.  OF COURSE.  Because I have redone the wheels, suspension, brakes, suspension, wheels, suspension and the Universe thought I might be in the mood for something different.  I was not.  I tracked down my mechanic and gave him the info and he agreed.  Once again, Saturday found me driving north to the mechanic.  Since it's a full-day repair, I rented a car from Saturday to Monday.  Saturday afternoon, my mechanic called and gave me the good news - it was not my clutch!  I did not need a new clutch!  There was an ominous pause, an audible swallow, and he told me it was the transmission...           ...so, instead of an $1100 job, it would be a $3000 job, less if he could find a used transmission from someone who would guarantee it.  He could, however, give me a loaner so that I didn't have to compound my outlay by having to rent a car for the week.


Then these things happened.  I got my rental, which was a 2019 SUV - it was POSH!  And had way too many doodads on it to make me comfortable but, still.  I had to turn it in on Monday.  We had a winter storm on Monday.  After a white knuckle 25 mile drive over slippery roads, I made it back up to VT and turned it in.  I got a ride from the rental company to the mechanic where I found out the loaner had not been returned and wouldn't be returned for another 5-6 hours.  BUT, I could use his truck in the meantime.  His truck was the size of a 747, had 215,000+ miles on it and all kinds of "quirks".  A beggar could not be a chooser, however, and I took it.  It should have included a ladder and crash helmet (I don't want to tell you how ungracefully I clambered into that giant vehicle - barely).  Off I went - 25 miles back home.  Needless to say, I did not get much checked off The List.  I did, however, decide that I was miserable enough to tackle my filing and clear off my desk top.  At 5:30, I clambered back up into the behemoth and bounced my way back up to VT.  Where I collected my loaner.
I couldn't even get it all in the frame.
Luckily, it is only the size of a small school bus, and not an airplane.  However, it has dawned on me that I will be pumping enough gas into this beast to pay for a rental car.  Sigh.  I have added "Find a good, used Toyota Rav 4" to my list.


Since I will grab onto any tiny good thing like a woman drowning, there was a plus:
Yaaaaassss!  I squeezed in a loaf of GF bread - using yeast this time! - and it turned out like bread!  This is a good thing, because I did not have time to do any other cooking and had to make PBJs for lunch.


The other good thing was snuggle time with my girl.



20 comments:

  1. You are the unluckiest woman alive when it comes to cars, I think. Just shoot the thing and put it out of its misery! (I know, I know; there's the nagging little issue of transportation, unless you become a hermit.) Sigh – and hugs.

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  2. Let me tell you, that thought crossed my mind repeatedly. I figure I will drive it until spring/early summer, find a new(er) used car and then sell it for as much as I can. I've had it.

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  3. Oh, dear Susan, you put so many miles on your car, both during the week and on weekends, that it's vital to your life. And because of much use, things are bound to suffer wear and tear. Take it from us, who don't drive nearly as much as you do, but haven't had anything but a used car since the Volkswagen my husband purchased new before we were married. Add up the mileage on our vehicles and your adding machine would OD on them. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that keeping older vehicles on the road does take $$$ but not nearly as much as owning/renting a new vehicle. It does seem, however, that much of your life lately has been spent driving to and from the repair shop with your current car. Maybe it is just time to look for a new used car for yourself. Which, too, will take time and effort but hopefully not too much money outlay on your part. All part of living even though I know you feel like screaming at the moment. Does any of this make sense? (Maybe, but it doesn't help, she says.) :o/ Hugs.

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  4. Mama Pea, everything you said is true, but recently I am having major issues every other week. I would never buy a new car - I think it's lunacy! However, I will buy a used car that is less than 10 years old and has high ratings as to it's need for repairs. If THAT makes any sense. My mechanic says that Toyotas are, in his opinion, one of the best makes for last-ability. That is good enough for me - if I am able to find one that I can afford...even used.

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  5. Oh yes, a new to you car is called for. Sounds like your mechanic is a good guy so maybe he can keep his ear to the ground for you. Tiny little chuckle from me over undignified clambering into the cab, only because been there, done that. Also you may find if you go into a parking lot and stretch out your arm to pay you can't reach the machine, onlookers seem to find this hilarious.

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  6. I drove my Volvo for 24 years, replaced everything at least once except for the body and the seats (which by that time were so threadbare they wore t-shirts) and dashboard. that engine just kept going and it was cheaper to repair than to buy a new car. but then it stranded me 3 times in 6 months and had become unreliable. but that motor was still working fine. We replaced it with a pick-up and then about 5 years later bought a Toyota for the same reason your mechanic advised.

    the weather here is back to be overcast, cod, and wet so noting on my list re the outdoors is getting done. guess I'll finally put those patch pockets on the skirt.

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  7. Wow what a convoluted experience! Bread and dog sweet!

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  8. Susan, the strong desire to NOT look ridiculous is what caused me to pull up to a full service gas station. I didn't want to have everyone see me slide out on my stomach and attempt to haul myself up through any means possible. Of course, I pulled up on the wrong side of the pump...

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  9. Years ago, I had a transmission issue with my car and after doing lots of research, the cheapest option was to send it out to be rebuilt. However, it did mean I was without a car for a couple weeks but that wasn't a big issue back then since I was single and owned a bicycle. If you have a loaner, perhaps you can investigate getting your transmission rebuilt.

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  10. Oh Susan, what a shitty way to start the weekend. May I highly recommend a Subaru? I've driven a Rav, nice cars (Gene's vehicle is a Toyota Tundra), but nothing compared to a Subaru on snow and ice. You know how to contact me if you want some info. I've owned them since 2000.
    Can you share the GF bread recipe? My vet has problems with gluten and I know she's been looking for a decent loaf recipe!
    Pets to all the furbabies!

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  11. Ellen, I still miss my Ford station wagon. It had 217M miles on it and was still going - but it was rusting apart around me and the quote from the body shop would have paid for two cars. The best cars I ever had were my two Toyotas - a station wagon and then my beloved MR2. The worst car was my LeCar (or LeLemon, as it was known), followed closely by my terrible experience with a Subaru.

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  12. Nancy, wasn't it? I tell you, it was a lot of mileage and clambering up into boosted vehicles.

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  13. Ed, I don't think I can mooch the loaner from my mechanic for two weeks, let alone use his loaner while I have my car sent to someone else. Plus, this beast is a gas guzzler!

    Theresa, I had longed for a Subaru and did have a used Forester for a little over six months - just long enough for the warranty to expire before it threw a piston or something through the engine block on another of our Polar Vortex days - stranding me on a stretch of road. Had it towed for $125 to find out it was worth scrap or needed an entire new engine. It's put me off Subaru. I am sure a new one would be great, but...you know.

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  14. Susan, that's the PIT'S !! SO many repairs And the darn thing still isn't working right. Even the cost of a second hand car is ridiculous. What a week-end you had. The good thing that came out of it was the bread [yummy], and the cuddles with Peanut Butter. I buy Jeep's Have never had a serious problem with them. My last one lasted over 16 years, with no major problems. I just make sure they are well serviced when they needed it. Right now I have a Jeep Compass! love it! It was three years old when I got it. Idon't remember how many miles the one I had for 16 years, but was a lot . I use to travel back and forth to Deer Island , Maine. Plus Iwork with the Visiting Nurse's for years. talk about mileage. Hope your car last ,til the next one.

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  15. Oh wow, what a pain, it is definitely time to replace that clunker.
    My mechanic for 15 years is the certifier for Toyota used cars for the local dealer so when I replaced my 20 year old Toyota(still going great) with a 2 year old, upgrade for airbags etc. He gave it a thorough check before I bought it....My whole family drive Toyotas
    A few years back there was a Rav model here in Australia with sliding back seats that meant you could alter the carry space at the back, really handy for farm size loads.
    Please get your guy to go over anything before you buy !

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  16. Just for grins, or moans, you should list out what you have spent on your vehicle for each of the last two years or so. Sometimes we just overspend on something that should be replaced. It happened to me. I had repaired so much that I was able to sell my car for its book value with the one last known problem, the clutch. The kid that bought it was very happy with it and could work on it himself. I owned that Acura Integra for over 25 years!

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  17. I swear by Toyotas. What's your current vehicle?

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  18. First of all, LOVED reading this post, you made me laugh! Secondly, I bought a used Toyota Rav 4 (am just pathetic enough that I don't even know what year it is), and I absolutely love it! We bought a used Toyota Highlander years ago which I drove and drove and drove. Now it is used as the "kid" vehicle because it is (although ugly and a bit banged up due to son driving too fast on icy road and banging into side rail of a bridge...) safe and reliable. Before that I drove a Toyota Corolla (throw a Mazda van in there - not my favourite). If you do end up getting a Rav 4, I can guarantee that you will like it very much. I feel very confident driving it in all kinds of weather and it is comfortable (it does have heated seats, which helps). -Jenn

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  19. I've had days like that. I have fondish memories now of needing to climb into the cab of a Jerr-Dan, my trusty Dodge behind and being towed. I could not even get my foot on the running board the first time and the driver wouldn't help me. He finally found a bucket I could precariously use to launch into the seat. The second time the car had to take the ignoble ride, that driver put a hand on each side of my waist and up I went. Bless his very young heart.

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  20. Did Theresa say the "S" word?

    Well never mind. Some day when I have both time and computer in the same place I will tell you of my autorama experience after Geoffrey passed. I swear that inanimate objects sense the passing of "their" owner.

    I am not positive on the GF status but when I was in Redding two days ago I picked up a sampling of Trader Joe's Brownie cookies with vanilla butter cream cheese frosting in the center. Somewhat resembled less than cow patty size "Moon Pies" . OMG

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