Monthly Archives: September 2013

Turn Your Key and Cough

There are some things in life that are just hard to avoid: aging, farting, taxes, wedgies. One of the hardest things to avoid, however, is having to own a car. Having a car can be great, but it is also a burden. For the past few days, I’ve been experiencing the burden portion first-hand. Two years ago, my husband’s truck, which had been paid off, kept dying. The repairs were getting expensive, so we traded it in for what I drive now. The only thing we could afford at the time, was a used SUV – a model of SUV known for having a lot of issues. The repair record was clean so I thought we had one of the few of this model that wasn’t going to have any problems. Ha! I’m such an optimist!

When I left work after finishing my late shift last week, I saw what looked to be a little river flowing from under my car. I knew it hadn’t rained – there were no puddles in sight – so I knew it was my SUV. I opened the hood, and saw that the coolant reservoir was almost empty, so I filled it up and drove a short distance home. I made it home, but couldn’t find the cause of the leak, so I had it towed to my mechanic. After my SUV’s checkup, I was advised that what I thought was a cracked hose on the water pump was actually my thermostat… It was missing. Oh, and it was missing because it exploded! The thermostat is less than ninety bucks, so that was good news (yes, on most cars it’s much cheaper, but this isn’t your average car). That good news lasted for about two hours until I was notified that the hoses going to the radiator were all cracked and leaking. Well, as of this afternoon, I’ve been given the third update from the mechanic. The whole radiator needs to be replaced due to a piece that broke off when the thermostat exploded. Oh, I can’t forget, there is also a fuel leak that was found.

Without going into detail about the costs of this massive repair, I’ll just say I don’t have that much money in the bank. Nor do I have that much in a cookie jar or anywhere else for that matter. When I heard the extent of the damage and repairs over the phone… I laughed. I laughed as if I had just been told this funny bartender joke:

A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender tells him,`Ya know we have a
drink named after you,’ the grasshopper replies,`You have a drink named
Steve?!’

Yes, I find that extremely humorous. I was sitting at my desk at work when I laughed, and my coworkers knew no one had told me that joke. When I was asked why I laughed, I told them what the mechanic said. I was asked why that was so funny, and I told them it’s not funny at all, but if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.

Caution: You will be smacked if you do not read the manual first.

Caution: You will be smacked if you do not read the manual first.

What did I expect though? Car repair is really never cheap, especially when it’s not a Ford or Chevy. With my old Ford, if something malfunctioned, I could go all MacGyver on it with a paperclip, some duct tape, and a packet of mustard. The SUV I have now is like trying to entertain a rich uppity person who will only drink Perrier that must be forty degrees, poured into a rocks glass, and served with a slice of lemon and a sliver of lime. This thing is so finicky, there are caution signs everywhere; I had to check the owner’s manual before I refilled the windshield washer fluid! Everything on this automobile is quirky. I am very thankful to have a car though, and I really can’t complain because I’m quirky too. I mean, not to the point that my turn signal stops working when I’m low on gas. Nor do I have to be in reverse before my windshield wipers will initially turn on in the mornings. Maybe that’s because this model of Haycomet doesn’t come with windshield wipers, but I hear it has a decent chassis and a good safety rating.
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