Car Repair: the Next Generation

on Tuesday, July 15, 2008



My car broke down today. I was sitting at a red light and she just up and quit on me. I remained calm. Hurridly calm. I tried restarting her a bunch of times to no avail, she'd turn and turn but never catch. Finally I tried an old trick I learned driving my mom's Chevy Impala, I floored it as I turned the key and what do you know, she started right up.

I quickly turned into the nearest parking lot at a new bank and went inside to borrow their phone book so I could look up the number for R&L Repair. I went outside and thought, "what the hell, I'll try it -- maybe it was vapor lock." The engine started immediately, but I didn't think I was out of the woods so I decided to drive home using back roads. I made it about a half mile and she died again. I was able to coast into the parking lot of a sports bar and into a space by the road. I walked home.

Birkenstock sandals are not meant to carry a person two miles in 90° heat on hot asphalt and I now have a couple of pretty little blisters forming on the balls of my feet. Son of a fucking bitch.

I got a hold of a friend with a truck and another friend with a towing strap and after a few phone calls I got Hazzy to help me get the car to R&L. Yeah, Hazzy!

If I'm really, really lucky it was vapor lock. It was hot and I had made a short stop before it happened, those are sure-fire ways to make vapor lock happen.

If I'm merely lucky it will be the fuel filter, a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive repair.

If I'm less than lucky (and what I think is most likely) it's the fuel pump, not a difficult repair, but much more expensive than a filter.

And, of course, if I have a cloud of dismal darkness over my head it will be something fatal to the car and I will have to find a new one.

Not bad though, in 28 years of driving that's the first time I've completely broken down.*



*I am not counting the numerous times I've been with someone else when their car broke down, nor am I counting when I ran out of fuel or when my car overheated (god! I miss my Rabbit despite its foibles and quirks!), and it most certainly does not include the infamous van fire.)

5 comments:

Jen said...

Just do what my dad used to always do anytime a car did something he didn't want it to do (or didn't do something he wanted it to do -- are you confused yet?):

Hand choke.

Muggsy said...

Fuel pump: $478.42. Total spent so far on my $450 car (original price included): $1895.16

Cari said...

Hm...next time you could buy a $2K car and spread your payments out equally instead of paying $500 every time something falls off...

Or not.

I could see you in one of these:
http://www.smartusa.com/

It'll fit you and a guitar.

Muggsy said...

It'll fit me and a guitar, but not me, a guitar and an amp.

Not me, Kate and a bunch of camping gear.

They sure are cute, though!

Nataraj Hauser said...

Kate would ride in your lap (facing forward - Safety First!), the amp goes on the passenger side floor, and the guitar gets seatbelted into the passenger seat. Oh, naturally Kate and you would be belted in. A short skirt for her, and a kilt for you might also be advantageous. And bumpy roads. Lotsa bumps...