Car Repair: the Next Generation



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.)

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...

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