"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Monday, May 14, 2012

Requiem for a Car

I haven't been around much lately. Mostly, because I spent the entirety of the weekend laying siege to my unruly yard (and winning). But also because I've been dealing with my car.

My car, a Honda Civic, is seventeen years old. It has almost 200,000 kilometers on it and I've been driving it since I was fifteen. I bought it from my parents when I was twenty and it's been my vessel to freedom ever since. It's always been an incredibly reliable car. It's gone through countless winters of -50 degrees Celsius without ever being plugged in and it's always started without a problem. It's crazy efficient on gas, eliciting moans of envy whenever I brag to people that I fill it up only once every two weeks. My car and I, we've had some good times together. I swear it can understand me, I've had more conversations with it than I can count. Most of them have involved me begging it to stop as we slid towards an intersection in the winter, but you know what? It always stopped.

But recently, my car has started to show its age. There's rust in a few places, and the battery has long since lost its will to amaze. The oil is always dirty and I'm no longer confident taking it on the highway. I was okay with all of this, I didn't mind treating my old girl to the long way around, to giving her extra long to warm up in the winter, or the fact that the AC stopped working. I didn't mind any of it, because she was still reliable. Sadly, that's changed.

Several weeks ago, my car started making horrible noises when I tried to start it, prompting me to bring it in for a full tune up. Over $1250 later, I was assured that my car still had many more kilometers ahead of her. Until less than a week later when there was a strange rattle and every time I braked my car screamed and jerked like it was being tortured. So, I brought my baby in again. As it turned out, they'd used the wrong caliper installing my new brake pads. (Don't ask me what a caliper is, I have absolutely no idea. In my head it's a metal caterpillar that lives in my brakes). Okay, no big deal, mistakes happen. Until a few weeks later when my oil light came on and my engine would rev at random when I put it in park. So, I checked the oil. They put WAY too much oil in my car. (I'm guessing they had someone new working on my car). So, I brought it in again. They took some oil out and handed me the keys. Finally, all should be well. Until a few days later, when I was driving and the engine light turned on. I drove straight to the mechanic's and by the time I made it there smoke was pouring out from under the hood of my car. I was terrified to say the least.

My car is in the shop as we speak, and I'm not especially pleased with my mechanic. I realize that this last event probably (I use the term loosely) isn't their fault, but I admit that I trust them about as far as I can throw them at this point. This is their last chance with my car before I find somewhere new. I realize that my car is old, and does not have long for this Earth. And so, I'm writing this for my car. You've served me well, beloved source of transportation. If you could possibly find it in your heart to serve me for just another year or two, I would be forever grateful (I just can't afford to replace you yet), but if you can't, I'll understand. You've been a great car.


  1. Hi Melanie!
    The car I have now is a 2001 Toyota Corolla. It doesn't have many miles, because I don't drive as much as I used to before my health took a downward turn. We've had some cold snowy winters the past 6 years, which the car spent outside, and there has been no problems with the it starting.

    It's strange when we have an apartment, house, car that we have owned or lived in for a long time through many different life experiences. Even cars, which we spend a lot of time driving to work & around time, begin to symbolize eras of our lives. The car I have now was the 1st one that I bought by myself. I did all the research & the bargaining. To this day, I am still happy at the price I got for it.

    After moving closer to my parents' house, my car provided freedom for me when I would have my "healthy" days. I live in the middle of nowhere y so to drive around when I have good days is positively freeing! Therefore, Melanie, I can appreciate wanting your car to stick around (for both sentimental & financial reasons), & missing it when it will be the time.


  2. Awwww, your poor old car. I'm very sentimental and unreasonably emotional about my car. It gets me from point A to B without problem, it's reliable, it's never let me down when I needed to get somewhere, and I always feel disloyal to their loyalty to me when I sell one.Inevitably, I burst into tears when I sell a car. I hope those lame mechanics working on your car can get the problem *they* created all sorted.

  3. Thank you so much for your sympathy! It's still in the shop, I'm hoping to get my baby back today.