Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Car Woes

I drove into work this morning and thought the car was still cold. I had let it warm up some, but perhaps not enough, I thought. I noticed the temperature gauge was registering that it was warmed up. Any time I got below 40 mph, the car stuttered and caught. Then the check engine light came on. If I got to 40 mph, it stopped. Drats. We are trying really hard to pay off our debt. My car is at that 150,000 mile mark. Fully paid off. We need it to last another 100,000 miles. We really don't want a car payment.

I called my husband and told him I thought I could make it to our car repair place. He met me there.

I hate car repair places. Right before my parents divorced, we took a family trip. Dad drove his motorcycle and Mom followed in the car. They left Sister and I with my Nana while they went to some motorcycle rally. Then we had a week as a family. Things were tense by then. On the way home, Mom was tired and she had to drive the whole way. Dad was ahead of us on his bike. We got a flat tire. Dad didn't notice, or didn't care. This was back in the day before cell phones. Mom figured Dad would turn around after awhile and come find us. Nope. After a few hours, Mom somehow got a tow truck to come. We had to ride in the truck with the driver. Then sit at the mechanics for hours. I could tell Mom was anxious - and mad. Which made me anxious. It was a long trip home after that. And a huge fight between my parents when we arrived.

When I was 17, I got my first car. I wrecked it 3 days later. Dad and his friend were going to repair it. Dad's friend was creepy. I had to "help" with the repairs. Which meant fetching beers and parts while they worked.

When I was in law school, I had a Chevy Cavalier. Terrible car. It broke down a lot. It was purchased just 2 years old but was still junk. I was on my own then, and when it broke I had to take it to the car place and get a ride back. Riding in the car with strangers. One time it broke on the way to visit my now-Husband. The mechanic that repaired it totally took advantage of a young girl with a credit card. My now-husband and his father called and "ripped him a new one." That was a strange feeling - someone taking care of me.

My husband is now in charge of the vehicles. I explained to him how apprehensive I get in mechanic shops. Too many strange me with greasy fingers. Can't stand greasy fingers. Major major trigger.

Husband and I go to Church with a gentleman who owns a tire and repair shop. He services our cars now that they are out of warranty. I pulled up and he was there, even though the shop didn't open for another thirty minutes. Husband met me there and we explained what the car was doing. Handed off the keys and told him to fix whatever was wrong. He asked if the vehicle needed servicing and Husband said, "I don't know, but if it does, go ahead and do whatever it needs." I know that this gentleman will fix what needs repairing, call about anything that could wait to be fixed, and not fix anything that isn't broke. He'll charge a fair price. And if I'd had to have waited there, he would have kept an eye on me. He doesn't tolerate any sexist talk or cursing around the customers.

It is nice to have people like that in your life. People you can trust with your stuff. Survivors need people like that in all areas of their lives - mechanics, doctors, dentists, accountants, teachers, repairfolk, etc. While the experience may still be anxiety provoking, you know the other person is doing what they can to ease things down.

I do have to wonder what this is going to cost us. We did just get our state tax refund back - but had hoped to use it to pay off another school loan. Guess we'll see. Husband said if it was the transmission (as he suspects) and it was bad, then it would be better to just use the money as a down payment on another vehicle. A new vehicle would be nice, but I'd rather wait awhile.

*** UPDATE - the car is fixed. $720. And Woosh. There goes our tax refund. ***


Casey said...

This post was intersting to me on every level today.

I had to finally go to the dentist last week Enola. I am lucky, my teeth are in pretty good shape,even though I do not go regularly. Unfortunately I got a toothache...so had to go.

I found a new man, who I just adore. He spent 3 hours with me, to pull one tooth and to explain what he will do next. I will be getting some veneers.

Anyhow..my point in this is the safety factor. This man is the very first dentist I have gone to who has had training in the correlation between sexual abuse and dentist phobia. He gets it. He was kind and caring and patient...and he ensured I had not one iota of pain.


Casey said...

lol...one of the best parts of that Enola...is that all I had to give them was my government issued Canadian health card...my company insurance card...and I pay for nothing. I love that part too.

cornnut32 said...

i also hate mechanics. it seems the majority of them will do nothing then charge you an arm and a leg...and most of them are creepy.

i gave you an award on my blog...check it out!

mssc54 said...

I really did "lol" about your Chevy Cavalier. Our middle daughter totaled two Cavaliers in a twenty-four hour period!

Do you think it was a councidence that your car needed repairs AFTER you got your refund check?

And your hubby was where he could come to get you too!

Kahless said...

The word verification I have below is fleas! lol!

Hope your car doesnt get infested with them.

hearttoheart said...

who-hooo.. you got it fixed! I'm with you...as long as you can keep it maintained and it's not nickle and diming us to death, that's way better than another monthly payment.

lawyerchik said...

I'm so glad that you had the money to get the car fixed without having to worry about how to pay for it. :) Also VERY glad that you have a good, trustworthy mechanic. I have a good one, too - plus, I have the husband of one of my friends as a back-up. Nothing better!!

Ethereal Highway said...

Cars can sense when a tax refund is due. Damn things.

beauty said...

Whew, that tax refund sure came in handy!

Fortunately one of my sons is a mechanic, so I get free work when needed. He's busy though, so sometimes I have to wait a bit, but it gets done.

Glad to hear your mechanic troubles were taken care of so well.