Pandora’s Car

Talked to both the mechanic and The Dad today. The short version is that my car is currently running. The long version is that my car is running but there are a number of things wrong with it that are keeping it from running perfectly. What does one expect, though, it’s 15 years old and I have no idea how well the previous owners took care of it, though judging from the variety of debris that I found under the back seat when I removed it I’m guessing it was not terribly well.

When I bought the car for the princely sum of $1600 off the Craig List, I knew that it wasn’t going to be a car that I kept for more than a few years. Still, I took care of it as best I could and didn’t do anything to it that was too horrible. And until it decided to stop moving, I didn’t have too many problems with it.

Or so I thought.

Apparently the busted timing belt wasn’t the only thing that was wrong. The spark plugs were completely shot, the brakes are almost down to the metal, the coolant system is sludgy, the timing belt needs a tensioner and the thermostat is dead. There might have been more; as soon as he started talking, I kind of zoned out. When he stopped talking, I said “I’ll call my father,” just as he said “maybe you should have your father give me a call.” At least we were on the same page.

I managed to get a hold of The Dad on the first try (shocker!) and he said he’d call the mechanic back. A little while later he called me back to tell me that he told the mechanic to get him a price on fixing the spark plugs, the thermostat, and the tensioner. He asked me if the brakes had been making a grinding or squealing sound when I last drove the car, and I replied that it’d been over a year since I drove it but I didn’t remember anything like that. He said if that was the case he would do the brakes himself when he was down here and we’d get the most important stuff taken care of.

Honestly, I can’t believe that he wants to fix all this stuff. Like I said, it’s a 15 year old car and I don’t plan on driving it for long distances, but it’s his call. I’m just glad that I’ll have a car to use for my job search once it’s registered and inspected.

Oh, yeah, the horn. It’s apparently buried in the airbag system, so it could cost up to $1100 to repair. The mechanic himself told me he didn’t know if he’d bother with it, which means we need to find someone willing to let that slide for an extra fifteen or twenty bucks. We live in Lamesville, so I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be too hard to find. I just don’t know how to go about finding him.

I’m so close to being back on the road I can taste it.

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