Monday, August 13, 2007

Sour lemons

It always amazes me the way some things work out the way they do.

I took this week off to spend with the girls and try to do a few fun things as a last summer vacation hurrah. They start school next week so the week before school starts can be a bit hectic between picking up school supplies and re-focusing from vacation freedom to classroom servitude.

Today we had some shopping to get done. Few groceries, some clothes, perhaps a haircut for both girls.

Unruly cleaned her room (which is a miracle in itself), Wild got all gussied up (she's a teenager, she doesn't step outside for ANYTHING without makeup on and her hair done) and piled into my car ready to spend some money.

A few words about my car. It's a 2000 Cavalier. It's been in a few minor fender-benders (none my fault), the air conditioning doesn't work, a quart of oil spilled on the floor in the back, the trunk is filled with remnants of a few bales of hay and straw and oats I've hauled, one of the headlights is cracked and I've clocked just around 200,000 miles on it. All but seven of those miles are mine. The passenger side door doesn't open well and you can only roll down the window by using a pair of pliers (I was in someone's way and they turned into me.) The springs in my seat are starting to pop through and there are more melted M&Ms and smashed Cheerios in the back seat than at the nearest grocery store.

It's kind of been a bit of a lemon since I got it. I've had constant issues with the brakes since day one, the entire electrical system had to be replaced about two years after I got it, the "check engine" light is on perpetually. I've shelled out nearly $500 over the course of a year for various fixes to have the mechanics finally tell me the gas cap was loose. The light is still on and I refuse to take it back yet again. I opened my checkbook again and handed over $200 to have the air conditioner recharged last summer because it started spitting out hot air, not cold. The coolant all leaked out after the recharge because they failed to find the leak and refused to refund me my money after I declined to spend another $2,000 to repair the entire A/C system. The car isn't worth $2,000.

Well, it's dead. There it sits in my driveway, dusty, dented, detested and dead.

And I'm torn. I know it's probably the starter or the solenoid. Both fixes are under $200 and I can do them myself (or sweet talk Hubby into doing it).

Or I can push the damn thing into the pond and go buy myself a pickup truck. The truck I've been not-so-patiently waiting for since 1998.

I sure would like to have A/C again...but I really don't want another car payment.

9 comments:

Ninja Of The Mundane said...

I feel your pain, Jenn ... I walk a constant fine line between not spending too much to keep my piece-of-crap Jetta afloat through the winter and hoping I'll have enough saved to buy something decent by the time the Jetta falls apart in a way that isn't really worth fixing.

Hopefully, it's as you said ... the starter or the solenoid. The parts are cheap, and, as you said, one of you can do the work (and the labor is often by far the most expensive element of a car-repair bill).

Biby Cletus said...

Hello

I ended up here at your blog searching for blogs on resources related to labrador retrievers. cool blog you have here, keep it up. i'm also interested in dogs and do have a Labrador Retriever named devil ( named after the phantom's dog - i was a huge phantom fan in my childhood ) any way its nice to be here. i'll be back some time later for more updates.

Warm Regards from India

you might find this Labrador Retrievers in our blog interesting. do leave comments there. see ya.

Bijoy

Kerala, India

Biby Cletus said...

Hello

I ended up here at your blog searching for blogs on resources related to labrador retrievers. cool blog you have here, keep it up. i'm also interested in dogs and do have a Labrador Retriever named devil ( named after the phantom's dog - i was a huge phantom fan in my childhood ) any way its nice to be here. i'll be back some time later for more updates.

Warm Regards from India

you might find this Labrador Retrievers in our blog interesting. do leave comments there. see ya.

Bijoy

Kerala, India

Dorky Dad said...

You have 200,000 on a CAVALIER??? How did you do that? Mess with the odometer? I didn't even think those cars went up that far.

Sona said...

Cars are a necessary evil of life. Unless you live in a huge city where public tranportation is easier, you have to have a car.

My feeling is you've sunk enough money into that car, any more would be a waste. Better to tighten the belt a bit and get something better, more reliable, less hazardous.

goat roper said...

yup, then comes the horse trailer; you'll need a 3 horse of course, next a third horse, followed by weekend trips hauling said horse trailer and horses, plan on buying lots more gas. go for the quad cab, full bed, 4x4, dodge diesel!

Jenn said...

Ninja...oh, how I hate this car. Hate it. Wish daily that it would die although I know I can't afford a new vehicle right now. Catch-22, eh?

Biby...thanks for stopping by! I have two lab mixes and LOVE them. Great dogs. A little dumb, but you know, they're dogs.

DD...I know, I know...I was a little shocked myself! I don't keep it on odometer, I keep it on trip-meter, so when I saw the mileage I thought "Holy crap! I drive a lot."

Sona...considering I live in the boondocks, my car is an absolutely necessary evil. There is NO public transportation available, and I need my car for work. I so need a new car.

Goatroper...now you're speakin' my language! But you forgot to include the bright yellow smiley face fog lamps!

Wendy said...

Sounds like the bell is tolling for that car!

Let's just celebrate its life and all the glorious times and let it go!!!

I always felt that with kids, you need a car that is very reliable. You never know where you'd be and it would not work! Be safe!! (Good argument for shopping, right??)

nell said...

Ugh. Freaking cars. We've got some decisions to make on that front, too. I say go for the pick-up truck, but you probably shouldn't listen to me, I'm not so good with the money.