Saturday, December 13, 2008

Um, I think maybe the time has come

Our poor car. She really needs to be put out to pasture.

I mean, yeah, I can take a lot of inconvenience to avoid car payments. We paid $420 a month for five years for this car. That's more than my Mom and Dad paid for their first few houses! It's been a real blessing, but the problems are starting to mount. Right now,
  • Neither automatic window rolls down. If you press the button and push the window, you can get it down, but it ain't going back up!
  • The only automatic door lock that works is on the passenger side. The whole button apparatus has fallen inside the driver's side door.
  • Neither key remote works.
  • The back cargo area is accessed through three doors, one that goes up overhead and two that open outward like Dutch doors. The Dutch doors have been broken, shut permanently for about a year. The spare tire, by the way, is only accessible when the Dutch doors are open.
  • The passenger side door handle on the outside of the car is hanging by a thread and can only be opened by someone with gentleness and a safe-cracker's touch.
  • The sliding side door that allows access to the back seats broke while we were at the grocery store this week. We got the door open, but it wouldn't shut. I managed to jimmy it shut after about a half hour of messing with the mechanics of the lock, but now it is shut permanently and won't open.
  • All the seatbelts work, but two of the shoulder straps are broken.
  • From time to time, something sticks in the transmission and shifting from first to second and second to third gears is a violent proposition, worthy of a whiplash suit.
  • When we engage the parking brake, something in the gas pedal sticks and I have to kind of "kick" the pedal to get the car to move.
The final straw happened yesterday while I was out with the whole gang of kids. The gas pedal stick happened while the car was in motion, driving down the highway. I "kicked" it several times, and it just stuck further in, giving the car more and more gas. Now, I generally drive around 50-55 mph, which makes the locals CRAZY, but I like the fuel economy I get at that speed. It was a good thing I was going that slowly to begin with, because I was going the speed limit (70) before I could fix the pedal. I reached under the pedal and found the metal hook that the pedal rests on, pulled forward with my foot, and it let go. But if this had happened on a surface street with oncoming traffic, in the middle of the day with kids crossing the street, or in a residential area, I'd be in trouble. It took most of my attention to fix the problem, and I just wasn't able to give traffic much more than a passing glance.

I'm not sure exactly who would give us a loan, what being freelance and all, but if anyone has a friend who is looking to sell their seats-8-reliable-car-type van out there, please pass on my name!

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