I’m sitting here nursing a glass of cheap red wine, trying in vain to regain my composure after yet another episode of major car trouble.

My car is 12 years old, and I’m starting to believe that car years are about the equivalent of dog years - which means that my car is either ready for assisted living, or on death’s door – depending on the breed.

I guess you could say the first 11 years were the “honeymoon period." The car ran like a dream, really. OK, there was that one time I got a flat tire on the I-15, but otherwise, I really can’t complain.

But there must be something about turning 12, because my car has literally broken down three times in the last four weeks.

Today it broke down right in the middle of a busy intersection. The only thing I can say is, it’s a miracle I’m still alive. I’ve never seen such venomous anger in my life. I guess people don’t understand the concept of not being able to move your car. I had people shout at me, scream at me, and even flip me off for blocking the intersection, as if I were just sitting there for the fun of it. The best one was the desperate housewife in the Cadillac SUV who honked her horn loudly and then gunned the motor and whizzed by - narrowly avoiding hitting my car - obviously in a huge hurry to get to her mani-pedi.

The tow truck finally arrived, and I’ve never been so glad to see someone in my entire life. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been happier to see Brad Pitt himself pull up alongside me. My car is now in the shop and I will have a couple of days to think about my next move. I doubt new wheels are in the forecast anytime soon.

I’m hoping my car will go through a midlife crisis, and start acting like a teenager again.

Comments

CuddleFish Oct. 17, 2009 @ 10:06 p.m.

Great read!!

I know just how you feel, my car's kaput, time to face it and move on. :(

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SDaniels Oct. 17, 2009 @ 10:30 p.m.

"Today it broke down right in the middle of a busy intersection. The only thing I can say is, it’s a miracle I’m still alive. I’ve never seen such venomous anger in my life. I guess people don’t understand the concept of not being able to move your car."

I am glad to hear you are ok, lovetowrite--a very scary experience! It sucks that people take out all their aggressions on the road--the last place they can afford to do it. A kind of death wish, apparently...

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lovetowrite Oct. 17, 2009 @ 10:47 p.m.

I know...I think things have changed a lot in the last 20 years, too. I used to drive an old "beater" in college that broke down about every other week. I never remember people getting so angry. I guess everyone's just alot more stressed out nowadays, and it comes out on the road...especially when you're blocking their way!

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Joe Poutous Oct. 18, 2009 @ 7:43 a.m.

Too many self centered people now days.

You cost them an extra 3.5 minutes of commute and that puts you right up there with someone that murders puppies.

I usually just smile and wave when other drivers are pissed at me. - Joe

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Joe Poutous Oct. 19, 2009 @ 8:38 p.m.

post the diagnosis from the mechanic...

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lovetowrite Oct. 19, 2009 @ 9:23 p.m.

It was the alternator....oh how I love sinking even more money into that car...not!

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Adam92102 Oct. 19, 2009 @ 11:20 p.m.

I'm no car mechanic but if your alternator went out and your car is 12 years old, I would expect more and more money to start pouring out of your pocket (which, by the way, I think sucks because they have the technology for better gas mileage and longer lasting cars). As for the rude people, not sure what to say to that. I try to think of them as pregnant and going into delivery so they're in a hurry, or maybe they deliver pizzas and it's a busy night (no, that wasn't me yelling at you today). But when this happened to me many years ago, I just started smiling and waving to all the people that swore and honked at me. It really made the situation a little more lighter. At least it did for me.

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Joe Poutous Oct. 23, 2009 @ 2:35 a.m.

Adam... an alternator is one of those thinks that can start failing and have symptoms that seem like other parts... bad battery, coil problems, starter problems.

I'm betting that your car is pretty reliable after getting that broken alternator swapped.

Hopefully they didn't put it to you too hard. Maybe an hour or 2 of labor and a $50 to $100 part?

  • Joe
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