Wednesday, December 9, 2009
A car! A car! My kingdom for a car!
I know how Richard III felt. It’s a real bummer not to have transportation.
We used to have two cars, but after Mrs. RWP retired from her nursing career in 1997 we decided to save some money and cut back to one vehicle. Way back in the mid-1980s our second son worked for a few months at a local Toyota dealership, and ever since then we have owned nothing but Toyotas. After experiencing the Corolla and the Tercel and the Celica and drooling over an Avalon, we settled on driving Camrys. We leased for a few years, first a blue one, then a champagne one, then a burgundy one. We decided to buy the burgundy one at the end of the lease. Two months later, we were sitting at a traffic signal one Wednesday evening in the year 2000, waiting for the light to change from red to green, when BAM!!, we were hit from behind at full speed by a drunk driver who never saw the traffic signal, never saw our car, and never put his foot on the brake. Our burgundy Camry was totaled (totalled?) and that is how we acquired our current vehicle, a silver-colored 2000 Camry.
For nearly ten years it has run like a top except for a few minor glitches here and there. I have always had its tires rotated and its oil and filters changed according to the recommended maintenance schedule. With over 240,000 miles under its belt, this week it suddenly decided to sputter and spurt and jerk along and flash its “check engine light” at us. With precious little spare money for car repairs at the moment, it is sitting in our garage. My son’s friend who has always done a good job on his car (he had his own repair shop for a while) came by yesterday and took a look with his diagnostic equipment. It seems one of the cylinders is misfiring badly. It may be just spark plugs and wires. It may be the coil pack. It may be the catalytic converter. We don’t know yet. When we do know, I may not be able to afford to have the car repaired. We are hoping he has time to pick up some parts today and do some work, but he is fitting us into his schedule as he can (he now has his own insulation business), so we are currently without wheels. Fortunately, our cupboards are not bare and we have not yet had to send up flares.
But, as I said at the top, it’s a real bummer not to have transportation.