Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting Ready to Take a Trip or The RoadTrip Blues

I have an older car that I only paid $200 when I bought it. That's not to say that is the actual cost of the car. It is a reasonably pretty car without too many buttons and gadgets.

It started out by scaring the living daylights out of me. It would start, and then the key was hard to turn. So I asked someone to look at it. It started up perfectly every time he turned the key....until I went to drive him home.

The first repair was pretty mild as repairs go. The starter needed replacing. I was lucky, the part was only $100 installed.

The next thing to go was the muffler. The car got louder and louder. My car didn't have a muffler on it, it had something round, but it wasn't a muffler. I'm still confused at exactly what it was. So I got a muffler off a wrecked car from a junkyard and some sort of shade tree mechanic put it on for me.

It took two tries to get the non-working lighter socket fixed. I needed to have the ability to charge my cellphone and to power a gps device. That entailed buying an inexpensive part and having it put in. There's where it got complicated. Two wires, three wires, shorts, and a small cut in my dash that had to be filled in.

I am geographically challenged and I love to travel. Therefore, I need a gps device.

OK, I can actually hear the guys reading this laughing and wondering what kind of an idiot I am. I am a girl who can make windows behave with one hand behind my back (or holding a cup of coffee.) I can budget money within an inch of it's life without picking up an ink pen. I can whip up a meal that will make your mouth water, but yes, I am a car idiot.

My only hope is to find an honest mechanic who will baby my high mileage car and help me keep it from costing me an arm and a leg. I really do understand the theory of an internal combustion engine. But, add four wheels and gasoline, a few noises, and I am hopeless. What's even worse is that as soon as someone starts explaining what the repair entails or what will happen if I don't fix this thing, my eyes glaze over and my head implodes.

I am getting ready for a road trip. I have a minute leak in my head gasket, the coil is cracked, I have to re-do the oil change because of this repair, and of course the radiator needs a flush and fill. ARRRGGGGHHH!

On the plus side, it is my understanding that my car will ease up on noise and needed repairs. There are a few minor things that need fixing, but they are not real high anxiety items. Replacing a hose or a wire doesn't faze me near as much as all these current repairs.

All I want is for my car to be a nice little car, go down the road without making noises, requiring any repairs, and not to drink too much gasoline. Gauges, Temperatures, and Fluid Levels, Oh MY. Lions and tigers and bears Oh MY!

Thanks for reading. Next Stop -Michigan.