better cars last more miles (a throwback lesson)

ah, the olden days, when i was still just learning how to do this shit…

…and still driving chevy!

08/12/2002: “100k blues”

ah, sunday…the day when at least one religion seeks to get all it’s little questions in life answered…but the question on MY mind that day was, “what the FUCK is that noise coming from under my hood and why is it getting worse?” yes, it seems that the ‘bu crossing into the six digits last week made it decide that me living la vida maintenance-free needed to stop…

i HAVE been pretty lucky. since acquiring my ’98 malibu in june of 2001 (when it had 69k miles on it) i have only had to do oil changes, have two flats repaired, and change the battery. that’s it. in fourteen months. not too shabby. then, like i’d previously mentioned, i started reading up and found that all the bragging about my car when it came out was that virtually everything was guaranteed to 100k miles, which i had now hit. so, what WAS that noise i had been hearing lately? why did the trip to a wedding with “the redhead” (aka sin D) “just outside of san antonio” (300 miles round trip) make the noise THAT much worse? and what was up with that battery light that came on and went off and came on and went off the day the six-digit line was crossed?

well, all would be answered on that balmy sunday morning at the church of the beloved v6 that is autozone. interesting thing about lockhart – a town who’s population only RECENTLY crossed over 10,000…but we have car quest, o’ riley’s, napa, AND autozone if we need auto parts. the first on the list is my personal favorite, but they’re not open on sundays, so it was off to autozone i went.

this brought back a sickly feeling in my stomach. see, shortly after my 21st birthday, my family got a new car, ’cause some idiot (me) had totaled our last one ON his 21st birthday (sober, no less). okay, so it wasn’t NEW…it was a program car. a 1991 chevy cavalier bought in the summer of ’92 with only 15,000 miles on it. flash forward nine years to memorial day on 2k1, when i pushed it into the garage THINKING i could fix it one last time, and it had 278,000 miles on the odometer. and i NURSED it to that…so a sunday morning at the autozone was no strange thing to me…but it did bring back some unpleasant memories.

fortunately, a guy i had had work on the cav back in the day was in autozone and ended up needing some pre-work work (he had to be there to WORK at 1:00). the first guy who came out and looked at my car said i needed to replace my belt (although it looked perfectly fine to me), plus my alternator (remember the battery light incident the day the car rolled over 100k?), my water pump (the noise i was hearing was shot bearings in that bad boy) and my power steering pump (i guess he had some quota to hit). well, richard (the guy who did the work on the car when it was all said and done) agreed half-way…he agreed with me that the belt was fine, and also that the “strange vibration” the guy was picking up on the power steering pump was due to the fact the son of a bitch is mounted on the same metal structure as the shot water pump. i grabbed all the parts we needed ($244), and me, richard, and “a soon to leave for florida if i could get this fixed and get her to the airport” sin D all hopped in the ‘bu of BAD vibrations (from the quickly dying water pump) and headed off to where richard was supposed to be fixing another car, but the part could not be had on short notice.

this place was STRAIGHT out of deliverance. scary, scary stuff. single wide trailers, in a cluster, connected by plywood sidewalks. the ‘fridge for the “main” one was outside on the front “porch”. boots were nailed to all the trees for decoration, and strange metal “sculptures” hung from the branches, as a santa, an easter bunny, and a witch ALL greeted you as you pulled up as yard art to cover all the major yard art holidays. it was the kind of place that if sin D WASN’T such a good friend, i probably could have traded her for one of the trailers.

but friends don’t sell friends into bondage like that. SPECIAL friends can tie each up in bondage situations to create some VERY fun weekends, but never mind that now. these folks need not NEVER be special friends to me…

about forty-five minutes later i was pouring fresh orange anti-freeze into the ride and we were good to go. purrs like a dang ol’ kitten. now we just need to see if we make it another 50k at least without problems. what do you think my chances are?

Replies: 6 Comments

FUCK! He pays people to haul my ass away.

“Here’s a $20, now get that old fart out of my sight.”

Straight up.

astrofishy said @ 08/14/2002 05:22 AM GMT

now, now, angelic one…i wouldn’t have gotten anything less than a single wide…or that ’76 el camino i saw out on the back part of the property.

sean, the friend trader said @ 08/13/2002 02:50 AM GMT

Feel really special redhead. He would have traded me in for less than a single wide 🙁

Angel said @ 08/12/2002 11:30 PM GMT

Well hun, since I will be living in Austin again, I will fix your car for you 🙂 And it won’t be costing you all that labor and everything else. Parts and dinner at OG. Oh and if you are there when I fix it you have to stand and hand me tools.

And yes Josh they make orange anti-freeze. Depends on the car which one you use 🙂

Angel said @ 08/12/2002 11:30 PM GMT

ACK!!!!! You actually THOUGHT of trading me? It actually crossed your mind, you weighed it all out, and decided I was TOO GOOD OF A FRIEND????? Gee thanks….. I feel REALLY special right now. I wonder how you would have felt if it had been a double-wide!!!???

the redhead said @ 08/12/2002 09:06 PM GMT

they make orange anti-freeze? i thought it was all green.

josh said @ 08/12/2002 08:29 PM GMT

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