Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Car

As I attend law school, I don't have a lot of money. With rent, daycare, groceries, utilities, gas, and whatnot, we don't have a whole lot of money left over each month. One of the things we've done to keep expenses down is not buy a new car for me. This means I still drive the same '95 Ford Escort I bought used in 1998 when I got back from Korea. Ironically, I bought this car as a short-term, use it until I save enough to buy a better car-car, and I've now been driving it for half as long as I've had a driver's license. (math majors - how old am I according to these facts?)

My car is kind of a junker. It started out OK, but it's gone downhill somewhat over the past 3 years. Before 2003, the biggest problem with it was that it broke down in West Virginia on the freeway at night between towns - a situation I was not comfortable with, but which turned out OK.

Since 2003, though, I've had a few interesting issues. First, one day, I got in the car and the rear window was foggy, so I pushed in the rear-window defrost button, and it kept going in - there's now a hole where the defrost button used to be. The upholstry on the ceiling is starting to separate - it's now one of "those" cars. The black vinyl stuff that they put around the windows on the doors has started flaking off. Someone stole my stereo a couple years ago, so I had to put the factory stereo back in, but since the thief ripped my stereo out, I had to kind of balance the factory one in the right spot. Also, apparently there was a problem with reconnecting the old stereo, because the stereo itself no longer works. This means that if I want to listen to anything, I have to plug in the CD player adapter I have and play CDs, which is ok. I changed my battery back in 2003, and when I did so, I put the old battery in the back seat on the floor to drive it to a place where I could drop it off. It leaked. Of course. So I have a vinyl mat that I bought covering the eaten-up upholstry on the floor in the back seat. The heater doesn't get any hotter than "slightly above room temperature," so on cold days (there are some in Houston, not many, but enough), I get to shiver the 35 minutes to and from school. A couple days ago I had to get my car jumped because my battery died. That went fine, except now, whenever I push the clutch in all the way, even without the keys in the ignition, it tries to turn, and then it tries to start itself after it's turned on when you depress the clutch fully. Not only that, but I realized about a week and a half ago that after I start my engine, I don't, technically, NEED to keep my keys in the ignition; it will keep running if I just pull them out. Talk about a convenience. The A/C works, but when it does, it semi-regularly makes this loud clicking noise, as though someone put a playing card in the spokes.

Part of me thinks that the car is planning a getaway and is jury-rigging itself for its eventual prison break.

I want a new car.


Cassie said...

I wish I could help you out there. But on the bright side, my car runs without the keys too. Guess it runs in the family.

janet said...

I kinda sorta maybe half envy the car running without the keys in the ignition. As many times as I get ready to leave and forget something, it'd be awfully handy.

Hang in there. You're doing the right thing by holding off on spending the money. It'll pay off in the long run.

Gramma said...

Wish I could buy my sweet son a better car... but I could never find him a better family.

Matthew said...

After viewing the other comments, I see that my remark that it sounds like it's time for a new car, and my suggestion that you consider an inexpensive and economical Japanese make, would be out of place.

Hannelie said...

Oh don't we all want a new car. I drive a '85 van, my aircon is leaking and can't be fixed so I'm heading into summer too with out it :( In 38-40 degree Celcius day, not good.
My radio work, but each time I switch it off it looses it's memory so before I even put it in Drive I got to search for my fav station and Oh yeah, same here, my keys can get taken out while the car still runs.
When we finish our degrees we'll be smiling all the way to the bank.

Kirsten said...

Why don't you do want I have done and get one of those invisible targets, so that ever year you get plowed into to the point of being totaled and get a "new" used car. Oh yeah, that were the one driving the last time. To bad you were behind the wrong wheel. heehee