Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Beater

My car. It's a Honda Accord that I drove off the lot in the fall of '94 and have been driving ever since...my next oil change is due at 173,000 miles. And Hondas being what they are, mine keeps running even while dropping rusted pieces along the byways as I drive. The radio hasn't worked in years, the battery died this past winter while I was in the middle of a Minneapolis neighborhood, and the AC just petered-out on me but IT'S RELIABLE, MAN. I hate the thought of getting something else.

This past March, the front end played sledgehammer with the garage door doorway and moved that wall about 4" off the foundation. I didn't really understand fully what I'd done until later that day when I arrived home and inspected things. 4" alright. And, the parking light was hanging-on by a wire. The headlight was out.

The Sweetie looked at the dangling parking light, tucked it back in place, and added a piece of duct tape for good measure an official nerd car. I drove it around for a few days knowing I'd get bulbs soon. The tape gradually loosened and flew away.

A couple months later my dashboard hollered at me: Brake Lamp! Now THIS needed attention. I knew I'd get to it soon too.

By the time I picked up brake bulbs, parking light bulbs and a headlight bulb, it was nearly June. The other day when The Sweetie and I checked the working lights on the entire car there were two: A headlight and A brake light....one of each. No others. Of two headlights, one. Of three brake lights, one. Of parking lights, zero.

Criminy.

I'm happy to say I'm almost all lit up again (one more parking light yet to go).

I look at and listen so carefully to my bicycles. Some odd rattle or tic? I'm on it. They're typically clean...I wouldn't say they're pristine, exactly, but if a spaghetti noodle got tangled up in a crank arm, I'd probably still eat it...although that may say more about my palate than about my bottom bracket. I know bicycles. I can spot a loose cassette at two bike lengths.

What is it about cars? Do I think they'll fix themselves? Do I just not understand them? If I ignore them will they go away?

- OB or maybe they'll go away if I left one out front with the keys in....

9 comments:

lauren said...

when i hear a noise in my car while i'm driving, i just turn the radio up louder.

works every time.

Pete said...

You've got to get the radio fixed, pronto!

Matt said...

You can tell your car's a heap when there are special instructions on driving it. In our '92 Subaru which we finally dumped last year, it was to go in reverse you had to go R-Neutral-R plus several years of Coke spilling into the ventilation controls gummed up the buttons and you had to use a popsicle stick propped against the cup holder to keep the A/C on, and then it would only blow out at your feet. The final straw was the leaky trunk and sunroof and the mold that ensued.

The Old Bag said...

Lauren -- maybe I will get the radio fixed after all.

Pete -- you know it...I hadn't thought about its car repair capabilities!

Matt -- thanks! Mine doesn't qualify as a heap yet. I can get a few more years out of it.

Gordy said...

Nice job on getting close to the 200K mark. Keep it up. And next time buy another Honda. I drove one with 300K to the junkyard and pulled good parts off before I left it. I drove two that were each totaled at one point by my now ex and put another 100K on them with little or no true body work. Now for fun I've got an elephant, sorry, Element. I like it even if it makes me the SUV driver I've always hated.

SueJ said...

I sold my car to my brother last week. Now it can make all the noises it wants.

I've been wondering why there isn't a C&W song about How to Drive That Truck.

The Old Bag said...

Thanks Gordy...I just can't seem to part with it as long as it's still running, but I'm not sure I'll get another Honda because of the rust issues.

Sue -- once it's gone, it can do anything it wants! :-)

Linnea said...

My parents' 1988 Honda Accord is still plugging away! A few small rust spots here and there, a leaky sunroof, no power steering, and one rear brake light is dead, but yes, still RELIABLE. I love Hondas...

StevenCX said...

Honda needs to make a racing bike. Then again, some would say racing bikes should be like Italian cars (and women) - beautiful but finicky.