14 December 2010

Adventures in really really old car ownership....

Okay, so it's not really, really old, but it is 15 years old... See, I drive (sometimes) a 1995 Ford Explorer.  It was originally a work truck for my Dad's old company, so it had a lot of miles on it when I got it 10 years ago.  Since then, I've driven it daily to work and what not, and usually at least twice a week to Tampa (about a 20 mile trip, one-way) so I've put a lot more miles on it...  Poor George (yes, my truck's name is George... and she's a girl...) is, understandably so, getting tired...

George, in all her dirty glory
So, the last three weeks have not been at all fun in the realm of car stuffs... See, originally, George went to see Bob (our mechanic.  He rocks) about just basic "I'm an old truck stuff..."  There were a few things leaking, the hood wouldn't open (something about struts.... no idea...)and I had absolutely no interior lights.  Not good when you teach night classes and leave campus at 10-ish several times a week.  So that was Thanksgiving week.  Mom and dad were on vacation, so there was no problem with me driving the Grandpa-mobile (Ford F-250.  Generic.  No electric nothin'...  and BIG!!) The Grandpa-mobile is my dad's truck, so named by my brother a few years ago when his (mighta been the hummer at the time) vehicle was in the shop... Now don't get me wrong.  I am very happy to have the Grandpa-mobile to drive.  But as I might've mentioned.. It's BIG.  Very BIG.  I am not used to the BIGness that is its BIG.  But I deal, you know?

The Sunday after Thanksgiving rolls around, Mom and Dad are home from the mountains, so Dad and I go pick up George.  All is well in my world, except George's doctor bill was more than I expected. But I have the bestest parent's in the whole wide world, and can owe them.  I have my truck, Dad has his truck (he really likes his truck) and everyone's ready for work the next day.  And the next day was great.  It was Tuesday that wasn't....  Tuesday, November 30th...  Not a happy car day... George decided it would be fun to not stay started....  Joy.  Thank goodness I tried to start her up 3 hours before class (so much for the errands I was going to run, though...) Called the mechanic, called Dad, get a pickup before class starts, make it to class with moments to spare (good thing I'm the prof and they need me...) and called AAA the next morning.  Tow truck guy shows up... George starts no problem.  Bad, bad George...  Sent her to the mechanic anyway, because I am NOT getting stuck in Tampa at 10 o'clock at night...

The next Saturday rolls around, and I get a call from Mom.  Dad wants his truck back, and my truck is ready.  WOO-HOO!!!!!!  So off we trundle to get the vehicular-being that is George.  She starts... She stays started.. YES! We're in business!!
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Yeah, not so much... 15 minutes later, waiting to turn left onto Park Boulevard, George quietly slips back into not-working-land....  Somehow, I managed to get her started and into gear long enough to get into the Dunkin Donuts parking lot during the fortuitous break in traffic... Of course, that's all I managed.  Into the parking lot.  Not a space, just the lot... But a very nice man helped me get her into a space and out of the way.  Yay for the very nice man!

Called Dad (poor Dad had literally just finished filling up Grandpa when I called... yay for me! No need to get gas!) Called AAA... Bob, here we come!  Yay.  really...

Oddly, although it was a Saturday, Bob was at the shop!  So the nice tow truck driver unloaded George, Bob started her up (traitorous truck) and took her for a little spin while Dad and I waited...  She was fine, until (drumroll, please) right before Bob got back to us.  Then, she stalled!!!!!  WOO-HOOOO!!!!  I know, right? Being excited when your vehicle screws up?  But you see, she never acts up for Bob.  She loves Bob.  And she finally did it, so Bob could see what she did!  Yay!!!

George's pretty profile...
 That was a week ago Saturday. Apparently, Bob kept finding things wrong, and Dad kept telling him to fix them.  I don't even want to know how much money I owe my parents... But I am so glad I have them--they are really the best parents in the whole world...

So as of yesterday, George is here at home.  Apparently, she has a practically brand new engine (or at least a whole bunch of new parts).  I did (obviously) manage to make it all the way home. Now we have to see how she acts today.  I need her to last for another year or so.  I'm working on getting a full time job (either in a high school, or, maybe, at SPC.  There's another position open, and I'm applying, so we'll see.  But I'm also definitely pursuing the high school angle.  I need a job... you know?)

Wish me luck with my finicky truck!

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