It’s time to get a new car.
I’m not sure.
I’ve had this car for ten years, and while it still looks pretty decent (aside from the rear passenger door that some kid keyed with unmentionable words about a year after I got it, but which I feel gives me street cred), I think it wants to die. I know this because for the past few years, it’s been giving me hints, trying to find ways to prevent me from driving it anymore. First, the key lock on the driver’s side fell inside the door. Inside. Like, drop-down-into-the-car’s-innards inside. I had to go around to the passenger side and climb into the front seat for a while. And when I’d turn corners, I could hear the lock sliiiiide from one part of the door to another. Strangely enough, when I took it into the shop to be fixed, they couldn’t find it. But of course they couldn’t. My car is trying to make me look bad. Maybe it’s hoping someone will deem me too crazy to drive, and it’ll be put out of its misery once and for all.
The second lock fell inside the passenger door about a year later. And once again, with no explanation, they couldn’t find it. Was I hording locks somewhere in my house? Did I expect the mechanics to believe these crazy stories? I’m pretty sure I’ve got a big orange mark on my file down at the dealership. DANGER: THIS ONE HAS PROBLEMS.
Each year, my A/C stops working right when the world sucks all of the cool air out of existence, and many moons ago, all but one of the speakers in my car stopped working. It’s okay though; if I turn the volume up on my radio really loud, I can get a pretty good rock on. Sure, it’s all blasting over my right shoulder, and the bass isn’t much more than a faint PLUNK, but what do I care? I’m not holding dance parties in my car, so it’s no big deal.
This past winter, the little old Sweet Potato Superhero, that once was able to tank right through impossibly large snowbanks and zip down icy roads as though it played for the Ottawa Senators, graced me with a new and exiciting challenge: a broken doorhandle! Yes, right in the middle of a snowy, icy week, I ran outside to warm up the car before work, and the handle snapped right off in my mitt. Snap!! I stood there looking at the thing, trying to figure out how I was supposed to open the door, imagining myself having to crawl across from the passenger seat decked out in bundles of winter clothes, just to get to work. Except the car had another little gem for me that day….a frozen solid passenger door. There was no way it was going to let me in. So there I was, faced with the reality that the only way I could get into my car was going to be through the trunk. I’d have to clear it out, remove the heavy sandbag that I keep back there to give me some weight in the winter, push through the back seat, which probably wasn’t wide enough for a normal person to fit through, and then crawl up into the driver’s seat. Wasn’t that going to be a pretty sight at work each day!
But thankfully, I managed to jostle the passenger door open and eventually learn how to lift the bit of the plastic door handle that is left. No worries about anyone stealing this car, I can tell you! If they can figure out how to get inside, they can have it!
And yet, here I am, the A/C once again reduced to a whir and hot air blasting through the vents, and the probability that my car needs some major work on the front end (a tie-rod with “play”, which I only wished meant something fun), and I’m trying to decide what to do. Maybe I should just let the thing die. Maybe it has given me all it has, and is ready to go to that big car lot in the sky. Or maybe it’s trying with all its might to hang on…just one more season, one more year, one more series of weird little inconveniences.
Only the mechanics know.