Saturday, February 14, 2009

Beep Beep, Beep Beep Yeah

For many reasons: fear, mental illness and other personal issues, I did not get my driver's license until I was 37. When the kid was on the way, it was time to get off my ass and get it done. Luckily, I did.

I really do not like driving. Parking lots piss me off. My eyes and the dark do not get along. The constant stop and go traffic is a waste of my time.

I do like driving on an open road or highway. Road trips to Buffalo are fine by me, even the boring part of I-71 between Mansfield and I-271. Having a decent radio or CD player is important. Tunes are essential. I like Exile on Main Street and The Bends.

I've only owned two cars, same brand. Bought the first one in early 2005.

Classic 1989 Volvo 240. Had about 175,000 miles on it. The body was in great condition. The interior was ok. Had a CD player that was stolen from our driveway. Idiot broke the window too. Had a lot of brake work done. A pre fuel pump fixed. A radiator replaced - that one due to my negligence. Then there was great fun with a local Firestone shop I will never go to again. They sold me a bad starter and it took months to resolve.

Never really went on a road trip with this car. I loved the way it handled. You feel safe in these cars. You can see and feel the standards of safety Volvo makes and strives to achieve.

Eventually the odometer quit at about 208,000. It plodded along a few more months before the windshield cracked, the brakes again died, the exhaust failed and coolant started leaking. My mechanic took me aside and showed me the car his daughter used to drive.

We made a deal. This is a 1988 760, it had about 190,000. The body has a few dents. The leather interior has a tear in the driver's seat. When it runs well, it's a wonderful car to drive. It's been to Buffalo a couple of times. Took it to Niagara Falls. Never thought I'd appreciate a station wagon until I hauled a bed in the back. Then went to Ikea in Cincinnati for more stuff. It comes in handy

Since July though, it's been a personal nightmare and a mechanic's college fund. It started outside of Coshocton, Ohio when the timing belt decided to break at a red light. Then the mechanic had no clue as to what they were dealing with. He claimed that the belt broke valves and the cylinder heads would have to be reshaped. Not true. Towed it back to Columbus at considerable expense (gas was $4 a gallon) and had the belt replaced for less than the cost of the tow.

A rim them bent badly, and had to be replaced. When it got really cold here, it froze part of the ignition system to death. Shortly after wards, the thermostat and water pump decided to quit. There are also interesting rattles coming from the exhaust system.

It's starting again though, even in the cold. I have no idea how much longer I'll have it. I may die before this car, which could be soon if it causes me more stress! Or, it could join the 300,000 mile club. You never quite know. When you have a car that's old enough to legally drink, a lot can go wrong.

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