Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My cars must hate me

For a family of four drivers we seem to have more than our share of car problems. Granted, two of our cars were built in the 1980s and two others (each 8 years old) have well over 100,000 miles. Our "best" car is a 1999 Chrysler courtesy of dear old dad.
With what I spend on car repair in any given year I could be driving a BWM, but everybody else in the family would have to walk. My older son is currently driving the car I normally drive (which was my younger son's car before he took the former family car off to NC State.) Older son's vehicle has been in the shop for the past three weeks. The folks at the shop have tried many different, valiant (and expensive) methods to get it to stop hemorrhaging coolant - to no avail. I am seriously considering trying to resurrect the old van which has become a driveway ornament and storage facility since it was retired from service. (I'm sure glad I didn't donate it to charity as dear old dad has suggested on many an occasion.)
In the meantime, me and the missus are enjoying each other's company and conflicting schedules while we try to car pool. This works out OK as long as neither of us has to go anywhere during the day - well, her actually because I keep the car most days and can go anywhere I like except, if I do go anywhere I might lose my parking place.
None of us are really "car people". We drive them to the places we need to go and pay little attention to them until they decide to break down. Dear old dad on then other hand cherishes his vehicles like he does his children and treats them to every scheduled maintenance and even repairs the little dings every car gets. Everytime he gets the bug to buy a new car (every five years) he declares "this will be my last car." Of course, it never is, which is damn lucky for us.
The reason I'm sharing this with you now is because I'm steeling myself to go (shudder) car shopping. I'd almost rather have a root canal without anesthetic than step onto a car lot but the time comes in each person's life when we need to face our fears (in the person of a smiling car salesman) and boldly ask the stupid questions sure to betray us as sheep ripe for fleecing.
If I could figure out the bus system I might try that instead.


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