My car broke down over the weekend.
It's getting up there in years, my little red jelly bean, the car that got me through most of college and those first awkward years really on my own.
This car's been through a lot with me, fun and not so fun. Road trips from Columbia to DC, Florida, Philadelphia, Chicago, then finally to Austin. Driving me back and forth to a succession of temp jobs, and then to my first real job. Getting hit by that drunk girl in West Campus while innocently parked; that lovely highspeed spinning accident last May, backing into that Volvo in the Walgreens parking lot...
Whenever something goes seriously (or not-so-seriously) wrong with the car, I start to wonder - is this the beginning of that war of attrition that marks the end of a solid vehicle? I remember when the first family car bit it, the brown '79 Chevy Malibu (I believe)... bought right about the time I was born. My mother was driving, we were at 53rd and Woodlawn, right by Mr. G's before they became part of the co-op... I just remember sitting in the back of the car as we approached the four-way stop, then all of a sudden drifting slowly through the intersection while my mom hit the brakes harder and harder. There was an awful lot of honking, as I recall.
Luckily, this doesn't seem to be the death knell for the SL2 - apparently, the water pump is leaking coolant like crazy, throwing it onto the belts, which were squeaking (that's not a fun sound, by the way). Oh, and also, the spark plugs and wires are really old, it has the original radiator (which could seriously use a flush) and the gasket on top of the engine appears to have a slow leak. No biggie right now, but if you leave it... (dun dun DUNNNN). Yeah, that added up real fast.
But really, $700 twice a year is a lot better than making a monthly car payment, yes?
Today, I'm in a cutey-pie rental car, a Chevy Aveo - I like it a lot! It might be a different story, if I had to put anyone or anything besides myself into the car, but it would be a great little vehicle just for scooting around town. Nice little trunk. Plus, starts at under $10,000 (well, JUST under.)
But I will be really glad to get my car back. It's been good to me over the years.