Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Cars have been a hot topic for me and a couple of my friends this week. Randy and Kiki purchased a "new" car last weekend and I'm taking them to the dealership later today to pick it up. They got a good deal and they're very pleased with the purchase and this is sounding like the impetus Kiki needed to finally get her driver's license. She's got a bit more of a challenge ahead of her with this car--it's a standard!

My car isn't particularly new--it turned 12 this fall--but in spite of that it's in pretty decent shape. The previous owner (whom I know very well and very generously gave it to me 2 years ago) took extraordinarily good care of it and I've done my best to maintain it in a similar way. But due to her age, things are bound to wear out.

This week it was the alternator that gave out. After a few days of a persistently squeaky fan belt, finally all hell broke loose and I had to abandon her at 1 AM on Saturday night (I guess that's actually Sunday morning) in the parking lot of a Muffler Man near Randy and Kiki's place. Conveniently Guy had loaned them his car for their car shopping adventures that day so they were able to drive me home.

It turns out the alternator had seized up and the squeaking was the belt being forced over a wheel that wasn't moving. The mechanic said $470 would clear the whole thing up (gee, thanks) so I gave the go ahead and took the bus after work Wednesday to go pick her up. The guys at Muffler Man were very nice, joked about going on a spending spree with my Honey's credit card (with which I paid for the work) and then after the ransom was paid I went out to the lot to take my baby home. Unfortunately as soon as I started her up the loathsome squeak was still there! I immediately turned her off and marched myself right back to the office. The mechanic seemed surprised but sure enough, when he fired her up to take her back into the bay the squeak was audible inside the closed up office!

After much conferring amongst each other, revving of the engine and whatnot, the mechanics agreed that everything was moving alright and that the belt was just loose. Some tightening of said belt ensued and a half an hour later I was on my way.

The squeak hasn't had the nerve to show it's face since.

Speedy Update:

No change--she's still listless and not eating but miraculously still alive. I want to thank all of you for your well-wishes and positive thoughts. Turtles may not be the snuggliest of pets but I've had these gals for a long time and I've grown quite attached. I was really touched by how sympathetic you all have been and I just wanted to say thanks :)

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