More Car Woes

I last wrote about our car woes in September.  Large amounts of dollars to fix it, then.  Actually, the large amounts of dollars were more about trying different things to fix it, and failing.  Finally, though, we took it to Walter Piccotts, and they reset the computer and that seemed to have solved it.  Another place had set the computer earlier, but that, for whatever reason, didn’t solve it.  The second re-set did, though.
Well, after that, it had been running fine.  Okay, so there was the power steering that was leaking a bit, and we had to keep topping up the coolant because the low coolant light kept coming on every 4-5 days.  But, the power steering had been leaking, like, forever, and it was a tolerable annoyance.  And, we put in some radiator LeakGoop product, and that seemed to slow the radiator leak quite substantially.  So, yeah, the car had been running great, apart from these annoyances.
Then, right in the midst of the hectic, nervous week before our Sketch22 Christmas show opened, our car again decides to break down.  The same thing as in September.  Car stalls when you’re driving along, so you have to re-ignite is as you coast.  Driving from Winsloe into Ch’town, it might stall 3 or 4 times.  Totally unacceptable, of course, and, seeing as we just got it “fixed” in September, totally infuriating.
So, we take it back to the place (out of three we tried in September) that seemed to cure it in September.  Their claim this time was that the power steering burst and leaked liquid on the alternator.  Damn me and my stupid procrastinating self!  Damn me straight to hell!  I knew that it would come back to bite me on the arse, and yet I did nothing!  I’m an idiot!!!
Gonna need a new alternator (even though we got the alternator replaced in September, even though replacing the alternator in September didn’t cure the problem then, even though the mechanic said it would).  And, yes, they’ll have to fix that power steering leak.  Okay, so we get a new alternator and power steering unit on Wednesday and that cost a couple of hundred.  Okay, so not so bad, the car’s fixed and the power steering leak has been cleared up.
Driving the car home from the shop on Wednesday evening, it stalls once, then twice.  And, now, anytime you put it in reverse and try to back it up, it stalls out.  Okay, contain the anger.  Then, just before we try to back the car in the driveway, the radiator burst.  Damn me and my stupid procrastinating ways!  Damn me straight to hell!  I knew that it would come back to bite me on the arse, and yet I did nothing!  I’m an idiot!!!
So, in the absolute depths of despair (well, for a Canadian who has a home and food on the table, and a loving wife and kid) I drive the ailing, stalling, liquid spewing car back to the shop and, because they’re closed, I park it and leave it, with the keys out in the open, hoping someone would steal it.  In the cold of a December night, I, depressed, walk from Parkdale to the Guild, to our dress rehearsal.
The next day, the shop calls and says the radiator leak is gonna cost a few hundred dollars to fix, and when re-investigating the “stalling when in reverse” problem, it looks like the problem is the ignition switch.  Gonna need a new one of those.  Won’t be able to get a part now, though, until Monday.  Sigh.  Okay, fix the fucker!
Anyway, Monday comes, and the car’s fixed and we pay the money to get it back.  On the way home, the thing stalls.  Okay.  Don’t panic.  Probably it stalled because the computer needs to re-set itself.  Wait until it stalls again before Totally Freaking Out.  So far, a month later, it hasn’t stalled again.  The car is working great.  No leaks at all, it starts great and runs smoothly.
There is some weird static-electrical thing happening though, that causes me not to be able to use my iPod/iTrip.  When I use it, it’s pretty much unlistenable due to static interference.  That doesn’t happen in any other car.  Odd and frustrating.
So, the car’s working great.  Until last Friday.  Two days ago.  Car won’t start.  It’ll turn over, but it won’t engage.  It just “werwerwerwerwerwer”s.  I thought, because it was kind of cold on Friday, that the gas line had frozen, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem.  It shouldn’t be spark plugs, because we just got a complete new set in September (one of the initial failed attempts to figure out why it was stalling).  It’s not the battery, as there seems to be lots of juice, and getting a boost from another car didn’t help.
So, there it sits, in our driveway.  An ugly and expensive piece of lawn-art.
Guess we’ll get it towed to our mechanic on Monday and see what the problem is this time.
Why do we still have this car, you ask.  Because we are currently in the financial position where we can’t afford to get another car, and we do need a car, so we’re unfortunately forced to keep fixing this one.


  1. Jason White says:

    Toyota Corolla, can’t beat it.

    Runs like a top, performs like a tank, best car on the market.

    Dump the American car, get the toyota.

    You can probably get a decent Corolla for 6000-7000


  2. davem says:

    i was going to say the exact same thing.


  3. Calico Cat says:

    I bet your mechanically challenged ‘mechanics’ (who are driving around in fairly new autos) chuckle ’round the dinner table’ with their families,, at the money you are continually spending to pay their rent.. …

    Make the auto money pit driveable on your own, give it a good wash&wax and sell it with all the recent receipts in a nice clean file folder while praising the work you just had done on it. A real bargain. Some one from up west will jump at it.

    Cut the cord, If you are emotionally attached to the auto-beast from hell, you need help from a priest.

    For what you spend on a decrepid auto it should pay for a for a new ‘dependable shit box’ (KIA) or close to a new second hand reliable (Japanese) quality car..



    no bucks?,,,,buy a wreck, they always remove the blood stained seats, hell’uva deal.


  4. dennis says:

    Hey Rob, you know as well as I know, I don’t do this very often, but there’s this guy I’ve heard of just recently, his name is Ted from Kingston, Ontario. He’s a pussy-whipped, stuck-up son of a Bitch, but he works at Canadian Tire. Yeah, you’ve seen him pushing the wiper/generator shite down our gullets. Last ditch effort, you could try and get ahold of him. Good luck though, I’ve heard he doesn’t go out too much, considering the angry mob of viewers camped outside his house. I’ll keep an eye out for rig.


  5. graham says:

    If you get it inspected etc, and replace asmall window, you can drive my car. It works. I don’t drive anymore. Infact after the global-warmed weather we’ve had, more people should listen to their inner hippie and drive less. If you can. Plus a buncha foreigners (still people) and some Locals have died to keep oil in our cars.
    I salute the cosmic spirit today. Mother Nature may be a bitch, be me loves the bitches.


  6. ghislaine says:

    WAIT!!! dont sell it. I say you take Grahams car, and we blow yours to pieces. I know that would make Ryan happy. And face it, you must want to blow up that money-sucker up by now, Rob.


  7. Rob says:

    Car got fixed. It was a loose wire that kept the fuel pump from engaging.


  8. señior psychosis says:

    Mechanic #1 MO:
    When you fix a car, leave something else loose or broken.
    As it is with lawyers, it’s hard to find an honest mechanic.



  9. Ryan says:

    car got fixed? drat.


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