About mid-day Saturday I set out for Phoenix in our '98 Dodge Neon to attend a celebration of the life of a former colleague who recently passed on. My timing was perfect but as I got off the freeway at the intersection where the event was being held at a hotel, my car stopped running. I managed to coast through the intersection. Then several good citizens stopped and pushed the car by hand up a hill and into a caution lane so I didn't block the traffic any longer. I had already called AAA and the guy showed up as I stood at the edge of the road staring at the big motel where the event was happening. He loaded the car up on the back of his truck, put me in the passenger seat and off to a garage we went. He said maybe it's something simple, they can fix it and get you on your way.
The garage was closing minutes after we got there and had no one to look at my car. So I left it there, had a shuttle from the garage take me back to a Denny's restaurant alongside the freeway where an airport shuttle picked me up about 45 minutes later. And a little over an hour and a half later, I was back home.
Today I got a call from a guy at the garage. He didn't waste any time. After he identified me, he said "are you sitting down?" Then he told me the timing belt had broken, a significant amount of water had leaked from the water pump, several other belts looked like they needed changing and an engine mount was sagging. He said they could fix all that but the car might still not run because possibly the valves had been damaged. At this point, I asked him how much money he was talking about. He said "around 16 hundred dollars." I laughed and said that the car was only worth 15 hundred, probably less.
So we're going to sell it to a salvage yard that has offered 200 to 300 dollars for it.
Fortunately, we have another vehicle that belongs to the BRD that I drive for courier duty for her business. She will allow us to use it until we can get a new car. Which, right now, we can't afford.
As I've often said "life got complicated when the first horseless carriage was invented."