Monday, October 8, 2012


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."


  1. As Rossanna Rosannadana used to say, if it ain't one thing it's sumpthin' else.

  2. Car troubles for me, also. I had to have it repaired. A replacement over here is very very costly!

  3. I love cars....when they run. Not long ago I had my timing belt changed (and a couple of other small things done) to the tune of $1200. I really couldn't afford it, but I couldn't afford NOT to do it, either. I hope I can keep mine running a while longer.

    Good luck on your car search.


  4. Clouds are not always easy to go through sometimes, luckily BRD is around...

  5. That is tough. I know the feeling. but won't get into the details other than to say an old Toyota I had broke down next to a junk yard. They hauled it in with a tow from a big forklift. Good luck.

  6. Oh noes! We always drive our cars until that last repair that costs more than the car is worth. I'm REALLY hoping my Saturn will make it another two years - at least until the car payment on the Aztek is done!

  7. I can sympathize with you. We had to have our much loved 1999 motor home repaired last week. It needed all new coils on a V-10. $1400.00 later, it runs like new. Of course now we can't afford to put gas in it but if we could, it would run fine.
    Good thing for those shuttles to bring you back up the mountain!

  8. So sorry to hear about your car woes. That is one of my greatest fears. I really need a new car but I also feel I can't really afford one. They are so outragously expensive and anymore, they are otragously expensive to maintain.


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