The end of an era is here, and I’m feeling a little more verklempt than I would have thought.
My jeepy jeepy has been a stinky bastard since Christmas. I thought I was just getting stuck behind some smelly trucks at intersections because I could smell this choking exhaust smell. It wasn’t too bad (not that I know how awful it became), but it wasn’t great. Kim noticed it, too, and while I explained it away, I also tucked the information into the back of my brain. Just in case.
“In case” came a few weeks later. It got to the point that I could smell the burning oil fumes whenever I got out of the car, definitely coming from my engine. I was concerned, but still in denial, hoping it would go away. Last week, the burning smell grew so intense that I couldn’t run the heater or vents at all; the smell would infiltrate the inside of the car and I’m rather fond of breathing. In fact, I’d rather breathe than be warm even when it’s 14 degrees outside and I’m driving to work.
I thought maybe I was just overdue for an oil change. I should have gotten one in December, but I was busy! I had no time. I put it off until Kim left. And then I never could find a good time. Finally, I forced myself to the oil change shop and just dealt with it already.
Only that didn’t exactly fix things. In fact, it fixed it not at all.
So I brought the jeepy jeepy in for my local mechanic to look at and crossed my fingers. I was hoping for something cheap, like maybe a little leaky oil. HA! I’m so funny with my ignorance of how much a cracked oil holder costs.
Turns out, my poor 12-year-old jeepy has a cracked oil pan, cracked oil valves, cracked power steering hose, low power steering fluid, a coolant leak, busted ball joints, upper and lower radiator hoses are shot and the thermostat for something is wonky, the air filter (ALWAYS THE AIR FILTER), the serpentine belt is at maximum wear, the brake fluid needs to be flushed, the fuel injection system needs to be flushed, the spark plugs need to be replaced, and the transmission fluid flushed. TWO PAGES of what’s wrong with my poor jeepy jeepy. Know what that costs?
Thirty-nine hundred dollars.
Yep. I about died, too. My poor 12-year-old car is only worth $2,000. There was no way I was paying twice as much into it. My boss (who is awesome) looked over the report and marked up what was strictly necessary, and what could wait. (And, um, what he recommended I ignore until they just gave out – because I don’t drive on highways much and won’t get stranded to far from civilization.) Even if I just addressed the oil leak, that’s a thousand dollars. My boss gave me the name of the mechanic he uses, who said he could probably do it for half, but he doesn’t really know til he looks at it. So I could go that route, but…
What about the other stuff? It’s going to go at some point (and from the sound of it, sometime soonish). The jeepy jeepy is twelve years old. Maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s time to say goodbye and get something a little less broken.
Yeah, I was pretty much a wreck yesterday. I choked up more than I thought at the idea of saying goodbye to my jeep. She’s been with me for so long, she feels like an extension of my body. I know exactly how to hit any turn, squeeze into any parking space, inch past any cars in traffic. She and I are practically one! The idea of having to get used to a new car…? Oof. And paying for one? GAH. But the idea of pouring good money into the jeep when I’m going to have to turn around and put the same money into a new (to me) car soon anyway – that makes me break out in hives, too.
I have no idea what I’m going to do. I wanted so much to call Uncle Teddy and have him tell me what to do (uh, which he would never do), or at least give me his opinion of how FUBAR my jeep actually was. I might not be able to do that, but I certainly have a lot of support. Everyone at work offered their opinions. Kim and Joey listed to me vetch and offered their support. My cousin Kene had me email the mechanic’s report for him to look over. My ex sent me the name of his contact at the car dealership they used for their last three vehicles because he really trusts him (knowing this is my first potential car purchase on my own). And the guy I just started dating offered to help look at cars or see if he could fix mine. Pretty hot date, right? Heh.
So there you have it. By the weekend, I’ll have made a decision one way or the other. I’ll either be broke and have a little peace of mind, or else I’ll be panicked and living on vent-scenters.
Either way, the jeepy jeepy’s days are numbered. And eventually, I’ll have to say goodbye.