Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Car Is Dead. Long Live The Car!

Our little 1992 Nissan Sentra, of which we are the original owners, is unofficially dead.

It's still kicking somewhat, of course. If you can coax it into starting (which you have to do by poking it with a long stick), it will run with the smooth and quiet ride of a springtime lawnmower. The heater doesn't warm up until the car has been running for quite some time, and ventilation is an all-or-nothing proposition, since only the "off" and "hi" settings are working.

I took it in today to have the muffler looked at, and they told me that since the pipe has been cut off and welded so many times, the whole thing has to be replaced back to the catalytic converter. It's not that it costs more money than we have; we've been saving up some money for a new used car, because we knew this day was coming soon. It's that it just seems like it's not worth fixing the damn car up any more.

If FH were a "car guy" like my dad, he'd just devote a couple of weekends in the garage to fixing the thing up. But FH is decidedly not a "car guy." He thinks grease is, like, yucky. When the brake pads need changing, I'm the one who gets out the jacks and the socket set. But I'm seven months pregnant, and in no condition to be fixing cars for at least the next few months. FH has a "car guy" friend who comes down from Logan to hang out with him sometimes, and they fix cars and computers all weekend. But it's the middle of winter, and even though it was like 50 degrees today, it isn't always that warm. Last time he came down to visit, they changed out the switch for the ventilation system, and the damn thing still doesn't work right because now there's some kind of problem in the wiring.

So FH is going out tomorrow evening to look at cars. He wants to get a full-size sedan, mostly because he carpools with two guys who are both twice as large as he is. We were hoping, though, to put off this purchase until the spring, when we'd have more money to spend and could get a nicer car. But you gotta do what you gotta do.