Monday, February 18, 2008


OK, I think I'm ready.

This is a picture of my car (and, incidentally, myself). It's a 1994 Honda Civic, meaning it's having its 14th birthday this year. It's been a good car, and I'm quite attached to it.

Last Friday, when I took it in after the brake fiasco, I really just thought it needed new brakes. Not too expensive, pretty routine, and not really a big deal. It was heartbreaking to see it hooked up to the tow truck, but as the driver said, "It's like it's going to the hospital."

When I got the call from the dealership telling me that, not only did the brakes need entire replacing, but it was leaking fluid, the CV boots were cracked and had nothing left in them, and the timing belt/water pump had not actually been replaced, and all of this was going to cost over $2,000 to fix, I was pretty devastated. I mean, I laugh and say the car could go any day. But on Valentine's day??

The dealership held the car overnight while I asked everyone I know what to do - should I fix it or just give it up? The original estimate, just for the brakes, was $1,777; the car on Kelley Blue Book was worth $1,775 in good condition (not in totally undriveable condition). And although I really like the Mitsubishi Eclipse, I did just pay for my Globe trip, and had to take that money out of savings sort of unexpectedly. Not that I couldn't buy a new car, but who likes to see $20,000 disappear from their bank account??

After much devastation and lots of lovely support, I decided to fix it. After everything was said and done, it cost about as much as originally estimated, and I'm not sorry I did it.

Talking to a coworker today, I realized I've had that car longer than I've lived in any one place. It's been an utter constant in my life since I was 11, before I could even drive. It got me through high school, color guard, college, relationships, friends, here to my current home, and nearly through yet another degree. It's become it's own era.

Now, I know eventually, I will have to let it go and buy a new car (but not without donating the right rear quarter panel to a friend ...). And my mom had even forgotten how old the car was. Obviously the car has far exceeded its worth (and Andy has said at this rate I'm making money off the thing). But like my dad said, it would be especially hard to lose a member of the family, especially on Valentine's day.

No comments: