Thursday, April 3, 2014

Early Warning

Today I had an adventure with my car.

"Unsafe driving, by digitalart/ found at:

The main vehicle that I drive most is an '05 Ford Escape.  It has been a great car overall and has been pretty low maintenance.  However, I am no fool.  This car now has over 178,000 miles and it is almost a decade old.

So when the clutch started acting funny just after arriving home from California, I have to admit that I wasn't all that surprised that something could be up.  I also thought that I was really happy that this didn't happen while we were on the road.

I called my mechanic.  He is an honest guy.  He told me if the clutch needs replacing I probably need a new car.  He kindly pointed out that putting more money into a car than it is worth is probably not a good idea- especially when said car is old enough and at a mileage that could warrant a transmission or even an engine at any time.  My mechanic also knows that I often travel down to California and he told me he wouldn't want to see me get stranded on the side of the highway.

I was annoyed, but agreed with all of the logic stated above.

I also am very annoyed by car shopping.  Or should I say I hate car salesman.  Hell, don't we all???

My last experience was a good one because it was at the MINI dealer where they don't really have to sell you anything.  You wouldn't be there if you didn't want a MINI.  Duh!

But this time I would need to replace what I have with something similar.  There's nothing that big at the MINI dealer.  Damn!

So I made an appointment to have the car looked at by the mechanic in the afternoon and did a little internet car shopping.  I have had a car in mind if mine should go bad and yet I haven't been so sold on the idea that I have actively ever looked or even test driven.

To make a long story short, I actually found a decent price for the type of car I was thinking about and it turned out to be located at a dealer that, at least over the phone, has salespeople that don't seem to be ready to jerk you around or oozing in greasiness.  I made an appointment to talk with them tomorrow.

Then, during my day of errands and a little work, I drove my car around town with no more troubles at all.  Hmmm.... strange.

by the time I got to the mechanic I honestly wondered if I had just dreamed up some problem that never existed at all.

In the end my issue is simple.  I need a brake job, but my clutch is fine.  It's merely that both the clutch and the brakes feed from the same fluid reservoir and when the fluid is old or dirty it will sometimes affect the clutch performance.  Whew, brakes are way cheaper and I don't have to meet with ANY car salesman at all.  My Friday is saved for something far better.  Maybe I'll hit up a 'Happy Hour' with my neighbor- she's been bugging me to do that.  Oh, and I'm taking this for what it's worth.  I'll be renting a vehicle to drive down to California if I need something bigger than my MINI for the trip!  My Ford Escape is just too old for the trip now and I'm choosing to heed the early warning.

What do YOU wish came with an early warning system?  Have you ever failed to heed an early warning?  What happened?


  1. You are talking like a "true gear head." That language is simply waaaaay over my head. I have never opened my hood nor do I EVER have any desire to. For me, that is what AAA is for. On my card it says I've been a loyal member since 1981 and on year 30 I got a congratulatory letter in the mail. Cheap %^&^$. They could have at least rewarded me with a free oil change. I wonder what does live under my hood??? Monsters? Snakes? I could have been transporting aliens under the hood all these years.....(little ones) LOL
    I digress. Back to your problem. If you don't have AAA it's better not to drive your car on that long trip to California. At least I wouldn't.

    1. I do have roadside assistance, but nothing like breaking down on the highway late at night to kill a great road trip! Sorry my 'car lingo' is a bit too much. I was born into a family that raced cars and I have always looked at cars as freedom machines. They are second nature to me. I am very comfortable under the hood. My neighbor is a bit intimidated by my being a woman and knowledgeable about cars. He also freaks when he sees my doing things like wiring my own lighting, using power tools or creating furniture in my driveway. The lines between what women ought to do are very blurred around here. My husband loves it!

    2. Don't misunderstand me...... I'm proud of you and I loved "My Cousin Vinny" and wished I could be more like ......... the girlfriend ( what's her name). I'm just saying I'm like the bazillion women who have no idea how to open the hood of a car. I guess I'd like to be like "Driving Miss Daisey." But back to My Cousin vinny, I believe that is one of my all time favorite movies. in fact I own it and still watch it over and over. It was that auto knowledge that made that movie plus Vinny telling the judge about the 2 yutes. That also cracked me up.
      You go girl and I love to see women know mechanics.

  2. I have not heeded the Early Warning and we all know how that story ended... Migraine City.

    Good for you on proactive action.

    I recommend Carmax if you aren't sure what you want. They have everything so they don't care what car you want to buy. No one car is "better" or "worse." In other words, they aren't trying to sell you on a car. The price on the sticker is the price. There is no bargaining. And they have everything, so you can drive all the models you want back-to-back to compare. Nothing like going from one to another to KNOW how comfortable, driver/passenger friendly one is right next to the other.

    I was hoping you would check out my B is for... post. I think you will like that blog.

    1. This morning I ended up reading the reviews of the dealership where I was to go to and I almost feel guilty for not going there! The reviews are so glowing! We will try to figure out what we need based on where we end up in the next few months. We are trying diligently to get to California more permanently- my husband is now bidding for a 'remote' position with his current company. Then we will know if we need something to keep road tripping with nephew and dogs in tow, or if we can settle for something smaller.
      I have had to keep the blogging down to a minimum lately because we have been so busy with packing/selling/road tripping/etc. I will go back and look at your B post!

  3. What do I wish came with an early warning system? Teenagers.


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