You learn a lot about cars when yours is falling apart.
Replacing the steering column will cost how much!? And whats a steering column again?
Hi, I’m Abby: proud owner of a sensible, no-frills, 15-year-old sedan. My odometer reading drum roll please is 158,761 miles and counting.
When you have an old car, you never know if you’re rooting for it or against it. For months, I’ll admit, I hoped the old bag would just die already. On sub-zero winter mornings when the engine would take its sweet time to turn over, Id think, This is it! I’m finally free!
But, remarkably and predictably, shed start. Every time.
Since then, I’ve learned to appreciate her resilience. We’ve reached a mutual understanding: If I accept her as she is, shell take me to where I need to go. And then, there’s her ultimate bargaining chip:Stick with me and you wont be tied down with a car payment!
Ill give her that. Shes the No. 1 reason I’ve made any progress on my student loans.
That being said: Relationships are about compromise. My friends have zippy hatchbacks with killer sound systems. Meanwhile, I’m driving around with a six-figure odometer reading and these lovable quirks:
- The horn sounds like a Canada goose getting the wind knocked out of it.
- The air conditioning works, but only if it rains. (Do I call a mechanic or a witch doctor?)
- The fuel gauge is functional, but only sometimes, and never when its convenient.
- There is a large dent in the rear passengers side door that resembles Abraham Lincoln’s face.
OK, that last one is a bit of a stretch. But in my defense, the dent has a remarkably strong jawline.
My car inspection is due later this year. I hope and I fear it’ll be our deciding moment that we’ve come to the end of the road on our journey together. After all, this is the first car I’ve ever had titled in my name. I’ve grown attached.
Cars are like parentheses on certain phases of our lives, aren’t they? She’s taken me to job interviews, apartment walk-throughs, and the adoption kennel where I met my dog. Shes hauled countless loads of groceries from every passing super food fad. (I wont miss you, kale chips.)
Whatever comes next better be feisty and durable enough to carry me through everything my 30s will bring.
I’m open-minded on the make and model. My only request is that the horn doesn’t sound like waterfowl.
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