Sunday, January 21, 2007

issue with getting started

For over a year now my car has had this problem where it occasionally won’t start for me. I go out in the morning. It gives me one Rrrrrrhhh and that’s it. I did have it in once but they couldn’t figure out what it was. It started just fine for them. The problem is so intermittent it’s very difficult to judge when it will happen again. It happens when it is really cold but not always. It happens in the mornings. And it never happens in the summer. But usually I can persuade it to start eventually, if I wait a minute or two to crank again. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes of persuasion.

One of my friends suggested I just get rid of my car and my truck for that matter and go buy something that runs. I’m pretty reluctant to do that, though. Because I have been with my car for a long time and now I know how to work with its little problem. It has taught me patience and persistence. There are no better promises with anything new. If I trade it in to a dealer, I’ll loose money and the dealer likely won’t fix it—rather, they might just sell it in the summer leaving someone else with the problem. My father taught me that it is unethical to do such a thing even to a stranger. Same with my truck. It is nearly dead and I can’t sell the deathtrap to anyone. I also have fond memories of it. Once, the alternator died. But it took a few discussions with my mechanic brother and father to figure that out. Meanwhile, I parked it on a hill near my house and did the "pop the clutch" thing to get it started every morning for work and to go home I rolled it down the slight incline of the faculty parking lot at work. Despite all the trouble, I couldn’t possibly be angry because the image of what I look like—in my skirt (and sandals) pushing the rusty junker down a hill—is just too funny.

A few days ago I tried to do the same thing with my car (it is also a stick). I grunted and heaved it out of its parking spot and ran it down the parking lot incline. I was exhausted by the time I got it started but I decided. This is it! I’m brining it to the service station. When I explained the problem, the guy behind the desk got all talkative and detailed and engaged me (it’s a rarity, but it happens). He told me there were two possibilities. We eliminated the one and figured out that the other problem only the dealer can solve. Then, he let me go without charging me anything! So, now I’m waiting for another cold snap, so that I can bring it in to the dealer and he can do his thing. Meanwhile, on the colder nights I’ll park on the hill.

Funny, I remember my dad parking the 4010 on the hill a lot. In fact, I think that was the tractor's permanent parking spot. I don’t know what the deal was—why dad didn’t get it fixed. Likely, he was either out of money or far too busy to address it immediately.

Admittedly, I am VERY much my father’s daughter.

BTW--this could be a parable. or if you please, I'm just babbling about myself, my car and revealing to all what kind of hickish behavior I still harbor.

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