My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Almost giving up.

Posted by Iszi on May 14, 2007

Okay, I’ve about had it.

(Man, if I could have a buck for every time I start a post like that…)

I’m tired of this car feeding me crap! I really do love the car – and I mean seriously love the car – but I really cant afford nor tolerate handling the problems that it’s been giving me lately!

It started off relatively small. Okay, maybe not really that small, but compared to now I say small. Awhile ago, the air-ride suspension gave out on it. I knew it was on the way out anyway, and had already planned on swapping to lowered springs with the coming tax return, so we had that done. Not such a big deal.

What is a freaking huge deal now though, is the transmission. First, it started with a little slip. I kept thinking of that Han Solo line from Episode IV when the Millennium Falcon was under fire: (roughly quoted) “She’ll hold together… [blast] Oh, come on baby, hold together!”. Well, she didn’t. The transmission eventually gave out (or so we think) and it was determined at the time that we needed to get a new one in.

Being of small means and even smaller mechanical knowledge, it seemed my best option was to find a used transmission from a reliable source, and find someone with experience to help me swap it in. I found a used transmission and torque converter to go with it, from a seemingly (and I still hold to be) reliable source for a very reasonable price. Now all I needed was someone to put it in, or to help me do so.

At one point, I found someone that said they would do it for me, but the price they were asking upfront was more than I could immediately give and they could not accept payments. Moving on, I thought I’d found someone else, but things just didn’t work out. We ran into complications along the way, and in the downtime while we were trying to figure our way around the complications, an injury prevented him from being able to help further. So, we put the car back the way it was and I looked around some more.

I found a “mobile mechanic” who was willing to allow me to work with him on the job for reduced labor cost, but later found that the task was going to be a bit too specialized for me to trust to a first-time dealing with a mechanic for whom I had little to no reference.

So, I went on the search again. Meanwhile, a paycheck bonus provided me with just enough money to compensate for the original offer that was extended for the job. I got back in touch, and the transmission was swapped out this past weekend. There’s only one “small” problem: The issue hasn’t gone away, and in fact some new symptoms have come about as well!

I posted on some of the various forums that I go to, one of which is where I met the sources for the parts and labor on this project, to try to figure out what could still be causing these issues. Now, there’s a bit of a blame game going on. Though no one will openly say it, that’s what I get the feeling is happening, and right now I’m the latest target.

At this point, I don’t much care whose fault it is that the second transmission has failed (and it’s being said that it is internal within the transmission at this point, whether a pre-existing problem or not) I just want to find the root cause and get it fixed.

But now, it seems I’m out of money, way past out of time, and running short on reliable or expedient human resources. I do still have faith in the people who have been helping me, and am very thankful for their aid, but (by no fault of their own) right now the speed at which they may be able to help me isn’t quick enough for the speed at which I need to be helped.

There’s only one option I haven’t considered yet, and while it is probably the easiest, it is the one I dread most. My wife’s family has always been more than generous in helping us in times of need, especially when it has come to vehicle-related problems. Before we married, my wife already had accrued debt to her grandmother in amounts I’d rather not even think of, and I’ve worked hard to ensure that any further funds borrowed from her family were payed off as soon as possible. As of right now, I think this is the first time in few years that I can say to my knowledge that all our monetary debts owed to family (mine and hers) which I have had part in have been paid off. I don’t think anyone knows how badly I want to keep it that way, either.

But, her grandmother may be the only one that has the funds to help us if we need to actually get a new transmission and have it put in by a professional that will warranty the hardware, and his work.  It’s either that, or get a new car – the second car in less than a year’s time – for the same price.  I personally feel that we’ve spent way too much money and headache on this car to give it up after such short a time of ownership.  Further, I am convinced that after this transmission problem is overcome, we will have a car that – with proper maintenance and care –  can last us much longer than any of our past vehicles which have only carried us for a year or two each.

It’s not something that I really want to do, but something I think I might have to do.  The question is, will I be able to tell when the “have to” time has come.  Or has it maybe even already passed?

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