Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When is enough, enough?

I have a Subaru. I bought it when I was 26 yrs old, it was a dealer's model for test driving and it was practically brand new. I remember after buying it, I was home alone. I drew myself a bath and sat in the tub til the water got cold in a near panic thinking, "OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG. What did I just do?!"

This car, a 1996 Subaru Legacy wagon, has served me well. Is STILL serving me well. It has 285,000 miles on it. I've done maintenance things on it, timing belt, various other belts, brakes... it's never needed any major repairs. And it always, always, always, always starts. It is great in snow and it gets me everywhere I need to go. I happily fit 50lb feed sacks, dogs, saddles, furniture, goats into my stationwagon and toodle on down the road without a second thought.

The body is in great shape. The interior is in great shape. Even when a goat peed in it, I had my bed liner down and hosed it off later. Voila! Good as new. I keep my car clean. No one would ever think it has 285,000 miles on it.

Furry Husband has been after me to get a newer car. He doesn't feel safe with me be-bopping around in a car with such high milage. It's not so bad in town but if I drive the 3 hrs to visit my Dad in NE or if I happen to head to Denver for a day or if we head out on a road trip to Grand Junction or to visit his Mom in Illinois.... he doesn't think it's safe anymore.

I know he's right.

My windshield wipers are tempermental. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. If I hold the wiper stick on the steering column they know when it's sprinkling and you just want one wiper pass so you pull the wiper stick and the wipers do their thing one time? THAT still works all the time, so if it rains and my wipers decide not to work, I just hold that thing in. I can see fine.

My brake pedal sticks to the floor on mornings that are 20 degrees or lower. Sometimes. If I allow my car to warm up for 3 minutes, it doesn't happen. Never has happened while I'm driving it. Only when my car is started from being dead cold and it is below freezing outside does my brake pedal stick to the floor rendering my brakes useless. But that is what I have an emergency brake for, no?

The right front CV boot is torn. Who cares? I don't know what it is and I don't think it's relevant to the primary function of driving my car. My car starts, backs up, goes forward, turns right and left.

The anti-lock brake system broke many years ago. It was going to cost me $500 to fix and since I grew up in NE with hellacious winters. I don't need the anti-locking brakes. I know perfectly well how to brake in snow and ice.

The insulating rubber thingies that line your door? Well on the driver's side, that thing is sagging on the bottom of the door, away from the body of the car. Like sagging support hose. A repair place quoted me $200 to fix it... $200! Hell. Get me some duct tape and I'll fix the damn insulating rubber thingy in under 3 minutes.

My headlights are sorta dim. I drive around with my brights on and no one ever flashes their lights at me anymore. If I return the lights to "normal", I can't hardly see the road. So? I'll just drive with my brights on.

The rear windshield wiper doesn't work. It never really has. It goes back and forth but doesn't touch the glass. I had the dealer fix it 53 times when it was under warranty and they never could get it to function properly. It's the only thing about my car that pisses me off so I never use it.

There is a dent just above the tail light on the driver's side from when I backed into a tree on my way out the driveway at my Mom's house in Bailey, CO because my boyfriend at the time and I were breaking up, he showed up and I got zero sleep the night before. I have all my stickers on the car... my Itchy and Scratchy stickers (the cartoon they always show from The Simpson's), my Happy Bunny stickers, my Cartman farting fire sticker from the episode where he was abducted by aliens the first year of Southpark. It's got my Grand Mesa Ski stickers, my Girls Kick Ass! sticker... my quirky personality is all over that car.

Furry Husband called me yesterday and asked me to meet him in front of my work building for a cup of coffee. I came down and he was in a sparkly clean Subaru Legacy Wagon circa 2004. It has 50,000 miles on it.

To me, that is like a brand, spankin' new Subaru. It has a sunroof. It has heated seats. It is super clean inside and out. It has fog lamps. The asking price is $1K under Kelley Blue Book.... we were able to keep it overnight last night. We took it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase exam. It's clean. There were a couple cosmetic things... but it is a velly, velly nice little car. The wipers work - ALL of them - even the rear window wiper. The headlights are so bright I can actually SEE the road on the regular headlight setting. The brights are like stadium lights, they are so bright!

It was sorta my goal when I first bought my car back in 1996 to drive my little Subaru wagon to at least 300, 000 miles or until there was just a seat and a steering column left... but I wonder... when is enough, enough already??

We made an offer on the 2004 model. We haven't heard back from the dealer. Shrug. I don't NEED a new car. If they don't go for it? Well. I drive mine and maybe I make it to 300K? There are other cars out there.

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