Wednesday, August 17, 2005

1987 Honda Civic: Never say die!

Here's a picture from inside the Civic, being hoisted up onto a flat bed tow truck.

The day after the beer tour, we took a wine tour up the Old Mission Peninsula above Traverse City. The tour was great, we tasted wine from about 5 different wineries and even toured the Chateau Grand Traverse Winery facility. Our last stop was Bowers Harbor Vineyards, where we tasted their wines and had some wonderful cheese and crackers. There was a big shagy dog roaming around, which we later noticed had his face on the labels of wine they sold.
We purchased a bottle of wine, and decided to head to a nearby restaurant to get a bite to eat.
[ Side Bar ] It's so funny that hopping in the car, turning the key and driving off is part of everyones daily ritual. We really take it for granted that this huge piece of machinery is going to work each and every time. And when it doesn't?! The first thought, or words that come out out my mouth: WTF.
Yeah, so we hop in the car, I turn the key, and all we hear is this cylinder scratchy spinning sound. My first though (after I said WTF), was the starter. So, I back the car up and roll it down the hill, trying to pop the clutch to get the car started. No luck. We tried a few things, like popping the hood and staring at the engine. It's funny, I do this every time my car breaks. I have no idea what I'm looking at, but it sort of makes me feel like I know what I'm doing. We even tried push starting it again (kudo's to muscle woman Jen) with no luck. I finally bit the bullet and called triple A. After a buncha bullshit on the phone with them (and about an hour and a half later) we finally got a tow truck driver agree to come pick the car up. As we sat there, all of the people who worked at the winery drove by and waved. There was even an older guy golfing in his yard next to where we sat. No one stopped and asked what we were doing, they all just smiled or waived and went on their way in their fancy cars (as each of them drove by, I though - you wait til your car hits 197,000 miles - we'll see who's smiling then!)..
Tow truck driver arrives on the scene. His wife and kid were in the truck with him, which we both thought was odd, because we needed a lift too. The driver didn't think twice, he just said 'Hop back in your car, we'll get this up on the truck'.. So, we both get in, and sit there as this guy hoists the car up onto a flat bed trailer... with us in the car!! Is this even legal?! So, there we go.. off to the auto repair shop, sitting 6ft off the ground on a flat bed trailer, looking down on all of the other traffic on the road. Crazy.

So, it's taken me a week to write about this. It wasn't the most pleasant of experiences, but its nice that I can look back on it now and laugh. I need to remember that during situations.. (don't we all!). In case your wondering, we rented a car and drove that back to Monroe. It was a cute little Mazda 3. The ride home was actually pretty fun.
Dan Duvall (who also is the name of a guy that works at the paper) called yesterday from Northern Auto Repair, and said that the timing belt was the problem, and is fixed, but the water pump should be replaced, and the alternator belt is cracked. I think I lucked out, at $480. My mom, who is the most optimistic person in the world, said - look at it this way, you just saved yourself $3850! ($350 monthly car payments for 11 months). That's what moms are for, bringing out the good in a crummy situation.

This weekend, I'm making the trip back up to Traverse to pick the car up. I'm trying to figure out alternative ways to get up there, or things to do after I get there, to make the weekend a bit more interesting. I wrote triple A a letter, whining about their crummy service, and asked them to rent me a car to get back up and pay for it - we'll see if it works. If it doesn't, I'm heading up saturday night with my mom and her husband. The way back, I'm stopping at the Michigan Brewing Company to fill up a couple of growlers with some IPA. :)

The moral of this story is, that I have practically a brand new car. And when I hit the 300,000 mark, I'll post it, and show all of you doubters, that this little red car is going to run forever!!