7 hours in the car beats $3500 anyday

Well, the boy and I went and talked to Mr. Midas on Saturday.  He was once again extremely helpful.  Beyond helpful actually, he didn’t even charge us for the work that he did! Awesome.

The boy asked Mr. Midas, “Will it make it home?”

Mr. Midas – “Oh yeah it’ll make it home.”

Me – nudging boy “you might want to tell him that home is 2 hours away!”

Boy – “Oh yeah, will it make it to St. Mary’s – it’s about 2 hours away.”

Mr. Midas – “Off the record – yes.  But maybe write down some tow truck numbers along the way… and take the back roads.  Don’t get the RPM’s too high – maybe 80km or so.

Boy and Meaghan = Happy.

You see, Boy’s dad has a friend that likes to take apart cars and put them back together.  So instead of paying Mr. Midas to tear apart the engine and find out it’s total garbage – $1500 for figuring that out – we drove it to St. Mary’s for friendly Frank to figure it out.

So we crossed our fingers and we drove… and drove… and drove.  I hate the back way.  It’s SO long and there are no landmarks!  Just fields. At least when I’m on the 401 I can break my 2 hour trip into 20 minute segments… not the case taking the back way.  Just long and flat and boring.

But we made it.  I gave the boy a thumbs up about halfway there, and he gave it back.  He said he was going to give it to me earlier – but he was afraid he’d jinx the car and as soon as he put his thumb up it would die… or explode.  Happily it didn’t.

So now Friendly Frank has the car.  His initial assessment is that the oil was changed on April 1st – but there is some sort of crack in the engine or something somewhere – so something is leaking in, and it’s making it dirty.  Also the ticking stops after about 10 minutes… this apparently is a good sign.  He thinks he knows what’s wrong – and he’s hoping it won’t need a completely new engine.

We dropped it off, stopped in at Boy’s parents, no one home, left, forgot the tent – turned around, left again.  We stopped in Stratford for some lunch and got back in the car and went home – thankfully taking the highway!  Total time round trip – 7 hours. Total time in the car – 6 hours.

We’re hoping that this is the Love God’s effort to see us through.  Keep your fingers crossed too please.

Do the bank Gods and the Car Gods meet at Starbucks?

Tell me loyal followers, has this happened to you?  Just when you start to think – “hey, even though we don’t make a lot of money combined we seem to be getting a bit ahead! We could go on a little vacation this summer, and not worry about it.  Or maybe we will be able to tie the knot before 2020.”  BAM! Bank Gods phone Car Gods – they meet at Starbucks over a delicious chai tea and figure out a new way to screw you over.

No? Just me us? Hmm that sucks.

The Boy drives a grandpa car.  People may stare, or say that it rides like a truck.  It may feel like the whole thing is going to fall apart if you go too fast over a big bump because the shocks no longer exist.  But we don’t care.  His 1999 Buick LeSabre is a car that fits him, and more importantly it came from Grandpa – so it had really no miles on it when he got it, and for the most part it has been a good car.  It gets us from A to B faster and more efficiently than my mode of transportation – the YRT, my bike, or my feet. 

The Boy talks about how “one day” he’d like a car that isn’t the envy of 85 year-old men everywhere.  But neither of us were hoping that “one day” would be anytime soon.  Apparently the car Gods and the Bank Gods have different plans.  Wonderful.

The Red Rocket (as my dad likes to call it) had some trouble this winter, with non-essentials like heat, defrost, and wheel barrings.  But we made it through and the Boy (with the very generous help of his parents) got it fixed up this spring and it was off to the races.  It came back with one small problem – sometimes it made a humming noise.  But sometimes it didn’t.  So we didn’t worry about it too much.  Hey, it passed the e-test – how bad could it be?

Turns out, really bad! Take heed loyal followers if your car starts sounding like a sewing machine go directly to your nearest mechanic. Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  This is what we thought we did…  but apparently not.  We waited until it REALLY started sounding like a sewing machine.  We took it in last Thursday.  On Friday at lunch I got the call…

Midas asks for the Boy – I say can he tell me what’s wrong with the car.  Mr. Midas starts.

“Well Meaghan, do you know how long it’s been making that ticking sound?  Because that’s not a good noise – that’s an internal engine noise.”

Me – immediately cursing the car and bank God’s friendship in my head.

Mr. Midas – When was his last oil change?

Me – About 8 weeks ago

Mr. Midas – Okay… and was it making that noise before that? 

Me – Explaining to Mr. Midas that the car was taken in to get all of it’s owies fixed and when it came back you could kind of hear a humming noise… sort of… sometimes.  But the ticking started in earnest about 2 days ago.

Mr. Midas – Okay, well there’s two things that could be wrong.  It could have had a bad oil change, the oil is really dark (he says like I know if that’s a good or a bad thing) so we can start by changing the oil and seeing if that helps. ($)  If not it could be the oil pump. ($$)  And if it is the oil pump depending on how long the oil pump hasn’t been working properly… we may need to replace the entire engine. (@#&* $$$$$ mother @#&*%^!)

Me – Okay, well I guess do the oil change and I’ll cross my fingers. 

Mr. Midas – That’s what I would suggest.  Hopefully it’s just the oil, and everything will be fine.

Me – Hopefully.  (thinking – not likely because Bank Gods have clearly spoken to Car Gods)

I should note here that Mr. Midas was really helpful.  The boy has taken the car there a few times, and hasn’t ever ended up with a bill WAY higher than he thought it was going to be.  They don’t seem to just make things up.  Also Mr. Midas is always really good at talking to me not like a girl – but like a person that is not a  mechanic, which I really appreciate.  He always explains things really clearly – using a combination of laymens terms and car terms, but does so in a way that doesn’t make me feel stupid or annoyed that he is talking to me like I’m stupid.  Thank you Mr. Midas.

And the votes came in…

New engine it is.  According to Mr. Midas the oil looked like it hadn’t been changed in about a year.   Hmm, that’s funny because the Boy asked that it be changed 8 weeks ago.  Apparently they only said they would change it and forgot to actually do it.  That’ll be $3500 for a used engine please. 

Crap.

We’re hoping the Love Gods will see us through and we’re currently praying for some sort of miracle.