Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Farewell, Faithful Prism

I was driving home from work on my last day of teaching, and as I often do, I looked at my car's mileage and figured out how many more miles were left until the odometer read 200k. I only had a little over 5k more miles to make it to my goal, and so I started thinking about what a great first car I had - my green 1996 Geo Prism, which I had bought right out of college for only $3500 (exactly six years ago) hadn't given me much trouble at all and I was now almost at 200k.

I was thinking these exact thoughts when I started to hear this bang-bang engine noise (almost like a helicopter, but not quite) and then my car didn't seem to respond to the accelerator. I put on my flashers and pulled over, hoping that maybe two-and-a-half quarts of oil (my car had an oil leak) would solve the problem! The oil helped a little bit, and I made it home.

On the day that I was leaving for the airport en route to Seattle, I decided that it wouldn't be wisest to drive my car, so I left it for my dad and brothers to drive to church and I took my dad's car. When I arrived in Detroit, my layover city, I got a call from my brother to say that my car had stranded them on the way to church and again the engine wasn't responding to the gas.

My brothers and my dad have often fixed my car when it need a little work here and there in the past. They all went to look at the car after church and concluded that the car needed a new engine. Needless to say, my Geo is now on its way to the metal scrapper. This was a little bit sad because I was really hoping to push my car to 200k, and it almost, almost made it, but it died out a little early.

Thus began the difficult process of deciding what to do next. My
parents had just had a really good experience buying a Honda Pilot from a Honda dealership in north-western New York, and quite randomly, as we were searching used cars from all over the country, the same dealership came up with a very competitive price for a 2001 Honda CR-V that is in excellent condition; I went with it. (Apparently I am sticking with the Christmas colored cars, out with the green and in with the red!) Most importantly, though, I think, is the fact that this CR-V has a manual transmission. I learned to drive in a car with a manual transmission and when I bought my first car with an automatic transmission I felt like I was no longer even driving, just steering. So, I am looking forward to once again experiencing the satisfaction of truly driving a car, not just steering it!