Here in Australia the countdown to the New Year has begun – 14.5 hours to go if my arithmetic serves – but my mood is anything but festive. I just learned that my car is ‘cooked’.
For the mechanically challenged, ‘cooked’ is a technical term that means the engine is cactus, dead-as-a-dodo, finito. 😦
Apparently some part of my radiator broke off completely as I was driving home yesterday [in the heat with a car full of perishables]. The engine immediately started to overheat but I didn’t notice because…the engine was making a very worrying noise. Totally focused on the engine noise, and desperately trying to calculate whether I could limp home regardless, I didn’t notice the temperature gauge rocketing off into space. By the time I finally pulled over and the engine ‘stopped’, it was all too late.
I know all this because I have a wonderful mobile mechanic who checked the car out once it had cooled. He gave me the bad news just moments ago.
What happened to me and the shopping yesterday? That’s the fortunate part. I’d bought a bag of ice in case we have another blackout tonight so I was able to perch most of the perishables on the ice until The Offspring could come pick me up. My poor old car is still sitting by the side of the road though.
Once I hit publish on this post, I’ll have to ring the RACV [roadside assist] and get the car towed home. Then I’ll have to do a lot of grim thinking, and more sums. I’m not quite destitute, but the dog needs her –cough– anal –cough– glands removed so that’s an unbudgeted expense, and now I’ll either have to fix the car somehow, or buy a rust bucket that may end up being far worse.
Just for the record, I’ve had Jimmy [my Corolla] since it was 5 years old. Jimmy is now almost 28 and we’ve grown old together. I don’t want another car…unless it’s a Toyota Prius, but even second hand that aspirational vehicle is waaaaaaay out of my reach.
So, at this point it looks as if I’ll have to wait until the wreckers open up again in early January. Then I’ll have to cross my fingers that my mechanic will be able to find a decent second-hand engine. Then the actual wait while the work gets done. Finally, I’ll probably have to pay between 3 – 4? thousand dollars and I’ll be mobile again. All during one of the worst bushfire seasons we’ve had in a while. Not great.
All things are doable if they have to be done, but juggling everything with just one car in a fringe area like Warrandyte where public transport is…minimal…will be a challenge. It will mean racing out to do the shopping at the crack of dawn so I don’t leave the Offspring alone in the house with no way out for too long. It will mean feeling just a tiny bit fenced in. It will be unpleasant.
If this is fate’s way of hitting me with the small stuff so I can avoid the great, big fiery elephant in the room then so be it. I can live with that, but I’m not going to enjoy the first couple of months of 2016 and that is the honest truth.
And now enough of this belly-aching. Thank you for letting me vent. My online friends have been both inspiration and consolation on more occasions than I can name. Thanks guys. Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve but stay safe, okay?
December 31, 2015