Friday, March 3, 2017

RIP Ghost Pony; We Hardly Knew Ye

Last month I gave my car a name: Ghost Pony. After three years, causing me...well not nary a headache, but relatively few, I was just fond of it. So I named it.

And then it died. It joined Honored Dead in Sto-vo-kor, and became a part of the silent majority.

Or, I dunno, maybe it didn't! Perhaps it's only pining for the fjords. Here's the story:

Technically, I suppose, if it's dead, I killed it. The timing belt broke, flung itself around the engine and (probably, I guess?) bashed things up in there. I replaced a timing on this car long before it had a name, almost three years ago, and I drive about 20,000 miles a year. I knew it had to be done soon. It was on my list, but I kept putting it off. Well, that'll teach me! (It probably won't.)

To be a little more precise, I don't know for sure that the timing belt did any damage when it broke. The only way to find out, say the dudes at VIP Auto, is to put a new timing belt on and see if it still has enough compression to run. (That sounds...I dunno, not quite right? Like, can't you see the damage? But they are the experts, and "Lori doesn't understand it" is not the same thing as "It's not true.") But it costs a bunch of money to put the belt on, with nothing remotely like a guarantee that it will be drivable again.

So I find myself as I so often have, carless and needing to get this sorted sooner rather than later. A few months ago I had a hope to buy a (relatively) late model compact truck, but now the Magic 8 Ball says recession coming soon (I shook it three times, y'all, just to be sure!), so I don't want to be stuck with a car note. I have my eye on a couple of little pick-ups at a local shade-tree dealer. He's just this retired guy who buys old cars, fixes them up to pass inspection, and sells them. He's a bit of an oddball - doesn't really need your business, and doesn't care if you know it. But he seems honest enough. Anyway, he's got two trucks that fall into my price/size/ mileage range, and I am going to check them out today.

Meanwhile the Ghost Pony sits in my driveway like Schrodinger's Cat, neither dead nor alive. I could put $500 into it and maybe have a good-as-new car, or I could set $500 on fire; or I could sell it for short money on Craigslist and be done with it. Or I could just not decide.

I'm going with option D. Obviously.

Soon I hope to introduce my new vehicle, but though it has long been my custom, I am starting to feel a little superstitious about naming it. Some people knock wood; maybe I could stave off bad luck by keeping up with the maintenance.


Linda Starr said...

oh so very sorry, parting it out you may get the most money back

Lori Watts said...

Thank you! I was having kind of a pity party for myself, but now I am thinking: you know what? I'm not sick, my family isn't sick, we have a roof over our heads & plenty to eat...this is just a nuisance, not a problem. We'll sort it out.