Cars, cars and more cars

Cars, cars and more cars

It would take HOURS to tell all the awful problems/ expenses that cars have caused me. There was a TV commercial several years ago (when I still could stomach watching TV), that showed long stretches of freeways and on-ramps, with no cars, just people jogging along in lanes, grouped as though they were sitting together in cars. 

Does this look like fun to you?

Does this look like fun to you?

I totally did not get the message for that commercial. I think they were selling cars – all I could think of each time I saw it was, that would be so awesome – no cars. It would be so quiet, and the air would smell sweet; no horrific car crashes, no road rage. Think of all the health benefits of walking or running where you are going.  Sigh. It was only a dream.

The end result

The end result

I suppose if a person had lots of money, car problems would not exist.  The cars would always be new, and there would of course, be several cars in the garage to choose from.

For a great many of us, this has never been the case and never will. We are stuck in used car land. If you have never been there, let me elucidate you.

My current aggravation is this: A couple of months ago, I started having problems getting my ignition key into the ignition thing on the steering column. This started out as an occasional problem. I did the usual things – sprayed lock lubricant in there. It would seem to be better for awhile, and then just kept getting worse, to the point where I either could not get the key to go in, or it would go in, but not rotate, no matter how much I jiggled the steering column and/or the key.

I of course became concerned because it seemed that sooner or later, I would be stranded somewhere, not able to start the car. It did not seem to be the usual starter problem, as the key itself would not rotate. A friend suggested I take it to a locksmith, as it seemed to be a key problem. (I had already tried making a new key, but it had the same problem.)

Bear in mind that this is a 15 year old car, and I never lose my keys – so the key was 15 years old as well (and the lock mechanism on the car). So the locksmith said it needed a new locking thingy on the steering column. So they replaced it.

I drove away, as the place was closing (I have to go after work, and I get there 1/2 hour before they close). It seemed really hard to steer, and then the turn signal wouldn’t work.

So the next day I brought it back. They re-adjusted something, so the turn signals worked, and it was back to normal steering.

A couple of weeks later, last Sunday, when I made a 90 degree turn, I could hear and feel something going “clunk, clunk” inside the steering column.  Well that kinda freaked me out.  You do need to be able to steer a car and I didn’t know what was wrong now.

So yesterday I took the car back again, and they did some more adjusting, and now it doesn’t clunk and the steering seems ok. They said something was coming loose – I don’t like the sound of that. 

This morning, I’m driving to work, and it starts to rain, as it does a LOT here. Guess what? The windshield wipers won’t turn on!  So I’m driving as fast as I think I can get away with without a ticket, hoping to get to work before I can’t friggin’ see!

So tonight guess what I get to do after work?  Go back to the locksmith to get my windshield wipers working again.

In my experience, this is typical for an old car.  The locksmith’s is a reliable, honest place, but maybe they just aren’t good with car locks. I would replace this car with a newer old car, but I can’t afford to. 

Did I say I hate cars?  Beside their obvious expense to purchase and keep in gas, they are noisy, polluting and turn most of Americans into jelly bodies. I HATE CARS.  If I could figure a way to live without one I would, but in this country, they have created a car dependant nation where most of the citizenry cannot even get to and from work without a car. Public transportation?  What the hell is that?

Fuming hamster with busted wheels