Monday, June 16, 2008

Pray for Grace's Car

Not that I'm particularly religious (I was reared as an Episcopalian, and still attend church, but only four or five times a year), but my 1999 Dodge Caravan could use some serious prayers.

My minivan has not been pretty for a long while. The first time I drove it off the lot (It was bright and shiny and new!) I went to pick up my daughter at school and scraped the side on those yellow concrete poles intended to keep one away from heat pumps. The poles worked fine. My ability to turn the vehicle tightly worked less well. But notwithstanding some yellow paint smears on the otherwise green van, it has been a workhorse these past 9.5 years--carrying me around for 152,000 miles, hauling furniture and grandkids, taking us on vacations, etc.

For the last five or six years, it's had a slow oil leak. No problem--I buy oil on sale and put it in when necessary. A few months ago, I had to replace the battery--and amazed my mechanic that I was still using the original battery that had come with the car. The brakes went bad after six years, but a neighbor helped put new ones in, so the expense was not outrageous.

Now, however, we may be coming to the end of the road. Over the week-end, my engine started knocking and the "Check Engine Soon" light came on. After putting in two quarts of oil, the knocking subsided and eventually the light went off.

But I have that sinking feeling that all is not well with my baby.

Sigh. The timing leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot add another payment, especially not a large car payment, to my already over-burdened budget. I have been operating without an emergency fund since April.

All I can really do right now is pray for my car to keep running for at least another three or four months. And keep my fingers crossed!


Bouncing Back said...

I can feel your car pain. My suggestion is to get some recommendations for a good mechanic and take the car in for a total evaluation. I had a very good mechanic and he was able to help me keep the old Saturn on the road a good 2 years after it should have been retired to local driving only. I "sold" the car to my neighbors kid when I got my new to me car and the Saturn had 232,000 miles on it. I do/did a lot of highway driving on weekends for family visits and part time work.

It may be that the Caravan just needs to have a propert servicing-all the fluids changed, new spark plugs, new filters, belts etc. Probably your baby just needs a little professional TLC.

Good luck!

SavingDiva said...

Good luck! I need my old car to hold on another 4-5 years! :) I don't think I'll be that lucky, but I'm going to try.

Sharon said...

I just saw this post...hope my belated prayers help!